Director: Waki Shigeta
Program Director: Yusuke Kitayama
Writer: Nami Komuro
Release Date: 3 November 2023
The Wario Ware franchise of games has been around for a long time, from the Gameboy Advance, the DSi and even the Wii, the latest now being released on the Nintendo Switch. It is filled with wacky fun for single and up to four players. The game comprises hundreds of mini-games, or more precisely, ‘microgames,’ each only lasting a handful of seconds. I was excited to check out the new one and see what kind of chaos it would bring with it.
A vague storyline allowed me to play through the game, and it starts with Wario ordering fifty garlic burgers from a burger joint. The burger joint has a promotion to win a vacation with you and twenty friends. Wario wins the prize and is excited until his friends ask to join him. He is reluctant but agrees. The story doesn’t get any less odd once you are on the island, where they give you a history of the island and the special joy-con-looking stones. Wario and his friends are given stones, and you head off to play the game.
The story section can be played with two people and is made up of visiting different areas on the island and playing as a variety of Wario and his friends. Each site visited on the island has different games, all played out by taking different forms. Each section has between fifteen and twenty of the microgames. I was given four lives to get through the stages, using them often as the microgames are learnt on the fly. Besides being given the intended stance, each game is played differently and must be learnt within seconds. Some are as easy as turning a direction; some are more complicated, like raising one hand over another. My favourite microgames generally involved holding the joy-cons like a sword or doing the choo choo motions. While each game can be fun, it can also be frustrating when the joy-con doesn’t respond appropriately, which didn’t happen often but happened more than once.
Outside the story, there are a couple of other game modes; these are more competitive and can be only played with two players, while the other requires two to four players. I only did a little of the multiplayer stuff as my second set of joy-cons had some battery and lag issues, so the other player was getting frustrated. Of the short time we got to play together, it was fun, and we had a decent laugh. There are additional multiplayer modes unlocked after completing the story.
Luckily enough, the game gives you unlimited continues, so even failing is fun. Being asked to strike a matching pose to the one on the screen had me in many odd positions. At the same time, the title screens explaining the poses were also a significant bit of fun. The game allows you to look at all the poses and continue screens in the museum set up at the start of the story. The museum is also accessible at any time to replay the microgames. It is also set up so that you can replay the games at increased speeds. There are two hundred microgames to unlock. In my playthrough, I could unlock approximately one hundred and fifty.
This would be a fun addition to a family’s game list, especially with the microgames being able to have up to four players. I plan on taking this over to my friend’s place next time I see him, as his three kids will have a blast with it. While the story might have little depth, it was fun to play and see the odd scenarios that were set up—a must-play for family-friendly game nights.