Even though the price for each mini-game averages out to two dimes, most of them aren’t even worth a penny.
As the name infers, 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix is a collection of 101 mini-games on one DS game card. While 101 games for $19.99 seems like a steal, unfortunately, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. This whole compilation feels like it was made on a shoestring budget, and the games are not memorable in anyway.
When players begin playing, they will find ten of the 101 mini-games available, while the other mini-games are locked with a price tag. In order to unlock a game, players have to play the available mini-games to earn coins. Coins are earned simply by earning points in mini-games; each point translates to a coin in the bank. To “complete” a game, there’s an arbitrary goal of how many points a player has to score. Once that goal is reached, the player is rewarded with a green checkmark next to the mini-game in the menu and a one-time coin bonus. As players progress through the mini-games, they will find that each mini-game has its own price. While players may purchase the mini-games in any order they want, there are different pricing tiers that encourage a more linear unlock method. For example, each of the last ten mini games in the compilation costs 1,200,000 coins to unlock. Sadly, the more expensive games aren’t better than the cheaper games, though they usually give out more points and a bigger one-time bonus.
To the game's credit, there’s a large variety among the mini-games. Everything is covered: sports, urban sky diving, puzzles, shoot-‘em-ups, rabbits jumping on clouds, a pen and paper version of battleship… Then there are obscure mini-games that deal with divorce, halitosis, and fire fighters that leap off buildings to save people in an adjacent building. Out of all the mini-games, my favorites tend to be clones of existing games such as Missile Command or any vertical shoot 'em up; however, these clones are far inferior and soulless when compared to the games that they are trying to emulate. The only clone that’s as good as the original is the Snake clone. While there are some games that are decent or at least remotely interesting, the majority of them are not fun in any way or outright bad.
The controls are the biggest culprit. Implemented on a case-by-case basis, they range from decent to being so bad as to make the mini-game unplayable. For instance, in the soccer mini-game, to kick the ball you have to tap on the soccer ball, but sometimes that tap only registers if you tap on a specific area of the soccer ball or under it, and sometimes it doesn’t register at all. This causes the soccer ball to fall on the ground, ending the mini-game abruptly. All the mini-games have some kind of touch screen-based controls, and some mini-games also include D-pad and button controls, so it’s a good idea to read the instructions prior to playing each game. One big problem with the game instructions is while all of them describe the touch screen controls fairly well, they don’t mention alternate D-pad-and-button controls for the games that support both control styles. The only exception is the Snake clone's instructions, which mentions both.
By far the worst element of this game is the soundtrack: it is one of the worst video game soundtracks ever. The whole soundtrack consists of one really obnoxious song, and a remixed version of that song which is just as bad. This same tune constantly plays everywhere, and it will irritate you fast. There are little sound effects in some of the mini-games, but they are subdued and just as bad. It’s highly recommended that you mute your DS if you attempt to play this game.
101-in-1 Explosive Megamix is the definitive bad budget title. Some of the mini-games are remotely fun, but others feel like a chore. With so many poor and forgettable games on the compilation, it's hard to recommend this one.