Game & Wario review

  • Funny animated shorts
  • Some clever use of the GamePad
  • Multiplayer modes are fun and infinitely replayable
  • There are only really four multiplayer games
  • Most singleplayer games are mindless and uninteresting
  • Even the best games aren't that original

Wario's oddball brand of "microgames" have always demanded players partake in the silliest of activities. You'd be tasked with picking noses, protecting cats from rain, and doing whatever else would best take advantage of the platform's unique features. For the Wii U installment, Nintendo changed the name and ditched the typical short-form microgames in favor of more fleshed-out minigames. Using only the GamePad, Game & Wario looks to highlight the Wii U's functionality in the same way the franchise has in the past for the DS, Wii, and Game Boy Advance. Sadly, it's a misguided effort, and makes for a lackluster minigame compilation that only shines with a room full of friends.

If you boot up the game in hopes of solo play you'll be met with a surprisingly long list of options. A strange campaign brings you through 16 different games that Wario, himself, created. As such, they're absolutely insane, with nose-tipped arrows flying into robots pirates launching attacks on Captain Wario's ship. Each attempts to take advantage of the GamePad in some way, be it by providing touchscreen/tilt controls or use of the two-screen setup. In some cases it's a success--one game, called Gamer, tasks you with playing typical WarioWare microgames on the GamePad while trying to hide from your mother, who thinks you're sleeping. It's wacky, and couldn't really be done without the Wii U's unique setup. Taxi is enjoyable as well, and has you driving a taxi in first-person (on the touch screen) while trying to shuttle farm animals back to their barn while fighting off invading aliens.

"...[Game & Wario] only shines with a room full of friends."

Other minigames are much less successful, with some playing more like gussied-up iPad games than something you expect from Nintendo's lauded halls. Ski, for instance, is a top-down skiing game. That's it. You just tilt the GamePad to ski. There's nothing fun or original about it, and there's really no reason it's in the mix. Problem is, this issue plagues nearly half of the minigames in Game & Wario, with several relying too much on the controller's tilt controls and not enough on the unique functions. Most games have a scoreboard, giving you incentive to try to beat your high scores, but few of the offerings are good enough to actually justify playing through it more than once or twice. 

There's a silver lining, however, and it's in the game's multiplayer modes. While Disco--a two-player rhythm game--doesn't really have a ton of replay potential, the other three support up to five players with one GamePad, and can provide hours of enjoyment. In Fruit, one player is attempting to steal fruit amongst a crowd of AI-controlled characters while the other players try to discern who the thief is. The others, Sketch and Islands, replicate Pictionary and Shuffleboard well, but do so in such a way that adds in some zany Wario charm to make them feel at home on the disc. None are all that original, but they do provide some unique multiplayer fun on the system.

"There's a silver lining, however, and it's in the game's multiplayer modes." 

Problem is... that's pretty much it. Those four minigames join the singleplayer offerings to provide an underwhelming experience, even if the game is launching at a low price. Whereas other minigame compilations focus on providing entertainment for as many people as you can fit on a couch, Game & Wario puts most of its stock into its single-player, and few of the games are actually worth playing more than once. There are unlockable short videos and some other silly features on the side, but they don't make up for the shortage of interesting content on the disc. Maybe Wario should go back to farting--the whole "game making" business isn't really working out for him.

More Info

Release date: Jun 23 2013 - Wii U (US)
Jun 28 2013 - Wii U (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii U
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Nintendo
ESRB Rating:

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  • g1rldraco7 - June 23, 2013 4:19 a.m.

  • g1rldraco7 - June 23, 2013 4:24 a.m.

    Sorry 31:52 you hear Lucas say crap, I KNEW IT, NOW IT'S RECORDED FOREVER!!!!
  • Swedish_Chef - June 22, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    "NINTENDO OBVIOUSLY THE REASON YOU GOT SUCH A LOUSY SCORE IS BECAUSE GAME DOESN'T STAR ME! WALUIGI! WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!" Okay back to serious mode now, it's a shame that this game didn't tun out so well, WarioWare games generally have a pretty consistent level of quality/innovation but it doesn't seem to have worked out here, which is a big shame as Nintendo doesn't have much right now pushing the GamePad's utility and showing what it is capable of. Something I'd love to see Nintendo do now that the development of Game & Wario over, is make a new Wario Land game using the classic format as a 2-D sidescrolling platformer, with Wario completely unable to die, a heavy puzzle solving element using the environment, Wario's special abilities that are unlocked as you collect specific chests in the game (which not only allow you to progress but let you areas in earlier stages of the game you couldn't get to before) and by abusing Wario himself (setting yourself on fire to light a furnace, flattening yourself to squeeze through cracks, turning into a vampire to fly to places that are normally unreachable, etc). However the key difference between this and classic Wario Land games will be how the game will be heavily designed around innovative use of the Wii U GamePad, players can look through the gamepad screen to scan for hidden treasure, manipulate objects in the environment and Wario himself using the touchscreen, the gyroscope can be used to control the direction of Wario's floating while squashed, or used to aim Wario into the background/foreground when he's in a cannon etc. There's a ton possibilities. Finally I'd add in Waluigi to the game to team up with Wario, to open up new gameplay opportunities/depth with both of them being able to use their unique abilities as a team to overcome obstacles they face and because... Well Waluigi is just freaking awesome.
  • talleyXIV - June 21, 2013 5:19 p.m.

  • shawksta - June 21, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    Damn, despite the advertisement brilliance (That they should do for the WII U btw) it didn't hold its own, the animations were definitely amazing in games like that Ashley one. Maybe now that their done with this otherwise unnecessary tech demo, they can make a real Warioware game, frankly I think the original style would've otherwise been a better tech demo than this game, like how smooth moves was.
  • BladedFalcon - June 21, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Oh boy... Well that's a shame, I've only really played one Wario game (the first DS one) but I had a ton of fun with it. Shame to hear this one doesn't deliver.
  • shawksta - June 21, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Ever since the original, every Warioware game was made to make best use of a system/handheld's concept/gimmick save for the GC game that was otherwise the first one but on console. Twisted made nice use of the twist GBA mechanic, The DS one as you mentioned, used the DS touch screen,and Smooth moves on Wii for Motion which was by far the most wackiest one from all the ridiculous positions. After that, they took a different route entirely ala DIY on DS that taught you about game design to make your own microgames, honestly it sucked that literally every command available on gameplay was only touch instead of what the DS games had in sliding and the microphone had. And after that, instead of doing what they usually do to promote ideas, they decide to basically make Nintendoland with Wario with this one, which by review didn't go so well. I think if they did it their old microgaming way, it would've been better.

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