Game Within a Game

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! Is everyone ready for the summer?
Here on the east coast in North America, we’ve been getting… interesting weather. Nothing too fancy, just the temperatures going up and down like a roller coaster lately instead of the warmer weather that so many people like about the summer. Summer also generally means vacations and breaks from everyday life. Some video games do something similar where they put a “game within a game.”

There are plenty of video games out there with little mini games or “games within the game” to help break up the monotony of the story line or actions of the main game. Some mini games have relevance to the original game at hand — such as Final Fantasy’s VII chocobo racing — but others are there just as Easter Eggs or for fun.
One such game is Beetle Mania in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. For five hundred coins after the Marrymore section of the game, Mario can buy a Game Boy from a Toad child at the Mushroom Kingdom Inn. The game is simple enough in which you control a little beetle at the bottom of the screen and shoot little stars at falling red koopa shells. The koopa shells explode for points and, if they are near other koopa shells, may start a chain reaction for higher points.
Beetle Mania has absolutely no relevance to the plot of Super Mario RPG, but it’s a fun break from chasing after Star Pieces.
The original Animal Crossing also had a bunch of classic NES games that you could decorate your house with and play, such as Balloon Fighter and Donkey Kong Jr. Math. New Leaf also included a couple of new games, such as one based off of Panel de Pon titled Puzzle League. Likewise, the popular Stardew Valley also has a couple of arcade games that one can play while hanging out in the Saloon.

What other “games within a game” can you think of? Any favorites?

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Readers Comments (9)

  1. Donkey Kong 64 had both the original Donkey Kong and Jetpack, an old Rare game.
    Not only that, but beating both was required to get to the end of the game, which made a whole lot of people mad.

    • The old Donkey Kong arcade game in DK64 was exactly what I thought of with this question. It took me so long to finally beat it, haha. I also thought it was neat it required in-game coins, but yeah, definitely frustrating!

    • Oh, they were required? The original Donkey Kong sounds fun, but to have it required may take some of that away.

      • They were. You had to get to the end of Donkey Kong (I think the in-game arcade version had four levels) to get a coin. Such a coin was then required to open a door right before the final boss.

  2. I bet you can’t beat my old score in Beetle Mania. LOL! I forgot all about that. Oh did you find the Grate Guy Casino yet in Super Mario RPG?

    • What was your score? I’m interested, lol! I haven’t gotten a chance to go back and try to find the casino, in all honesty. For RPG Easter Eggs, I was always more interested in the extra boss, the guy from the Final Fantasy series.

  3. One of my favourite examples was an old psygnosis game, Galahad, that contained a weird level of lemmings in it… I did a post about it at some point…

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