Just like the Metroid series, WarioWare has always kept to a relatively niche audience, ever since it debuted back on the GameBoy Advance in 2003. Historically speaking, we haven’t received too many titles in this wacky franchise, but WarioWare: Move It! is actually the 2nd entry released on the Nintendo Switch. Get It Together was an awesome party game to introduce people to the microgame chaos, as it involved using only the control stick and one button on a single Joy-Con. Whereas Move It!, on the flip side, has decided to change things up by taking a motion controller-only stance—for better or worse.
Too Much Fuss
Not only will your arms become sore after 10 minutes, but since this entry is focused almost entirely on motion controls, they just flat-out refuse to work consistently. It might be a good little laugh with friends as you waggle the controller and pull off silly poses between microgames. Although, you can’t help but say “I did the thing! I swear!” about 10,000 times for an hour… and then you’ll stop playing. However, if you decide to continue, just make sure to wear those Nintendo-supplied wrist straps that were included in the console’s original box. I accidentally let go of my left Joy-Con after a particularly sweaty microgame, and let’s just say that I achieved a new world record in discus. AKA it crashed hard into a bookshelf.
The fact that there are multiple Party mode scenarios, 200 microgames in total and different variants for solo sessions is nothing to scoff at. But on the other hand, considering how quickly you need to react to each microgame and their alterations, before suddenly changing over to some super awkward poses on the fly, it’s almost like the game is shooting itself in the foot.
Most of the poses are straightforward enough for a smooth transition. Albeit, once the microgames start speeding up, the cracks in the armour become glaringly obvious. For example, one pose uses the Joy-Con’s IR sensor, which sounds reasonable in theory, though switching over to it in real-time is a grand inconvenience. Players essentially have to drop one Joy-Con out of their hand, put the right one into their left hand (or vice-versa) and then start making hand gestures with the other. Now do this in 3 seconds while swapping in and out of poses between lightning-fast microgames. Not great.
Wait, That’s All?
Doesn’t help that the Story mode can be easily completed in under 2 hours either. Even if the boss encounters can be fun, they should not repeat a few stages over like they do here, variation or not. In terms of the narrative, players move around a Mario Party-like board and watch Saturday morning cartoon capers as Wario’s crew take a vacation on Caresaway Island. Fitting name for the utter nonsense that ensues (yes, I’m aware this is a WarioWare game) yet it does make for some quality meme material. So there’s that, I suppose.
On that note, Kevin Afghani absolutely crushed it in his debut performance of Wario here. I honestly could not tell the difference between his voice compared to the legendary Charles Martinet. I’m sure that long-time fans couldn’t ask for a better successor to Mario, Luigi and Wario either. The other roles were performed quite well too, with a big hats off to the tutorial narrator guy. He regularly explains the different player poses and their historical relevance in the dullest yet most comical tone ever, and I am all here for it.
The Party mode multiplayer is well and truly the selling point of WarioWare: Move It! While it won’t give Mario Party a huge run for its money, there are enough zany game setups like Listen to the Doctor and Copycat Mirror which help keep things lively. The former gets people to cluck like a chicken or pull grumpy faces as they humiliate themselves by playing microgames in front of everyone. Good times! While the latter asks one person to mimic another person’s movements without looking at the screen. Considering how precise the game is in terms of inputs, this can be a bit finicky control-wise, but it’s still enjoyable enough nevertheless.
I’m sad to say that WarioWare: Move It! is not the follow-up to Get It Together we were hoping for. Even though the motion controls open up a whole range of new microgames, their implementation would benefit significantly from further QA. Couple that with an extremely short Story mode as well as boss fights that repeat themselves over such a short timeframe, and it can’t help but feel underwhelming. Thankfully, the Party mode scenarios do just enough to keep things interesting. However, I can’t see people sticking around for the long term here.
By Anthony Culinas – Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
WarioWare: Move It! inflicts more pain than it does joy. Arms will become tired, motion controls will frustrate, and then the experience will end well before it should. There are some fun microgames packed in here, but it’s such a shame that the execution really lets this entry down.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Nintendo. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.