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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
GameBoy mini-games take top prize
Screenshot from Wario Ware
Wario offers dozens of short frantic games
A set of Nintendo mini-games for the GameBoy Advance has been named as the most innovative game of the year at a festival in Scotland.

Wario Ware took the Edge award at the Edinburgh International Games Festival.

"It rewards you for intuition and observation rather than simply testing your reactions, and is presented with vibrant, inventive confidence," said Margaret Robertson, Edge games editor.

Runners-up were EyeToy: Play webcam and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Raising expectations

The Edinburgh International Games Festival runs until the 22 August to coincide with other cultural events taking place in the Scottish capital.

Screenshot from Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia was one of the runners-up
As part of the festival, an international panel of game experts, including academics, journalists and developers, looked at a number of games to reward them for their innovative use of technology, design vision and creativity.

"Their remit was to single out the title which they felt displayed innovation and excellence," said Ms Robertson, "a title which would raise player's expectations of what games were capable of."

Among the games they considered were Manhunt, Zelda: Four Swords Adventure, Viewtiful Joe and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

But in the end, the award for innovation went to a little known title for the GameBoy Advance called Wario Ware in the UK and Made in Wario in Japan.

It is made up of more than 200 micro-games, ranging from retro classics to sports games and sci-fi shooters.

Individual games rarely last longer than five seconds, meaning that lightning fast reactions are required, as well as the ability to work out what is going on as quickly as possible.

"Despite being built from the remnants of hundreds of older games, it presents a whole new way of playing" said Ms Robertson.

"It's a game which hinges on the kind of video game literacy that millions of people across the world have built up without even realising it."

If gamers disagree with the decision, they can vote for their favourite game when they visit a games exhibition at Edinburgh's Royal Museum or via the games festival's website.

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