Some truly wonderful mini games
Quirky sense of humor
Makes great use of the Wii U GamePad
Some not so wonderful mini games
Lacking in content
Lacking in the multiplayer department
Microgames > Minigames
The time has come, ladies and gentleman. I’ve finally redeemed my Club Nintendo prize after over a month of debate. I decided I wanted a party game on the Wii U, and while Wii Party U was out of reach (why is it so many coins?!), Game and Wario was perfectly affordable. As a huge fan of the WarioWare games, I decided I’d give this entry a shot, despite hearing that it is quite different from the WarioWare titles. The biggest difference is the switch from microgames to mini games. Instead of little bite-sized games, we’re given longer, more traditional mini games. As a result, there are fewer games packaged in. So, I’ll briefly talk about the presentation, talk about my first impressions, and then go on to review every mini game individually, scoring each one on a scale of 1-5. I’ll end the review by telling my overall impression. So, let’s get started.
Game and Wario still feels like a Warioware title. All of the recurring characters we’ve grown to love return and they’re quirky as ever. The graphics prove that the Wii U is capable of HD graphics, but it’s fairly obvious that this is a budget title. This isn’t as beautiful as Super Mario 3D World or Assassin’s Creed 3, but it does what it needs to. The music is upbeat, and the use of sound in general benefits the game more than it hurts it. As far as presentation goes, nothing is outstanding, but nothing hurts the game either. It’s all just “pretty good.”
The goal of Arrow is simply to shoot arrows at robots in an attempt to protect apples. You use the Gamepad to aim the crossbow and you use the touchscreen to shoot the arrows. It’s a bit too simple and it does little to show what the Gamepad is capable of. Everything works just fine, but it’s never all that fun.
Shutter is one of the ones I quite enjoyed. The goal is to take photos of certain suspects in a crowded city. The game starts easy, but later levels become pretty tough. For example, there’s one where you have to take ppictures of ghosts who you can’t see. So you have to look for unusual happenings in order to find the ghosts. The biggest problem with this is the lack of levels. Once you’re done, there’s no point coming back to the game because each level plays exactly the same. However, the time I spent with Shutter was enjoyable, and I’d consider it one of the standout games.
On the other hand of the spectrum is Ski, which is the opposite of a standout title. The game is very simplistic… too simplistic. Basically, you tilt the Gamepad to steer a person skiing and you try to make it to the goal. There’s nothing more to it. The Gamepad is not being used in a unique way, and the game itself isn’t entertaining enough to excuse that. I found this one to be so dull that I didn’t play past the second “level.”
This one isn’t all that original, but I did get a kick out of it. It’s a simple puzzle game where you have to fit pieces together to eventually make a shape. One of the reasons I liked it was that it could be played without the TV. Only the Gamepad is necessary, so it’s a good game to play to pass the time while you’re watching TV. The game also has a TON of different levels, which is good considering that they usually don’t take more than a minute. Still, it’s far from a standout title considering it feels very similar to a lot of games plaguing smartphones.
This is the worst of the bunch, folks. In fact, I’d go as far as to call it flat-out awful. The game is a platforming game where the player automatically jumps and you use the Gamepad to direct where to go. You eat dumplings to regain energy as you try to make it to the goal. Run out of energy and you lose. Kung Fu is so exceptionally bad because of how terrible and awkward the controls are. It’s weird that you can steer characters just fine on every mini game but this one, but in Kung Fu it’s all extremely clunky. Regardless of how good the controls are, there’s also the simple fact that the game isn’t even fun. I played through every level and hated myself afterward because I realized there were so many better options. Basically, Kung Fu is a huge waste of time.
It’s great that they put the best game right after the worst game. It helped get the sour taste out of my mouth. Maybe I like it best because it allows me to play the microgames I know and love. Or, maybe I like it the best because it genuinely is fun as hell. You play Warioware inspired microgames on the Gamepad while trying to hide from your mother (ZR+ZL does the trick). You only have a certain amount of time you’re allowed to hide. If you run out of time, you lose. If your mom catches, you lose. If you lose too many microgames, you lose. There’s a lot riding on your victory, so it all becomes very stressful and frantic, but that’s the beauty of it.
