Review: Game & Wario (Wii U)

WarioWare is one of those series that nobody has ever really understood, however, gamers have come to accept it's existence and infact, love it for what it is. For that reason, the prospect of Game & Wario was a strange decision on Nintendo's part. Why would Nintendo choose to drastically change both the name and premise of one their most successful series? Has WarioWare had it's day? How far will Game & Wario go in moving the series forward?

Whilst Game & Wario continues the somewhat bonkers theme of the WarioWare series, what it presents is something truly different. Game & Wario brings to the table a selection of 16 mini-games that utilize the Wii U's unique features in some way or another. However, can this heavy utilization of the system's features, leave Game & Wario to be portrayed as a snazzy tech demo?

We'd answer that question with a big fat no. Whilst's the game's heavy usage of the Gamepad may appear a little intensive at times, that doesn't prevent it from being great fun and the perfect game to pull out when you have a few mates round.

From the offset of starting up the game, you'll choose a single or multiplayer direction to take. We'll start by discussing the singleplayer, naturally. Strangely enough, Game & Wario is initially very keen to snap an embarrassing photo of you, using the Gamepad's camera, before plastering on some more embarrassing effects. You'll then see this somewhat embarrassing photo pop up throughout the game.

Embarrassing photos aside, it's time to get stuck right in with the minigames. The first of which would be Arrow, which sees players using the Gamepad as a cross-bow and blasting enemies out of existence. This is closely followed by Shutter, which sees the player take on the role of a budding journalist, snapping pics of no-good wrong doing criminals. Wario takes up the role of captain in the next minigame, Pirate, whilst Kung Fu will see players island leaping to become well, a leaping master?

Gamer plays homage to the classic era of WarioWare and is by far, one of our favourite minigames. This one will see you playing the role of 9-Volt, who is naturally playing games way past his bed time. In this action packed game, you'll be juggling some classic WarioWare microgames along with avoiding your somewhat possessed mother. Yes, we found that fun, alright?

Moving on to Patchwork, which is one of the slightly more notoriously boring minigames. Ok, it's not quite that bad, but it's a huge step down from Gamer. Seeing you place pieces of material in a sort of jigsaw style gameplay. The one and only Jimmy T is back in Ski, which sees players rolling down a snow filled mountain, in the aim of reaching the bottom in a set time. Taxi then confronts players with driving a taxi round a farm, in the aim of saving animals from abduction, before taking down the mothership. Yep, it's just as bonkers as it sounds, and we sure did need a lie down after completing that one.

Ashley returns here, bringing along Red and her trusty flying broom. This is all in the aid of navigating a candy filled stage and gathering spell power. Bird is going to be undeniably similar to any gamer, having appeared in the original WarioWare. This is essentially the same game, just chucked in for good measure. Still, it sure is alot of fun.

The singleplayer games are all great fun in their own right, however, Game & Wario really starts to shine when it comes to the unbeatable charm of it's Multiplayer gameplay. Sketch is essentially a game of Pictionary and is probably one of the weaker Multiplayer games. Whilst Disco on the other hand, is an action packed rhythm game for 2 players. Design is initially fun, but soon becomes tiresome, as 2 players are tasked at drawing accurate shapes on the Gamepad.

Island sees 2-5 player shooting "Fronks" towards an island, and strangely, that's just about all we remember about that one. Fronks. Bowling needs no explanation, it's exactly what you'd imagine, yes, the pins are Wario shaped and finally, Fruit sees the Gamepad player blending in with the crowd to steal fruit, whilst the other players attempt to sneak him out.

Throughout Game & Wario, you'll be collecting loads and loads of tokens, you'll then be able to use these tokens in the Cluck-a-pop to redeem awesome little prizes, that will be stored in your own collection.

There's little in the way of online multiplayer here, however, what you are presented with is an interesting little mode called Miiverse Sketch, which sees players sketching user selected words on the Gamepad, within a set time. These sketches, are then posted onto the Miiverse, which has proven a little embarrassing for our own Daniel Godfrey.

Whilst some of the included minigames are essentially rehashed junk, there's some truly unique ideas presented here. However, what really sells Game & Wario for us, is the undeniably charm that Nintendo have been able to retain from the WarioWare series. The visuals are loud and colourful and the sound is equally as bonkers. All this amounts to the true charm that Game & Wario features. For us, this charm sells Game & Wario above anything else.

In conclusion, Game & Wario is no epic adventure or quest, but it is a barrel of laughs from start to finish. It's broad range of unique and inventive minigames, coupled with undeniable charm, make this title well worth picking up. However, if you were never a fan of WarioWare, then unfortunately, things aren't going to change here. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones

8/10 - Every aspect of Game & Wario is undeniably charming. However, Game & Wario certainly isn't the next WarioWare game that we were all hoping for, nor will it start shifting Wii U consoles in large numbers, any time soon.

Review copy funded by Nintendo Feed

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