The WarioWare series of frantically-paced bite-sized minigames has been around for over a decade, starting with 2003's Mega Microgame$! for the Game Boy Advance.
Several imitators have attempted to mimic the formula since, but none have achieved Wario-level name recognition (to be fair, Wario is intimidating company).
Iron Finger - Mini Games Championship by Ironfist Studios makes a commendable grab for a piece of Wario's fame. It brings some memorable ideas, like fun minigame ideas and colourful pixel-based graphics.
It's held back by a couple of notable flaws, however, including a lack of variety, hard-to-achieve goals that break up its pacing, and instructions that are often unclear.
Made in Wario
Like most micro minigame collections, Iron Finger challenges you to plough through a chain of minigames without screwing up.
As you bounce from game to game, the pace quickens and it becomes more difficult to hold your place.
When failure inevitably creeps up on you, you take note of your high score. Then you start all over again to see if you can beat it.
Iron Finger has a handful of challenges, most of which are creative and amusing. One casts you as Superman (rather, "Superman") in a tug-of-war over a taxi against a magnetic supervillian.
In another, you help a chef flip fried eggs up into the stratosphere and then land them safely.
There's also a game that revolves around spell-tracing, and another that makes you wind up clock gears and tap the cuckoo birds that emerge.
A modest collection
But it quickly becomes apparent there aren't a whole lot of games on parade here.
True, repetition is part of the micro minigame experience, but a lack of variety becomes especially apparent when you come across the same game three times in less than five minutes.
The high totals necessary to successfully pass the games slows Iron Finger's pacing down, too.
It takes a while to really get the hang of the games, so successfully tracing a couple of spells - let alone the five necessary to pass the level - requires some practise.
Iron Finger shows no mercy, however, and ends your game the second you fail to meet its lofty goals.
Fast reactions, slow instructions
The high totals required to pass Iron Finger's games would be easier to forgive if not for the fact the instructions are usually as clear as grease-smeared Plexiglass.
The wordless directions for each game pop up at the start. Tapping, swiping, and tracing is all that's generally required, but the where and when is often more mysterious.
After several rounds with Iron Finger, I still have no idea how I'm supposed to score points in the Tron-like level. I'm supposed to tap something. I have no clue what, or why.
It doesn't help that some of the instructions contain two parts, and you must wait several seconds to see all of the conditions for winning. Not a great mechanic for a title that's all about playing games that last for mere seconds.
Compared to WarioWare's single syllable instructions they leave a lot to be desired.
Needs more training
Some serious effort has gone into the game's graphics and the goofy factor of its mini-games. The hard work that went into the title is evident, but some fine-tuning is still necessary before it can become an easy recommendation for fans of mini-game collections.Iron Finger is far from irredeemable, though. With a couple of adjustments and a bit of bolt-tightening, it may well become a keen little distraction.