It only took a couple of months, but Wario’s latest collection of mini-games has finally arrived on the Nintendo Wii U. This time around players are treated to a dozen games that utilize both the gamepad and the television screens, bringing forth unique gameplay and the need for quick reflexes. Is Wario’s latest scheme any good though, or should you wait until it’s in your local game store’s bargain bin?
Game & Wario
Developed by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems / Published by Nintendo
Available on the Wii U.
*Review code provided by Nintendo
As with all the previous Warioware titles, it all starts with a plan. Wario’s watching TV when he spots a commercial advertising the latest videogame system (which looks similar to the Wii U). Wanting to get loads of cash as quickly as possible (as he usually does), he rapidly begins to program the latest hit of minigames, which is what you’ll be playing.
Game & Wario is pretty different from other entries in the series, mostly because the games contained within are more robust. While older titles featured a slew of rapid-fire mini-games that challenged player’s quick-thinking and reaction speed, this time around the twelve games in this Wii U title are lengthier, more complex affairs.
Only twelve mini-games, you might ask? While twelve may seem like a small number and it may be somewhat jarring to fans of the originals, there’s actually plenty to do here as each game features various levels, scenarios and/or difficulties that’ll continue to challenge players before they wear off their welcome. They also all use the Wii U gamepad in a number of unique and fun ways, which is actually a very refreshing way to play.
There’s a large variety of gameplay in Wario’s newest games. The first creation you’ll be playing is called “Arrows,” and it’ll have you tipping your gamepad vertically and shooting nose-shaped arrows at little Wario robots that approach you via the television, like an arcade shooter. Sometimes these little buggers will jump on the screen and you’ll have to tap them off. You also get to face off against bosses as well, aiming for their weakpoints to take them down as they slowly make their ways across the screen.
Another mini-game has players skiing down the mountain, using the gamepad and its screen to steer down the course. Tilting the gamepad steers the avatar left or right, and players have to avoid the pipes walls and obstacles while running over boost pads.
Other mini-games have players completing stitch puzzles, fending off a barrage of plungers from four pirate ships, steering a witch on a broom through obstacle courses, driving a taxi and fighting off aliens, and more. Each game is fun and varied enough to be different from each other, and the controls are very solid. While sometimes games that require you to hold up the gamepad and use it to aim may sometimes sync out, the game usually offers a remedy, like lowering the gamepad to recalibrate.
For people looking for the old school experience, Game & Wario features a mini-game that’s exactly just like the previous incarnations. Featuring fan favorites 9-Volt and 18-Volt, this game has players rushing through bite-sized segments once again, except this time it comes with a twist. 9-Volt has to go to sleep, but instead decides on playing, risking the wrath of his mother. This means that players have to play the games on the Gamepad, while making sure that Mom doesn’t sneak up on him on the TV screen. It’s some crazy, terrifying stuff, but it’s definitively the highlight of the title.
Game & Wario also features collectables, which are obtained after gaining coins from completing the main games. These collectables are pretty varied, and range from mundane and useless, to cool gimmicks, 9-Volt minigames, and game tips. My personal favorites are a microphone that changes your voice, a recipe to make a Wario-themed meal, and a Wario puppet you can move by shaking the Gamepad. While some of these collectables are good and others are just plain boring, it’s fun to redeem these trinkets and see what each one offers.
The game has a couple of multiplayer games as well, allowing players to share the gamepad for some good, competitive fun. One game has players try to match music beats in a duel, another has them fling like box-like creatures onto floating islands for points. These games are simple and enjoyable, but they don’t carry the depth of the single player efforts. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable addition.
If I were to have a complaint about this title, it’s that it lacks games. While twelve games are good and all, and 9-Volt’s title features a variety of small ones, I still feel like there should have been more. Some games are definitively stronger than others too, which makes returning to a couple of them more like a chore than anything.
Game & Wario is, at the end of the day, a solid entry in the acclaimed series. While it does change things up a bit and reduces the number of games you can play, the games contained within are smart, funny, and fun. If you’re looking to do something new with your Wii U and enjoy minigames that’ll test your skills, you might want to give this crazy title a try.