5 Great Mini-Games In Action-Adventure/RPG Titles
When you pick up an action-adventure/RPG game, you know you are going to be in for an epic story, but the games can often take much longer to complete than just finishing the main questline. Some of that has to do with various side quests, but there is usually one other major destruction which stops players from rescuing the princess or saving the world… the mini-game.
Mini-games are added as a distraction to the main story. They’re often a way for your character to take a break from the slaughter of their enemies, and to stretch the mental muscles instead. Here is a list of some of our favourites.
Red Dead Redemption Series – Card Games
Both the original Red Dead Redemption and the superb Red Dead Redemption 2 contained various mini-games. These ranged from Dominoes to arm wrestling, and the wince-inducing “five finger fillet”. One common denominator across both titles was the age-old tradition of the card game, in this case, poker and blackjack.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, which comes to PC later this month, these card games can be found in Rhodes, Blackwater, the Van Horn Trading Post, the Saint-Denis saloon, and even sometimes at your own campsite. Another game which pops up at the camp and various places around the map is Dominoes, although if you fancy getting out into the world, you can also go to the park in Saint-Denis. Whilst it’s fun to earn some virtual coin in-game, if you could head over to starburst casino, and try your hand at winning real cash.
Batman: Arkham Series – Riddler Puzzles
Throughout the Batman: Arkham series, there are a few mini-games to choose from, but the most consistent (and often frustrating) puzzles come from the villain who is a master of winding up The Batman… Riddler. Throughout the various games, Riddler has set up a number of challenges for the Dark Knight to solve. These range from having to line up a giant question mark by taking a photo from a specific perspective to solving lock-box puzzles which release a Riddler trophy. By the time you get to Batman: Arkham Knight, Riddler has graduated from small puzzles to a huge elaborate trap, capturing Catwoman, and forcing Bat and Cat to work together to release her.
Saints Row Series – Insurance Fraud
Saints Row was another series with an abundance of mini-games ranging from escorting “companions” whilst avoiding the paparazzi to protecting your homies with an Attack Helicopter, to out and out Mayhem and destruction. One of the simplest and most entertaining mini-games though was Insurance Fraud. This essentially involved hurling your character into moving traffic, and earning money based on the fall damage, number of witnesses, the distance thrown, and amount of cars you hit. It’s dumb, fun, and hilarious to watch.
Grand Theft Auto Series
The GTA series had such a stupid number of mini-games over the years, you could spend hours of game time playing golf, cards, darts, pool, bowling or even yoga, without ever touching the main story. GTAV and GTA Online continue this tradition. If you fancy some time playing Tennis, you can do that. If you want a round of golf, just head to Los Santos Golf Club. There are, of course, a host of races you can play too. This is Grand Theft Auto after all!
The Witcher 3: Gwent
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, much like the previous titles in the series, had a host of mini-games to distract you from actually finishing the main questline, including fistfighting and horse racing. However, it was the card game Gwent, which really captured the imagination of players. So much so, the developers spun it off into its own standalone esport series.
Gwent is described as “a card game of choices and consequences, where skill, not luck, is your greatest weapon.” The turn-based card game pits two players against each other, with each game taking three rounds. Each player must play one card each turn from a deck of cards, placing the card in one of the two tactically distinct rows – either melee and ranged. The objective is to get more points than your opponent and win 2 out of the 3 rounds.
What makes the game so clever and addictive are the card decks. Each deck can be handcrafted by the player from a variety of possible factions, each with a different playstyle, and a multitude of possible deck compositions. The better combination of cards you can stack in your deck, the better chance you have of winning. However, the game is well balanced, meaning if you don’t refine your deck based on your opponent, you could come unstuck very easily!
If you fancy giving Gwent a try, you can get it for free on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.