WarioWare is one of Nintendo’s strangest franchises. Its main character fights Mario, hunts for treasure, eats garlic as a power-up, and unleashes deadly fart attacks. He also has a prolific career as a video game developer, making microgames for the masses. And somehow, it all works. The newest entry into this strange series takes the basic premise of the original game and adds a single new mechanic that radically changes how you think about the three-second tasks. It might not sound like a lot, but WarioWare: Get It Together is all the more addicting for it in review.
For those unaware, WarioWare titles are primarily collections of microgames. They’re smaller than minigames and usually involve the player performing a single task within seconds. Each entry focuses on a different gimmick, and the games revel in their quirky humor. WarioWare: Get It Together takes the unique angle that you’re playing directly as Wario and his employees. Some of them are similar: Mike, Dribble, Spitz, and Red can fly around freely and shoot a projectile in one direction. Other characters like Kat, Ana, and 9-Volt move on their own, and you have to time their projectiles. Wario himself can hover around and use his trademark shoulder tackle to assault microgames. While some characters are clearly better than others, everyone will have their own favorites.
WarioWare fans will recognize the story mode’s layout. Wario and his crew are sucked into the video game they were making, and they have to play microgames in each character’s levels to proceed. The areas have themes based on the interests of their creator: The cyborg Dr. Crygor made “High Tech”-themed microgames, while the young gamer 9-Volt has a whole level full of “Nintendo Classics.” Each of these stages culminates in a boss fight, which is a full-grown minigame. You’ll get new characters as you enter their levels, as well as a tutorial on how to use them.
Aside from the story, WarioWare: Get It Together has a ton of side modes. There’s the Play-o-pedia, which lets you practice microgames you’ve already seen. In Crew, you can give your characters unlockable items called prezzies — little gifts that raise their level to unlock custom color schemes. The Wario Cup is a ranked challenge that changes once a week. Finally, there’s Variety Pack.
While you can play the main game with one or two players, Variety Pack is the true multiplayer area. There are two different battle games. There’s a corporate grind game. There’s a game where two players compete for a deity’s favor. There’s a board game that features minigames, not unlike Mario Party, albeit with a much different theme. There’s even microgame hot potato with Balloon Bang: Don’t be the player in the microgame when the balloon bursts.
The good, the bad, and the Wario
Longtime series fans will likely view WarioWare: Get It Together as a truly inspired sequel. Instead of leaning into the hardware’s abilities like titles such as Twisted, Touched, and Smooth Moves did, this game introduces the ability to play as the major characters of the series. This introduces a whole new layer of strategy in how you’ll take on each task. Instead of simply fulfilling the prompt, you have to deduce how to do it with your character very quickly. You can choose a team before going into the various story mode levels, but once all the characters are unlocked you can use all of them, which is my preferred level of chaos. With 20 characters and over 200 microgames, this game always has something new to enjoy.
Some of the multiplayer modes are a blast as well. I loved the two battle modes, as well as the frantic hot potato action of Balloon Bang. Additionally, playing through the story mode cooperatively is surprisingly not friendship-ending and made for a wonderful evening. I had the opportunity to test all the modes with a couple of friends, and we had a great time.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a WarioWare game without the quirky, bizarre, off-the-wall humor, and Get It Together has that in spades. The art and animations are fantastic, utilizing different styles to constantly throw players off. You’ll tweeze the armpit hairs off of a realistic-looking Zeus statue, dislodge all sorts of debris from a poorly drawn Wario’s stomach, and even tilt a photo of a Game Boy Advance. There are, of course, many references to other games in the series (including Rhythm Heaven) as well as other Nintendo titles.
It’s not all garlic breath and motorcycle fumes, however. While you’re getting used to the new characters, some of them are annoying in how poorly suited they are for some microgames. While every character can clear every microgame in theory, at higher speed and difficulty levels, it can feel a bit unfair. This faded for me as I went through the game, but sometimes I still get frustrated when I have to do a microgame requiring precision movement while being stuck with 9-Volt.
Additionally, many of the multiplayer modes aren’t great. Daily Grind is a slow and boring platformer that suffers due to being assigned random characters. Puck ‘er Up is a strange air hockey game, where the player who scores gets to play a microgame in a tiny screen while the others jiggle the play area. It feels a little too random and out of control for my tastes. Fortunately, there are plenty of other modes, and each player and play group will find something they love.
WarioWare: Get It Together is WAH-nderful
WarioWare: Get It Together doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it keeps the bizarre charm of the series going with a whole new layer of gameplay. I adored how well the developers were able to keep everything feeling fresh after almost 20 years of this series. It’s funny, it’s challenging, it’s addicting, and it reeks of Wario. This is a real gift to all the microgame fans out there.
A Nintendo Switch review code for WarioWare: Get It Together! was provided by the publisher.