WarioWare has always been one of those franchises I’ve looked back on with nostalgia, waiting for something that could closely replicate the joy I felt the first time I booted up my Wii and played Smooth Moves. The frantic pacing, the absurdity of the microgames, and the general vibe are something that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have missed the mark on with the past few entries. However, it seems that they listened and delivered what could essentially be marketed as Smooth Moves 2, blemishes and all.
Wario and Pals Take A Vacation
The WarioWare titles have never had the most engaging of stories, but they’re always fun little romps that take us on an adventure that Mario would never dare to engage in. After purchasing 50 Garlic Burgers (honestly, same though), Wario is the lucky winner to go on a vacation with 20 of his closest friends. Absurdity and high-octane hinjinx occur, as to be expected, and plenty of visual gags keep you entertained through the non-skippable cutscenes.
But we already know nobody is here for the story. We’re here for the microgames, and Move It! brings them in spades. With over 200 microgames to partake in, it will take a while before anybody gets bored with the offerings brought to the table here. Rather than going the route of the previous Switch entry, Get It Together, which lets players stay seated and control the game like every other game on the market, you’re going to need to get off of the couch and get ready to make a complete fool of yourself.
WarioWare has been, and always will be, a party game. What better way to break the ice during a get-together than passing off a set of Joy-Cons and making your friends act like a giant chicken to progress through a wild set of visually appealing games? I can’t think of many things that can top that, and WarioWare Move It! has instantly earned a spot in the rotation during family events and game nights with friends.
As with Smooth Moves before it, you’ll need to learn about the different actions you’ll need to do before you can engage in a set of microgames that will have you constantly switching between them. In the aforementioned story mode, each set of characters will have their own poses, or Forms as they’re called here. From the utterly embarrassing Ba-KAW, which requires you to put one Joy-Con near your face and another near your rear, to the noble Knight, which has you holding your controllers like a Sword, you’ll find that each set of microgames uses these Forms to their full advantage.
You’ll also need to ensure that you’ve got a set of Joy-Con straps nearby and ready: you’ll need to partake in some good old-fashioned Trust Falls along the way. I grew up during the Wii era, so I know what kind of damage the Wii Remotes could do to television sets and other objects in your house, and it looks like Nintendo is ready for us to buy some new Joy-Cons if you’re not prepared. You’ll occasionally see a glyph on the screen that shows a hand dropping a Joy-Con, meaning that this microgame will require you to physically DROP your controller.
The quality of the microgames in this collection feels fantastic, with some genuinely eliciting laughter from me. Thankfully, you can pause the game at any time, so no matter if you find yourself giggling while trying to match the pose of giant pink strongmen by slapping down a card or you just clogged a huge nose with your fists, you can take a required break to have a laugh and relish in the good times you’re having.
Sound Design Is Peak Wario
This is also the first WarioWare title with new leading man Kevin Afgahni taking the reigns of the titular character, and he does rather well. He had some massive and likely smelly shoes to fill while taking the reigns of such a well-beloved character. He delivered a unique spin on the character that helped signal the start of a new era for the Treasure-hunting video game creator.
Alongside this new depiction for Wario, the returning WarioWare crew all sound great, and the energetic soundtrack kept me on my toes the entire time I played. The stellar sound design of the WarioWare series has always helped it keep an edge over the normally sterile sounds of the typical Mario franchise, and Move It! is no exception.
Even though I’ve played through every WarioWare game released, the sheer panic that arises during the Speed Up sections still gets me every time. Starting on a low point with what feels to be plenty of time to complete the actions given to you, I found myself still hitting that euphoric high after nailing a minigame as the time to complete them dwindles to nearly instantaneous reaction speed. Sure, it’s not as quick as it is when it comes to standard button presses, but you’ll still need to be quick on your feet and act before you lose a life.
Speaking of losing a life, WarioWare Move It! brings something interesting to the table: the Second Chance feature. If you lose all of your lives during a Story Mission, you’ll have the chance to try it again, but not until you emulate a pose that can bring for the power of the Divine Voice that resides within Caresaway Island. You’ll be shown a picture on the screen, partnered up with an almost angelic chorus that requires you to do some form of silly pose to give you an extra four lives. Since some microgames feel like they’re designed to make you fail during a first attempt, this is a lifesaver.
Move It, As Long As Your Controllers Register It Correctly
Now, WarioWare Move It! is an enjoyable game, and honestly, a bit of an exercise regimen if you’re looking for a fun way to burn some calories, but it isn’t perfect by any means. While better than what they were during the Wii era, motion controls can still be woefully inaccurate. The Forms are detailed and explained rather nicely, but there is still room for error even if you follow them to a T. For example, during my playthrough, one of the Boss Stages required you to hold your arms out in the Scale Form and flap them like wings.
While it may have looked hilarious to my wife sitting behind the couch laughing at me as I flailed around like a maimed animal, it wasn’t so hilarious to me watching my little avatar on screen only recognize one side of the flap. Maybe it was intentional, I initially thought. That is until I lost a life and went back into the game, only to have it recognize both arms, finally letting me move onto the next stage after completing it.
While I may be ancient in Gaming Years, I’d like to think my reflexes are just the same as they were during the Smooth Moves times. Even back then, inaccurate motion controls put a bit of a damper on the overall activity level, which unfortunately finds its way into Move It!, as well. While the Joy-Con accelerometers are much more accurate than what was found in the typical Wii Remote in 2006, the loss of life during a Speed Up section is felt more so than ever when it just doesn’t register your moves.
However, while this may have affected me more times than I’d like to admit, it didn’t hamper my fun. On a critical level, it’s hard to give something like this a pass, but when you’re having a blast acting like a fat, waddling penguin while holding the Joy-Cons at your side like the Big Cheese you’re meant to be, it’s a little easier to forgive.
I also found restarting a Story beat, only to play through the same set of microgames once again, to be slightly repetitive. However, you can always visit the Museum to replay your favorite games or pop into a multiplayer session to share Wario’s wild and wacky world with your friends. It’s an excellent collection of games, so the variety feels welcome compared to playing the same games repeatedly.
It’s also not the most accessible game on the market. WarioWare Move It! requires a lot of motion, so those who experience mobility issues may not get the chance to experience everything the game offers. There are little to no accessibility features available, which is slightly disappointing to see in today’s day and age. However, you can find ways around this and select microgames that will work with your specific range of motion.
WarioWare Move It! is a delight in its purest form. For those hungry to relive their childhood, to those who have been craving the madcap antics of Wario and friends throughout some less-than-stellar titles, this is the return to form we’ve been waiting for. While some maddening motion control issues keep it from reaching perfection, it’s the closest that WarioWare has felt to its classic self in many, many years.
If you’re looking for the ultimate party game or just an excuse to get up and active, I can’t recommend WarioWare Move It! enough. It’s not the perfect game, and it lacks some single-player replayability, but as a multiplayer game, there’s nothing on the market that quite compares to it. Get ready to get weird.
WarioWare Move It!
WarioWare Move It! is a delight in its purest form. For those hungry to relive their childhood, to those who have been craving the madcap antics of Wario and friends over the span of some less-than-stellar titles, this is the return to form we've been waiting for. While some maddening motion control issues keep it from reaching perfection, it's the closest that WarioWare has felt to its classic self in many, many years.
- Colorful visuals that pop on the screen
- Stellar choice in microgames
- Plays like classic WarioWare madness
- Inconsistent motion control recognition
- Slightly repetitive microgames in Story Mode
- Single Player content is lacking
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.