WarioWare: Move It!Nintendo Switch ¦ party
If there’s a bad boy within the Mario kingdom, it’s got to be Wario. He drives around on his motorbike, giving off early Marlon Brando vibes, but less The Wild One, and more The Wario One with a quirky gaming franchise.
This latest entry is a direct sequel to 2007’s WarioWare: Smooth Moves that was released on the Wii.
Wario is riding through town and realises he’s hungry, so stops off for a bite to eat. Well, more than a bite, in fairness, as he orders not one but fifty garlic burgers. It just so happens that the restaurant is running a special promotion, which sees Wario winning the top prize, tickets to Caresaway island, for him and 20 friends.
It’s there that they are handed form stones -which usefully take the shape of your joy-con controllers – as they embark on a truly energetic adventure.
And so the manic, micro mini-game madness begins.
The whole game is presented in a way that harks back to Saturday morning kid’s TV cartoons, in that it has a very simple art direction but one that is highly effective. It’s so darn colourful and in your face, you can’t help but smile.
And as the game’s title implies, there’s a whole lot of moving going on.
It almost introduces a whole new vocabulary, with a huge variety of moves that you will have to perform, given names such as Choo Choo, Knight, Massage, Big Cheese and Ba-KAW, so when the name pops up, you assume the relevant position.
In story mode you follow Wario and his friends on their adventure across the island, as they embark on a myriad of micro game challenges, with each one lasting no longer than 5 seconds, which means you have to be on your game to keep up. Your given four lives for every level, but it’s not quite game over if you lose them all, as you can be revived if you strike the required yoga-like pose, which is fairly easy to do.
You can either play solo, or in co-op with one other, and take on the micro-games, of which there are over 200. There’s also a party mode too, where up to four local players can join in.
For anyone who has played a WarioWare game before, you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for, as it sticks to the tried and tested micro-game formula, which is no bad thing.
The fact is, no one does it quite like Wario. It’s such a hugely creative franchise, that utilises the joy-cons like no other game. It’s fair to say that our joy-cons have been gathering dust for some time, as our go to controller for all things Switch is the Pro, but it’s not an option for this game, and that’s the way it should be, as there’s a real sense of awe and wonder from using them, often in the silliest of scenarios, such as chinking glasses with guests at a party, cleaning a car window, or bashing a sea beast to bits in a boss battle.
But it’s not only hugely inventive, but also a bit of a work out too; it’s the kind of game that is perfect for gamers, young and old, who could be somewhat allergic to exercise, as it involves some standing up and a lot of waving your arms around. And you can see it as having therapeutic qualities too for those with certain conditions that can benefit from upper body physio. Good on you Wario!
And if you think the game’s over once you’ve reached the end, that doesn’t have to be the case, as each level can level up, increasing the difficulty of it, making it more of a challenge to push for a high score.
Let’s face it, Wario is always going to be in the very long shadow of that Italian plumber, but you can’t help but feel that this particular franchise doesn’t quite get the credit it deserves, being as incredibly creative, imaginative and great fun to play as it is. In fact it’s the perfect antidote to all these 100 plus hour games, that can deplete your body of vitamin D from avoiding sunlight, by offering a superb quick burst of hyper gaming.
Mario’s little get-togethers that he throws are more like soirees by comparison, because no-one gets a party started quite like Wario, for what is truly frantic fun.