101-in-1 Megamix Sports Review (DS)

Plenty of play for your pound, but is it any good?

101-in-1 Megamix Sports Review DS
8th November, 2010 By Ian Morris
Game Info // 101-in-1 Megamix Sports
101-in-1 Megamix Sports Boxart
Publisher: Nordcurrent
Developer: Nordcurrent
Players: 1
Online Multiplayer: 1 - 2
Subtitles: Full
Available On: DS
Genre: Mini-game

As the old saying goes, it's quality, not quantity, that matters, but it seems something may have got lost in translation on its way over to Lithuanian developers, Nordcurrent. Not content with simply including a century of games, 101-in-1 Megamix Sports features mini-game versions of 101 different sporting contests - which, when you consider we have trouble naming twenty, is no mean feat.

With so many games on offer, 101-in-1 Megamix Sports was always going to be a bit of a mixed bag, with some sports receiving a slightly more gracious DS makeover than others. If you're expecting a compilation of the quality of Wii Sports, you'd be best off looking elsewhere, as 101-in-1 can only dream of coming close - but that said, it never really aims to, either.

101-in-1 Megamix Sports Screenshot

Set your speed, aim, and press the button. Sounds simple, but you wouldn't believe how accurate you need to be.

What it is, is a collection of 101 (usually) very simple, cheap and cheerful mini games that require a minimal investment of time to learn and complete. While the box says the game packs 101 mini games, many of the games included are, for all intents and purposes, the same game with a different name. Usually requiring you to either swipe your stylus across the screen as fast you can, tap a button on the screen as fast as you can, or slide your horse/athlete/car from side to side to avoid the objects, you'll quickly get a feel for what you're meant to do in each game.

That the games are often quite easy to pick up and play is something that works in the game's favour, as several of the games included are a surprising amount of fun, even if they are all over rather quickly. While the pins don't fall down properly in the bowling game, and the ball never really seems to go where you kick it in football, to begin with, 101-in-1 doesn't seem too bad.

If you do something right in a mini game, such as putting a ball in golf, you'll be awarded a number of points, with each game having a target you have to earn before it's classed as "completed". All that really means is you'll get a big friendly tick in front of that game on the menu. Thankfully, even if you don't manage to meet the required target for each level, the points you do earn go into a central pot, which you can then spend unlocking new mini games, meaning everyone should be able to at least unlock all the games they've paid for.

Of course, the simplicity and similar nature of many of the mini games means this is a title that may initially seem to have a great deal of appeal for kids - after all, some of the games we've had the greatest success with when we've tested them on children have been the games that simply have you doing the same thing over and over again. If it's fun, they'll keep doing it.

The problem is, and where 101-in-1 Megamix Sports really falls down, is that for both adults and children, many of the games are so obscure, and so awkward, that kids most likely won't be able to do them. Games that require you to slide your stylus from left to right often require you to only move it in front of whatever it is you're controlling - if you move the stylus over your car/person, it won't count your swipe, leaving you stalled on the starting line. Similarly, many of the games that require you to throw things require you to swipe your stylus with so much force and speed, you start to worry for the safety of your DS's screen - while conversely, some require you to be so accurate, you'd need a touch screen the size of a small house to be as precise as it requires. 

101-in-1 Megamix Sports Screenshot

Stop the bars in the red area to hit the target. This is one of the better ones.

Although each game has an explanation that aims to tell you what to do, they're often vague at best, and at times actually tell you to do the wrong thing, leaving you to try and figure it out for yourself. It's a combination that leads the game as a whole to become more of a chore than a game - almost as though there were so many mini games included, that each game's only been able to receive a minimal amount of time and polish, and as a result, all the imperfections have been left to shine through.

Twenty of the games are playable using the DS's wireless multiplayer - however, in something of an inexcusable decision, these are only playable if you both own a copy of the game, with no option for single card download play. There's no reason we can see that this game shouldn't support single card download play, other than doing that would require you to only buy one copy of the game - which makes it seem more than likely that the feature's been omitted to encourage you to buy two copies of the budget game if you fancy playing in multiplayer.

With a RRP of £19.99, 101-in-1 Megamix Sports may seem like a good investment, but it seems more than a bit unfair that the title's on sale in America for the equivalent dollars. At a tenner, or just over, it'd be much easier to be tempted to splash the cash on this, as, out of all the mini-games, you'd probably manage to find £10 worth of enjoyment. At £20, it all just seems a bit too much. If you find it for cheap, and you're looking for something to keep the kids quiet for a car journey, then this is well worth a look, as it'll take them several hours of play to even unlock all the mini-games. At full price, however, there are more enjoyable ways to spend your money.

Format Reviewed: Nintendo DS

StarStarEmpty starEmpty starEmpty star
Some good, some bad - for £5 cheaper, should be worth a look for some cheap fun.
  • +
    Plenty of play for your pound
  • +
    Some of the games are surprisngly good!
  • +
    Plenty are simple enough for children to manage...
  • -
    ...it's just they often ask far too much of the player.
  • -
    Many games feel ropey, or unfinished, with descriptions that often don't help.
  • -
    No local multiplayer!
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