I quite liked Design even though it doesn’t really take advantage of the Gamepad. You’re tasked with drawing certain things and being as precise as possible. For example, you’ll start by having to draw a 1.5 inch line, but you’ll eventually have to draw a 55 degree angle. It’s a lot of fun, but it loses its novelty pretty quickly, especially once you get the hang of it. It’s a game that tests your brain more than any of the others and I give it props for that.
Similar to Patchwork, this game reminded me of something you’d be able to find on a smartphone. It does nothing to innovate the Gamepad’s functionality and it gets old pretty fast. It all works fine, but it’s not a lot of fun. You guide the titular hero through a 2D level where you’re tasked with collecting coins. Sound familiar? That’s because it is. I’m not giving it a bad score because it’s genuinely bad. I’m giving it one because it fails to do anything we haven’t seen a million times before.
Taxi is overly long and not very fun. It doesn’t feel like a mini game as much as just a mediocre arcade game. Apparently a lot of people enjoy it because most reviews consider it one of the better titles, but I simply couldn’t get into it. It reminded me of Nintendo Land’s Metroid Blast without any of the fun. The use of the Gamepad was pretty unique though. You use it to see in first person, while the TV is in third person. As interesting a concept as that is though, it still doesn’t save the game from putting me to sleep.
Pirates is absolutely nuts. There’s no other way to describe it. You have to block arrows from incoming ships and then shake them off. It forces you to quickly look from the TV screen to the Gamepad in order figure out where the arrows are coming from. Then, after that’s all done, you’re forced to dance. Yes, I you read correctly. After you finish blocking arrows from a pirate ship, you have to dance, which is completely unrelated but still tons of fun. That’s the best way to describe this mini game in general. It’s all completely insane, but it’s indescribably fun.
Really, Wario? You have a reputation for being insane and over-the-top and you include a BOWLING mini game? Why? I just don’t understand. If I wanted to Bowl, I’d pick up a copy of Wii Sports Resort. I don’t want to bowl though. I want to do something quirky and entertaining. The only difference between this and EVERY other bowling mini game is the fact that you can steer the ball. Yawn, next.
Score: 3/5 (I’m being generous)
I understand Bird is supposed to have some sort of old school appeal, but it feels dated. I love the claymation style graphics, but the controls and well, everything else don’t hold up. You’re a bird that has to eat fruit. You press a button to extend the bird’s tongue. There is no Gamepad use, and the controls are weak regardless.
And now, on to the four multiplayer titles…
Disco falls flat due to initial lack of direction. When we started playing this one, we were pretty confused as to what to do. When we finally figured it out, we were… unimpressed. Basically, one person makes the rhythm and the other has to replicate it. Sharing a Gamepad is pretty awkward, for one. And also, Pirate proves to be the much more memorable rhythm title.
This one reminded me of the game Cornhole mixed with Angry Birds. You launch little Fronks into towers that have designated points. The other play then does the same thing and he or she can also attempt to knock your Fronks off, which will make you lose points. The games focus on physics makes it more intense than you would expect, and I found it to be pretty entertaining. The lack of stages is a shame though, making this game only briefly entertaining.
I shouldn’t give Sketch a good score because it’s just Pictionary on the Wii U, but damn it, I love Pictionary and I’m glad I can play it on the Wii U. I don’t need to describe the game beyond that. Five players play Pictionary and at the end, the game shows everyone a gallery of their masterpieces. It’s all very rewarding, especially when you get five people playing.
Fruit is tough, but it’s an absolute blast. Someone takes the role of the thief and selects a character. Nobody knows what character he or she selects. The thief will have to steal a certain fruit, and you will eventually have to identify who the thief is. Every 30 seconds, the game takes a snap shot of the general area of the thief. It tests your level of concentration and it proves to be one of the most unique offerings. Between this and Sketch, I’m not sure which multiplayer game I invested more time into.
Compared to Warioware, this is quite the disappointment. Game and Wario doesn’t have the quirky appeal of the Warioware titles. In addition, mini games simply can’t compete with the insanely fun microgames that people have grown to love. The best titles are the ones that have that quirky Warioware appeal or the ones that make good use of the Gamepad. In some instances, like Pirates, you’ll get a game that does both. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen nearly enough.