Game & Wario Review
With a new toy to play with, Wario and his gang are inspired to each create unique games for it. Foregoing the fast-paced micro-game-style, each character offers a completely different experience based on their imagination rather than an event that unfolds in their daily lives. This means the pacing of each mini-game is usually based on how the character presents him or herself rather than the franticness characterized by the multitude of micro-games being played one after another in rapidly increasing succession with less reaction time after each one.
The first mini-game is by Wario, in which the player holds the GamePad vertically like a crossbow, and shoots oncoming hordes of mini-Wario wind-up dolls. While the controls are responsive, there is an issue where aiming before winding up an arrow can lend the crosshair to become off-center. The stage then needs to be restarted to recalibrate the GamePad.
Mona has taken a new interest in photojournalism and decides to base her game around that. Based on various assignments, the player’s goal is to move the GamePad around like a camera to take mugshots of moving characters on the TV screen. Although basic in premise, its ingenuity verges on the ideas of augmented reality like those offered by the Nintendo 3DS.
In Jimmy’s game, tilting the GamePad when held vertically directs him skiing down a slalom course as he picks up speed for the best times. Nintendo Land has a similar mini-game wherein the player tilts the Blue Falcon through an F-Zero-themed race course. In Jimmy’s game, the physics are changed to reflect the sport he’s racing in. Other than that, nothing is different.
In the kiddy corner is Kat and Ana’s puzzle game where different shaped cloth patches are pieced together to reveal shapes of objects. Not much is done with the GamePad except for the touchscreen. It can still be tricky when the guide lines don’t lend themselves to an obvious placement of the patch. It only makes up for lack of innovation in the sheer number of puzzles it has to offer.
Kung Fu gives an overhead-view platform game in the most literal sense, where the object is to jump across an obstacle course while maintaining a hunger meter with collectibles. Tilting the GamePad controls where the player lands Young Cricket. Being a unique take on the platforming genre, it takes the GamePad’s properties to an innovative extent.
9-Volt needs to get in some gaming time for the night without his mother finding him up late. A twist on the original micro-game genre introduced by WarioWare itself, the player has to be aware of 9-volt’s mother to avoid being caught while still being skilled at the games. It combines the micro-games’ franticness with the trepidation of being caught awake, creating a harrowing experience despite its parodic tones.
Needing a new invention, Dr. Crygor tests the player’s designer skills by having them draw shapes of approximate size on the GamePad. At first the players can take as long as they want, and even get implements of measurement to cheat their way through. However, a mode is unlocked where all shapes must be drawn in one stroke in under five seconds. It gives a frantic twist on something that might be used as a learning tool.
In the mini-game Ashley the player guides Ashley through a candy-coated environment by tilting the GamePad. Ashley shoots all the obstacles and it’s the players job to avoid bumping into them and collect the jewels that they may produce. While frantic, it offers nothing particularly unique with the GamePad, as accelerometer-controlled games as simple as these are not uncommon.
Taxi is a name that doesn’t entail what the mini-game actually is. The GamePad provides a first-person view of driving a taxi, with the goal to pick up passengers on a non-linear obstacle course, but not before shooting down UFO’s abducting them. Because using both the TV screen and the GamePad’s is required for success, as well as the open world aspect, this mini-game is definitely more fleshed out than any other.
Pirates are trending, and Wario takes this opportunity to theme it around his final game. Standing up with the GamePad in front, the player has to block oncoming arrows from Wario’s ghost fleet to the rhythm of some hot beats. It is the ultimate reward to completing all mini-games prior as it uses practically everything the GamePad has to offer by combining the additional screen with motion control.
The multiplayer mini-games are merely twisted counterparts to the single-player ones, with Orbulon’s Sketch similar to Crygor’s design, launching Fronks in Islands like archery in Wario’s Arrow, and Penny’s Fruit like that of Mona’s Shutter. Mike’s Disco stands out with its 2-player action on a single GamePad, with alternating Simon Says-type-gameplay to the beat of some music.
Additionally, a bowling mini-game is unlocked to challenge players further. Beating that rewards the player with a retro Game & Watch version of the original Birds & Beans mini -game of the first WarioWare. Speaking of additions, tokens earned from meeting certain milestones in the games can be purchased for many different toys, which offer a quirky distraction.
+ Wario’s Arrow
+ Mona’s Shutter
+ Young Cricket’s Kung Fu
+ 9-Volt’s Gamer
+ Dr. Crygor’s Design
+ Dribble & Spitz’ Taxi
+ Pirate Wario’s Pirate
- Jimmy’s Ski
- Kat & Ana’s Patchwork
- Ashley’s Ashley
Previous WarioWare games had it reversed, where the minuscule romps were the centerpiece, with some extended mini-games on the side. With little thought put into each micro-games, it was difficult to analyze them due to how fast they were played. With each one after another, there was a certain rhythm that could be achieved through this mindlessness. Constructing a mini-game, however, requires a little more extensive design, and some ideas may not work or seem innovative in hindsight.