Game & Wario is a departure from the past Wario Ware games which were full of numerous and strange split second games. Instead, this installment is a collection of mini-games that can be compared to the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land, offering 12 short options and a handful of other multiplayer and unlockable experiences. The game looks to highlight the Wii U’s unique and innovative GamePad. Game & Wario is a mixed bag however; some mini-games provide a lot of fun, while others not so much. Unfortunately even the interesting games lack much lasting value at the end of the day.
Camera is one of the less demanding mini-games in Game & Wario. With the GamePad in hand, you must observe a busy scene of a street or theatre on the television, and using said GamePad as a zoomed-in camera you have to take clear pictures of certain eccentric individuals as they roam around to earn points. The concept is simple, yet a lot of fun. Another mini-game that is straightforward but surprisingly involving is Kung Fu, a top-down platformer with a continuously jumping ninja. By tilting the GamePad you control the Ninja’s position. Surviving the perils that come at you while collecting onions and avoiding chasms is suprisingly entertaining, though it does grow stale quickly.
Easily the best option in Game & Wario is the mini-game referred to as Gamer. Gamer borrows elements from tense thriller based games. The objective in Gamer is too play Wario Ware micro-games on the GamePad screen late at night, past your bed time. Simultaneously you are required to keep an eye on your TV screen as your mother wanders around outside your bedroom. The possibility of her bursting in at any moment is always present. Your virtual mom appears as a terrifying character adding to the intensity. You’re fighting two battles at once, which creates one of the most memorable experiences on the Wii U so far.
Among the unique and entertaining mini-games, boring forgettable games also plague the experience.
An example would be the terribly lackluster Ashley mini-game where you just tilt the GamePad to travel through numerous mazes filled with sweets and collectables. With this in mind, I couldn’t help but think that throughout my time with Game & Wario I felt as though I were playing a game with very inconsistent design. Some mini-games had a lot of thought and work put into them while others not so much. At times Game & Wario shows signs of brilliance with the way the GamePad is used, but even at that there is little depth too anything in this game.
It should be noted that there are collectables that add some layer of interest to those who enjoy unlocking everything there is to find in a game. Tokens earned from playing can be used to unlock character biographies, along with additional games reminiscent of the original Wario Ware titles. There’s also a Miiverse Artwork challenge that tasks users to draw what others suggest which is actually more fun then some of the larger activities in Game & Wario.
Multiplayer offers up some fun to be had, but much like the campaign there is not much is to be found here. One option titled 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. Disco is another game, and two players on one GamePad play it as they send musical attacks back and forth at each other. At times multiplayer shows signs of promise, but it really doesn’t compare to something like Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. Despite its dozen games and side activities, Game & Wario lacks any of the depth in design of something like Nintendo Land, which grabs players almost immediately with its entertaining ideas and themes. Game & Wario’s uninteresting design and layout comes as a shock when past installments were bizarre and engaging.
At the end of the Day I walked away from Game & Wario feeling fairly disappointed. Given Wario’s great gaming background, Game & Wario leaves much to be desired. The selection of games is sparse, and even though a few of the games are fun, it doesn’t make up for the amount of ones that aren’t. The serious lack of content hurts even when the game is priced at $40 and at the end of the day Game & Wario provides an underwhelming experience.