Today I played a game which has a mini-game in it, basically it looks like this:

here's a bar:


and a cursor moves back and forth on it:

-|--------=====----------  ( cursor "|" moves in this direction -> )



----------=====---------|  ( when the cursor reaches the end, it goes back <-)

If I hit a key when the cursor is on the specific part of the bar (which I used the "=" sign to represent), I win. Otherwise I lose.

This kind of mini-game is pretty common as I've seen many variant of it in a lot of games, yet I don't know the name of it. Does it have a name? What's the origin of it?

EDIT: There's an answer mentions QTE. Well... I'm aware of that and I don't think this mini-game belongs in that category thus I avoided using that term. Here's the reason for that:

QTEs have time limits, after all it's Quick time event, this kind of mini-game I'm asking about usually doesn't. Well, I've seen variations of it that does count as lose if you didn't hit the key in some amount of time, it's not the main focus of it.

Unlike how QTEs are all about testing player's reflex, this kind of mini-game is all about precision, as seen in many rhythm games. However, it doesn't necessary have any audible cue like rhythm games do, it's all about learning the pattern/speed of the moving cursor then press the key at the right time.

It's not about how quick you can press a key, but when to press the key. Hence I don't think this counts as a QTE.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ A great many QTEs in games require specific timing or even moving a cursor to a target, so I don't think timing disqualifies it as a QTE. FWIW, I've always called this a Golf minigame because it used to be common for golfing games. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2020 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StevenGann And some bowling and archery and... actually many old sports games in general implemented either this or button mashing, or both, as primary mechanics. \$\endgroup\$
    – user123456
    Jul 1, 2021 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


The description of this "mini-game" made me think of all the simple actions a game may ask its player to take during non-playing/cut-scene sequences. There are many forms and levels of complexity of such actions, e.g. from simply spamming buttons to the one you've described.

These are called Quicktime Events (QTE), and my guess is the "mini-game" you described may fit this category depending the context it is encoutered in. I don't know of a specific name for it though, but this might help you finding it.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that this is the answer the author is looking for. A quick-time event is usually even simpler, and there are a lot of ways to use this minigame which would not qualify as quick-time events. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Sep 20, 2020 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey @Philipp, have you read my answer carefully enough to see that all you've just written down in your comment is already in the second part of my post? I was just trying to make things move forward rather than leaving this question without any clue at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attila
    Sep 20, 2020 at 10:24
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "Moving things forward" is usually done through comments. Answers are .. well .. for answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kromster
    Sep 20, 2020 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree @Kromster, that's what I missed here indeed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attila
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:42

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