WarioWare: Move it! is the next game in the long-running microgames concept that began all the way back on the Game Boy Advance: take the basics of a mini-game and give players but a few seconds to complete them. That’s what Wario and his unique collection of characters and concepts are based on, though this next entry promises a return to the motion-controlled era with some unique twists. I was lucky to go hands-on with a quick preview thanks to Nintendo Australia and, if it’s anything to go by, fans and newcomers have much to look forward to.
The basics remain the same, wild and often hilarious microgames based on completely ridiculous ideas that will test your reaction times. The key difference, however, is forms. Holding a Joy-Con in each hand (or one during multiplayer), you set yourself in a particular pose ahead of the game that will determine the moves you’ll make. In one instance, I was holding both Joy-Cons together as if holding a sword, in another I was posed like a sumo-wrestler with both controllers on each hip. There’s just enough time to get yourself set before diving into the games in quickfire succession, but it’s a clever way of evolving the idea of motion-control. It’s not the first time the series has incorporated it, that honour goes to WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii, but what I got to try so far feels more elaborate, clever even, without overdoing it.
Three game modes were previewed and, beyond the traditional story mode that incorporates the entire cast of the WarioWare franchise across some amusing and well animated scenes, it’s Party Mode that has my interest. I can’t go into too much detail but imagine the same microgame collection spread out across a board game that pits players against each other to reach the end first. Up to four players can compete to progress up themed boards and I had a blast in the brief time I had with it. I can see this mode grabbing the most screen time for families and those older kids looking for a fun night of silliness. There’s also Museum mode where you can play the many microgames solo or with friends at your leisure, which should be worth a visit if you’re aiming to be the fastest microgamer there is or just browse through those you’ve unlocked whenever you want.
For those looking for a more traditional WarioWare experience, you might want to consider picking up the previously released WarioWare: Get It Together instead. Every game here will require a little standing and plenty of absurd motions, which could make playing solo a little awkward compared to sitting on the couch tapping buttons, but given the Switch is nearing the end of its lifecycle I can hardly complain about putting in a little work for the fun of it. The console has strangely lacked motion controlled experiences despite having that option available, Ring Fit Adventure and Super Mario Party being the obvious exceptions, so the fact we’ve taken almost an entire console generation for a WarioWare motion-controlled experience is surprising but certainly welcome.
Thomas has nothing on Muscle Train Wario
What’s impressive, above all else, is the fact that I’ve played through every existing game in the series, yet Nintendo continues to create microgames that feel fresh, vibrant and fun. There’s a healthy mix of the absurd in the aptly named Buttograph and Thigh Fishing (I’ll leave those to your imagination) and as is tradition, a few references to the good old past, in this case Super Mario Bros. 3. Everything shown during the preview surprised me, and combined with the various forms on offer, there should be no end to the levels of fun this promising creative spin on the long-running series may hold.
WarioWare: Move It! arrives to get you moving on Nintendo Switch November 3.