When is a minigame more than just a minigame?
I've been thinking about this as I recently picked up the new Sly Cooper game for the PS3, Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time. The core gameplay of sneaking around and pickpocketing people is still fun, make no mistake, but this is a series known for being minigame-heavy, sometimes to its detriment — so many and so oddly put-together that they can actually detract from gameplay, rather than function as the refreshing palate cleanser that they are intended to be.
Luckily, Sanzaru seems to have avoided the fate that previous Sly developer Sucker Punch fell into on occasion. I find myself playing through the game smiling a lot more than I have in quite a while. Surprisingly, this is due in no small part to the minigames. Why? Well, they are well-integrated into the story, and more importantly, they're plain fun.