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We’re all looking for a simple “all-in-one” answer these days, especially since every classic gaming series can now be found in compilation form on various consoles. The over-saturation of collections most likely lead Nordcurrent to the decision to make an entirely new title that would be made up of various original games.

So how many of the 101 games are actually good? Read on to find out!

This is literally the oddest, and most variety-filled mini-game collection you’ll find on the market. Everything from air hockey, to darts, to shoot ‘em ups, to puzzle clones will be found in this package. Unfortunately, finding extra ordinary games is a crap-shoot: you’ll find yourself often saying “hey remember this game!”, and other times, “why was this game even included?” The fact is, the “games” can last from twenty seconds to two minutes each. When you first load up 101-in-1, you’ll have ten different games unlocked. You’ll have to play them, and beat each minimum score to earn “credits”, which allow you to buy more games. The exchange rate is roughly “one and a half completed games” per new game unlock.

In terms of the gameplay, 101-in-1 is controlled 90% of the time using the stylus, including all of the menu screens. I found myself wishing that I could use the d-pad in a number of games. Imagine my surprise when I found out I could, but only in a select few, and they don’t always tell you exactly which ones, you just have to use trial and error. Why a few of the shoot ‘em rehashes made convenient use of the d-pad/buttons, and most did not, I’ll never know; it’s kind of an unexplained, and unfortunate choice. The menu is also pretty confusing at first glance, and is sloppy to boot. 101-in-1 doesn’t really tell you that you have to earn “points” from other games to unlock more, nor that the often cryptic instructions for each game are accessed by clicking on a nonchalant “life-raft” icon. It’s all kind of an ambiguous play experience that isn’t really helped by repetitive menu and in-game music.

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When the mini-games fail; they fail hard. I’m sure that there will be a popular meme regarding the absurd difficulty of the first game (basketball) very soon. I think I maybe spent 30 minutes trying to beat it, but couldn’t; same with the Soccer game. The physics of the ball just started going haywire for no particular reason, no matter what I did with the stylus. There is minimal instruction given per title, which makes a few games incredibly frustrating until you figure out the “trick”. For “Soccer”, the instructions tell you to “hit the bottom of the ball to bounce it, and keep hitting it up without letting it touch the ground”. What it doesn’t tell you is that you have to essentially hit it just right, and touch the bottom black part of the ball. Also, sometimes you’ll find that the hit detection is off, which is even more frustrating.

The good news is: there’s a whole bunch of fun games amidst the failures. “Crazy Burger” is a fun clone of the coin-op classic “Root Beer Tapper”, and “Invasion” is a neat Galaga clone. Almost all of the puzzle inclusions are also good, even if some feel like mere tech demos. It’s also possible to unlock every game even if you skip a few you don’t like, so don’t get discouraged.

Here’s an ethical dilemma for you: is it a curse or a blessing that you can’t simply grind your way to the better games in 101-in-1? Simplicity would dictate that if casual gamers are willing to play a game over and over, they should be able to earn more credits for extra games, but many would argue that would be exploiting the system. Whatever your take on grinding is, 101-in-1 says “no”; you can only earn a one-time maximum credits from each game. Despite how you feel on the issue, the real let-down in regards to 101-in-1‘s value is that you’re only allowed one save file, and multiplayer is multi-cart only.

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Every once in a while people just want to relax, and play mindless games that require little effort. Some casual gamers will find enough mindless fun in 101-in-1, and there are a large handful of extremely challenging games to boot. Ultimately, after all was said and done, I cycled through every single mini-game 100-in-1 offers, and decided that I would genuinely like to replay 63 them. Honestly, that’s not a terrible number.

Rating Category
6.5 Presentation
There are a more interesting character models, and cartoony effects than you would expect from a mini-game compliation. The menus are sloppy however.
How does our scoring system work?
6.0 Gameplay
Often times you will find yourself extremely frustrated with certain games, but as you progess, you’ll find a ton of worthwhile choices.
5.0 Sound
There’s nothing really special here, and the musical tracks all sound the same.
8.0 Longevity
Of course, given the title, you’d expect some value here. At $20, you can find a whole heap of your favorite flash games, which can keep you going on work breaks, or short bursts.
6.0 Overall
101-in-1 Explosive Megamix has a handful of promising mini-games, but the bulk of them end up being titles you’d normally find on a flash site. Given the price tag, I’d recommend picking it up if you find yourself traveling a ton, or are away from a computer for large amounts of time.
  1. Sadness. I like these mega collections.

  2. @Steven
    By all means, if you enjoy mega collections, you might like it.

  3. Really? I’ll keep my eye out for it. Need stuff for all my summer traveling.

  4. Great review man. Big collections are good but this one looks average.

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