101-in-1 Megamix Sports (Nintendo DS) - Review by chris



It's well known that there is hardly a shortage of mini-game collection titles on the DS, with every big release seemingly bookended by one of these titles. As such, new titles are being driven to up their game and increase the quality and quantity of content in the hope of getting consumers' attention. Nordcurrent, who have already released mini-game titles on the DS, are back again with a new entry in their 101 in 1 series, this time focusing on providing 101 sports based mini-games for you to indulge in. Yet, while it certainly has the quantity nailed down, does it have the quality to make it a worthwhile venture for gamers?


101 in 1 Megamix Sports on the DS presents you with, as the name would suggest, 101 various sporting related mini-games for you to play your way through. Some of these are only loosely related to sports, such as noodling and air hockey, while others attempt to evoke the same kind of spirit as the sports they're emulating, such as tennis and football, creating a real mixture of content which hopes to provide something for everyone. If you can think of a sport, or anything that closely resembles a sport, the odds are that it's represented on the cartridge here in some form.

Starting the game up, you're met with one of two options: starting a new game in the single player component, allowing you to play through unlocked mini-games in whatever order you want or even miss them out entirely so you can amass points to spend on unlocking more mini-games, or start a multiplayer game, allowing two players to play through multi-card local wireless play and share in the enjoyment of any of the sports the two of you have unlocked. While these two options seem bare, the number of mini-games should, in essence, make up for this and provide you with hours and hours of content. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case.

The game clearly has quantity nailed down. After all, there are 101 sporting mini-games here to play. Unfortunately, they're far from being enjoyable and in most cases just don't work on the handheld or work with the interface creating a frustrating and dull experience which will put players off long before they've seen all of the games on offer. Take swimming for example. Like most of the mini-games, the action is split over both of the screens but the interface requires you to simultaneously tap icons on the touch screen in sequence to make you character swim and then turn at the top of the pool but it just doesn't work and the game doesn't seem to be able to detect quick successive taps, more often than not leaving you floating in the water rather than swimming. It's just an example of how threadbare the sports have become in the game and others such as tennis or football, which have respective games on the platform, are almost unplayable due to how basic they are.

With issues running amok throughout pretty much every mini-game on show here, the entire package quickly falls down providing little in the way of enjoyment as a result of poor coding on the developer's behalf. Its one thing to provide content but another to provide working content and Nordcurrent seem to have forgotten this here, releasing a game with gameplay spread so thin that it's broken in most cases. The Wii version may not have been great in the gameplay department but comparing that to this makes the Wii version almost look like a great game which speaks wonders for how bad everything is on show here.


Everything is touch screen based in an attempt to make controlling the numerous mini-games accessible, although the touch screen controls are far from perfect and some don't work as well as they need to for some of the mini-games, making them more frustrating than enjoyable. You'll only ever need to make use of one button, the Start button, if you need to get back to the menu.


The visuals are a real mixed bag, covering everything from downright horrible to amicable. Due to the smaller nature of the screens, this DS version sports some almost NES style visuals at times which look severely outdated and extremely poor for DS standards. At other times, the visuals look passable for a budget title game on the console and show a bit more detail, but they never surpass the realms of looking like an internet flash game, and even most barely manage to do that. There is a sparse collection of 3D work, restricted to only a handful of games, and this is by and far the best the game has to offer visually but that's hardly saying much when the rest of the package is NES quality 2D work that suffers from the occasional spout of frame rate issues.


Audio is lacklustre, providing little in the way of hooks to get you into the spirit of any of the sports. Aside from a scant few tracks playing along at menus and in the background, the music is wholly forgettable and goes largely unnoticed. Sound effects do step forward and attempt to fill that void left by the music and in some cases it manages to do so but again, it's hardly of the best quality and wouldn't be out of place in a flash game.

Dual screen

All of the mini-games span across the two screens in some way, be it an integration of the sport and the screens or simply having one screen act as the button relay for the action on the top screen. In general, they're put to good use in terms of the variations in how the screens are used but poor touch screen controls hamper much of the gameplay throughout, even more so when trying to line things up with the action on the top screen. As mentioned, many of the games simply don't translate to a handheld and many more simply don't benefit or work with the dual screen design.

Final comments

Quantity over quality best sums up this average-at-best mini-game collection on the DS. In an attempt to shoe-horn as much content into the game as possible, they've forgotten to make sure any of it is worth playing providing you instead with 101 very basic mini-games which simply don't work on the handheld, mainly as a result of design choices on behalf of the developers. Even with so much content, you'll constantly try to fool yourself into thinking the better games are the ones that cost the most to unlock when in reality, there's never really any improvement. You may find one or two games here to keep your attention but there are much more entertaining mini-game collections to be had on the DS.

Pro: 101 mini-games, easy to pick up and play
Con: Presentation is poor, controls don't work well in most cases, quality of mini-games is poor and most just don't work on the handheld
Final score: 3


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Boxart of 101-in-1 Megamix Sports (Nintendo DS)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Nordcurrent