WarioWare: Move It is what I've wanted from Nintendo for the last 17 years. I realized this as I was standing there, in the 'Knight' Form (with a Joy-Con in each hand, the two stacked on top of each other), yanking an imaginary pair of stockings over a woman's head. I can't believe what I've just done but I also really want to do it again. Playing 2006's WarioWare: Smooth Moves gave me the exact same feeling, and I've been hoping for a modern day equivalent ever since.
Release date: November 3, 2023
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Unlike 2021's WarioWare: Get it Together, Move It feels like the Wario party game we were always supposed to get for the Nintendo Switch. Motion controls are back and it's made completing the collection of microgames wackier, and far more exciting. I've caught fish with my thighs, cheated in Rock, Paper, Scissors, laid an egg, and so many other random acts that I can't even begin to explain. There's something so fun about the game's fast-paced, and frankly bizarre, microgames that any fears you had about looking silly instantly vanish as you flail your arms around – you just want to keep doing it.
Considering WarioWare: Smooth Moves was mostly a single-player experience, it's impressive how much variety WarioWare: Move It delivers when playing with others. Not only can the entire story be enjoyed with up to two players, but party mode also allows for up to four players to get in on the microgame mayhem. I really enjoyed the two-player game 'Showdown' which sees you and a friend compete against each other to see who can survive the longest as random microgames are thrown at you. Like all of WarioWare's co-op offerings, this can get pretty competitive and always chaotic.
There's also the Copycat Mirror game. In this mode, one player will face the TV (without Joy-Cons) and the other will have their back to it. Then, like a much more intense game of charades, one will act out the action they can see on screen while the other one (who can't see the screen but is holding the Joy-Cons) must copy them and attempt to win the game. It's tricky and silly, and indicative of the sort of fun WarioWare: Move It so routinely delivers.
Even if you're not planning to play Move It with others, there's still plenty of replayability in the single-player experience. It took me a couple of hours to finish story mode (which includes 13 character-themed stages) but even after the credits rolled, I was left with over 60 microgames to unlock through future playthroughs. I'm also a big fan of the modes that shuffle all of the microgames as it feels like an endless supply of minigames and you never know what form you'll have to get into next.
I like to Move It, Move It
A possible pitfall for WarioWare: Move It players is that not every microgame will be possible for every player. Nintendo wants you to get up and get moving as much as possible, so if you're not able to squat down and hold it for a few seconds, jump, or even stretch your arms, there's a chance you won't be able to win every microgame. That being said, it is possible to work around these limitations as the only thing measuring your movement is the Joy-Con's motion sensors. I've found that if you can't squat, you can just lower and raise your arms instead and it usually works just as well. It's also fairly easy to play whilst sitting down, you just need to make sure to wave your arms around enough for the controllers to notice.
One of the most consistent issues I encountered is that the 'Hand Model' Form – which relies on the Joy-Con infrared sensors – isn't all that reliable. For instance, there's a number of microgames that require the sensor to pick up on your hand's shape and movements. Sometimes, especially when the stages are sped up, it can be tricky to get into the correct position before the microgame begins and for the Joy-Con to register your hand before time runs out. If you're right-handed like me, this means you need to drop the left Joy-Con, move the right one into your left hand whilst it's still attached to your right wrist, and point it at your right hand – making sure that the Joy-Con is facing the correct way up and that the attached strap doesn't cover the sensor.
A lot of the time I'd have to rush to complete all these steps and then the sensor wouldn't even recognise the fingers I was holding up so I'd fail the microgame. Although this didn't happen every single time, it meant I dreaded the 'Hand Model' Form as I knew I'd more than likely fail it. On the plus side, WarioWare: Move It is very forgiving when it comes to failing a stage as a lot of the time you'll be given a heap of second chances – especially when playing co-op as you can tag in and complete microgames on behalf of your player two.
Playing WarioWare: Move It has genuinely been one of the highlights of my year. I've wanted a new WarioWare game for what feels like forever, especially after I was let down by WarioWare: Get It Together, and Move It definitely did not disappoint. Bringing motion controls back into Wario's minigame collection is the best decision Intelligent Systems could've made as it's made playing the Nintendo Switch a much more active experience. I've loved letting go and embarrassing myself in the name of fun and can't wait to see my friends and family humiliate themselves as they lasso a llama or shove tiny fists up Wario's nose.
WarioWare: Move It was reviewed on Nintendo Switch, with a code provided by the publisher.