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Nine mini-games you've never seen

Nov 13, 2007
Mini-games are everywhere. Videogames have gotten so big that we no longer bat an eyelid if they contain one or many bite-sized distractions that, twenty years ago, we probably would’ve been paying full price for. Hell, thanks mostly to Nintendo’s DS and Wii, it’s no longer a shock to see games made up from nothing but dozens of sub-games.

Some mini-games are amazing. Some are generic trash. Some pay heart-patting homage to yesteryear. Some are daft, ill-advised experiments that some crazy-eyed coder knocked up in a frustrated lunchtime. Some are integral to your progress. Others are neat bonuses. And some are so well-hidden that you’d need two copies of the internet and night vision goggles in order to sniff them out.

So, we present to you ten mini-games that, for some reason or other, stand out from the crowd, but have likely graced the eyes of very few players. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing...

TimeSplitters 2 (PS2/Xbox/Cube, 2002)
We’ll begin, however, with a set of mini-games that, of those in this feature, are probably the most ‘well-known’.  Throughout the game, three hidden console cartridges can be found, each unlocking a dinky little retro titbit to be played on your temporal uplink (a handheld map device).

Of the three – Anaconda, Astro Lander and Retro Racer – the first is the easiest to find, and the most addictive. It’s an analogue-stick spin on mobile phone classic Snake, supporting up to four players, steering slinky reptiles around an arena in a bid for the high score.

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