Game Review: 101 in 1 – Explosive Megamix (DS)

101-in-1-explosive-megamixbox101 in 1, the name says it all. This title, published in the US by Atlus, is a large collection of games all on one cartridge. As a budget-priced title, this makes it one of the cost effective titles around in terms of price per game. But are the games worth even that much? Well, some are and some aren’t. Where you stand on each of those categories determines if this game is right for you.

You begin the game with a small budget of coins you can use to purchase various games. Unlocking a game costs coins but playing a game earns some of them back. The first time you attain a minimum level of performance in each game it is marked as “completed” and you gain bonus coins, typically more than enough to unlock another whole game. In this way, you can play through all 101 games without needing to repeat games for which you care little. The difficulty of the games varies widely. Most are appropriately set, but some games require fine stylus skills which can be difficult to pull off. Passing these by is an option but they can be frustrating for a completist. This is most pronounced in games that require precision tapping of the stylus with very precise timing. Examples include various juggling games, sorting games, games revolving around dodging oncoming obstacles, and so on.

In contrast, I enjoyed the various games that had simpler controls or relied more on a puzzle type of theme. My favorite games included a variant of the old Tapper arcade game (where you serve food to waiting customers on several long tables), a version of air hockey, a paper and pencil themed Battleship game, Suduko, and even a version of the classis Mastermind boardgame (figure out which colored pegs fit into four empty sockets). Other good games include a picture jigsaw puzzle, pattern matching games, memory games, and a few unique puzzles that reminded me of simple desk toy puzzles you sometimes get in your Christmas stocking.

So, there are many mediocre games (no surprise there, when you have 101 to choose from) and a dozen or two that are pretty good. However, what kills the game for me is the poor user interface. Once the title begins, only three of the 101 games are shown on the screen at one time. To find the game you want, you have to use the styles to scroll sideways through all 101 titles. Scrolling through all 101 games takes a good 10 to 15 seconds at a minimum, longer if you don’t remember the icon for that particular game. The game screams out for a better way of listing all 101 titles for easier searching. Having ways to sort games, place them in categories, or even into a favorites list would make playing the title significantly easier. Since the games don’t last more than a minute or two, changing to a new game can be a significant chunk of play time.

The game boasts wireless (not internet) play, but only with multiple game cards. Thankfully the game isn’t very expensive, so multiple DS households may find it worth the investment. I found enough games (about a dozen) that I enjoy enough to make the game a good budget title. However, the poor interface with which the games are presented, annoys me every time I start up the cartridge. If you don’t think that would be an issue for you, there should be something here for everyone.


Kid Factor: This game is very family friendly. There are some bugs and other creepy crawly creatures but that is it. I’d worry about the difficulty of the controls for some younger players, however just about anyone could play the games. They might not be able to score well enough to mark a game as completed. Most games are easy to understand, although written instructions are presented for each game so it initially helps to be able to read. Perhaps the best feature of the cartridge is the sheer number (yes, 101 of them) of games should keep the focus of even short-attention kids for a little while.

No Responses to “Game Review: 101 in 1 – Explosive Megamix (DS)”

  1. I thought about getting this one, as I love mini-game collections, but it looks like it lacks the charm and uniqueness of Wario Ware so I may not get it right away. I don’t really have time to play it right now anyway, what with all the other releases. There’s a bunch of new games from Atlus that I’d love to play right now, though, like My World, My Way and Steal Princess. –Cary

  2. My friend bought this game for her kids, it actually came with a WII package….with a BRAND NEW GAME SYSTEM, there are some kind of bugs in it….We are unable catch the “cursor” and its not easy to play these games with out it…Its slow to respond and it becomes very frustrating. Didnt enjoy it at all!!

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