Game & Wario Review


With Game & Wario the micro game madness of Wario Ware games past have been replaced by a small by comparison collection of mini games. While this may rise the ire of some of the long term fans of the series, the change in and of itself isn't what sinks Game & Wario. What does is the fact that most of the games aren't really fun.

The first time through the game you'll need to progress through a single play of the sixteen single player mini games to unlock them all in progression, and once you do you'll have a pretty good idea of which ones you'll want to return to and play again. And it won't be many of them. The problem is that most of them feel more like short demos for the things that you can do with the Wii U and its GamePad than they do actual mini games that you'd want to play over and over again.

One game has you use the GamePad as a bow, drawing the string back with your finger and aiming the arrows at robots marching towards you on the screen. Another has you controlling a skier on the GamePad's screen by holding it vertically and turning it left and right to steer your way down the slope. "Shutter" has you using the GamePad as a camera to zoom in on and snap pictures of "suspects" as they mill around on the TV screen. "Patchwork" is a puzzle game in which you drag puzzle pieces onto their matching outlines with your finger on the GamePad. Some of the games like bowling feel like variations on themes from other games. If you paid 99 cents for any of these games on your phone you'd probably feel that you'd overpaid for them, and even at Game & Wario's discount price you're paying more than 99 cents for each of them.

It's about as fun as it looks

It's not a total loss. "Gamer" has you taking on the role of a kid trying to play video games past his bedtime. His portable console has a collection of micro games on it, the kind that used to be found on a Wario Ware game. As you play the games on the GamePad you need to keep an eye on the TV screen because if Mom catches you playing when you should be sleeping you'll lose the game. Pressing the triggers on the GamePad will send you under the covers, but spend too long down there and you'll fall asleep and lose the game anyway.

Each time you beat a mini game you earn a token that can be used with the game's capsule dispensing chicken. When you visit the chicken you'll earn a random collectible, and these collectibles really are random. You can earn game tips, virtual trading cards, virtual toys like a voice changer, and even recipes. This feature probably provides more motivation for replaying the mini games than the games do themselves.

Game & Wario also comes with four multiplayer mini games, all playable with a single GamePad. The first is essentially a Pictionary knock-off and the next a target shooting game. "Fruit" has one player using the GamePad to steal fruit on the TV while other players try to guess which of the on-screen characters is being controlled by the first player. Lastly, "Disco" is played by two players on the GamePad who must send musical attacks back and forth at each other. This last one is the most fun of the four, but it alone is not worth the price of admission.

When I first heard that Game & Wario was in development I was eager to see what kind of off-the-wall micro games it would bring to the Wii U. After spending time with this lackluster collection of mini games, though, I have to say that I'm fairly disappointed with it ... and chances are that you will be, too.

Final Rating: 60%. Wario, what happened to the fun?