koopakorral's Game & Wario (Wii U) review

I guess they're games oh & Wario.

WarioWare is easily one of my favorite Nintendo series. They never fail to be fun, inventive and endlessly quirky. WarioWare: Smooth Moves make me fall in love with the Wii Remote in ways Wii Sports failed to do. Game & Wario, a Wii U title, is a set of 16 mini games all meant to display the uses of the new gamepad similar to that of Nintendo Land. Sadly, Game & Wario, is not a WarioWare title. If you’re expecting the fun, excitement and weirdness of WarioWare you will be left high and dry with nothing but the weirdness to tide you over. And it’s just not enough.

Kicking off the collection is Arrow. Arrow has you point the Wii U gamepad in the direction of oncoming waves of enemies, pull back the arrow using your fingers and fire upon them. It’s very similar in controls to the Nintendo Land mini game Takamaru’s Ninja Castle but, instead of throwing Shuriken frantically, you pull back and aim more carefully. Defeating the waves lead to an inevitable boss fight, a giant Wario styled tank launches cannonballs that can only be deflected by holding the gamepad up in a “shield pose”. It’s not incredibly exciting, the gameplay is slow going, riddled with tutorials to drone through, and give no incentive to play more than once. Arrow is actually more of a yawn-fest than anything, giving Game & Wario a dull feeling from the very beginning.

If you’re able to grind through Arrow, you’ll unlock the second mini game as well as a token to use in the Cluck-A-Pop toy vending machine. Next up is Shutter. In Shutter you’re a news reporter looking to spy pictures of potential suspects. The way you do this is by watching the TV for a more panned out view and the gamepad for a zoomed one. Fans that have been asking for a new Pokemon Snap title can get a taste of what that might be like playing Shutter. It is pretty enjoyable and is, essentially, a game of Where’s Waldo? with Wario characters.

The most fun I had playing would be Gamer. Gamer is fun because it is essentially WarioWare. The adamant Nintendo fan, 9-Volt is determined to stay up past curfew to play video games. Your job is to hide from 9-Volt’s mom as she continuously tries to catch your gaming attempts. You play a basic WarioWare experience on the gamepad all the while keeping an eye on the TV. Playing the microgames comes second to actually watching out for your mother, who is downright relentless. This back and forward between Gamepad and TV makes for a super tense experience, and is the only game I found myself coming back for more.


Easily the worse “game” in Game and Wario would be Design. I’m still uncertain if this should be considered a game. The premise is to draw objects described and see how they match up to the real thing. Sound fun? It’s not. You’re tasked with drawing on the gamepad things like a 1.5 inch triangle. However easy that may sound, I implore you to go right now and try and draw a 1.5 inch triangle using your Wii U stylus, with nothing to measure with. Keep in mind, both the dimensions of the shape have to be correct and the symmetry sound. This is not a game; it is work and devoid of any fun.

These mini games are sometimes fun, but overall miss the mark. Simplicity was a key element for WarioWare, as well as showing off what a new system can do. Game and Wario takes nothing from that series aside from aesthetics and tacked on weirdness. The games are unintuitive and borderline cheap. Cool gadgets and fun toys simply can’t keep the rest of Game and Wario afloat.The way Game and Wario implements the MiiVerse is the kind of quirky/cool stuff you’d expect from a Wario You and other players suggest words that will then be sketched out by other players through MiiVerse and vice versa. There is a time limit, so the pictures aren’t the impression works of art you typically find on MiiVerse. The phases can be totally nonsensical and make for a lot of kooky fun. For example the first word I was tasked with spelling: Monkey Mage. That is in essence the entire game, it’s great. I probably spent more time in the MiiVerse sketches than playing the actual game and that says something.title.

Positive:

  • Interesting MiiVerse applications.
  • Some Microgames included.
  • Toys make cool use of the gamepad.

Negative:

  • Uninventive
  • Makes little use of Wario’s heritage.
  • Feels tacked on through and through.
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