Shake up your Switch with some more manic microgame madness in our WarioWare: Move It! review.
Since his microgame debut in 2003 on the GameBoy Advance, Wario has become Twisted, Touched, Snapped, and recently finally managed to Get It Together. But without a doubt one of his most memorable outings was when he showed off his Smooth Moves on the Nintendo Wii. Its motion-controlled microgames emphasised the series’ ridiculous sense of humour and brought a generous helping of physical slapstick comedy to every living room.
Drawing direct inspiration from the Wii entry as a spiritual successor, the latest in the WarioWare series is quite possibly the most ridiculous yet. Aptly named “WarioWare: Move It!“, you’ll be gripping Joy-Cons in both hands and flailing about like a fool across over 200 brand new microgames. And for those of you who enjoy embarrassing yourselves in front of your friends, this game is a multiplayer goldmine.
So what are you waiting for!? Move into our WarioWare: Move It! review.
WarioWare: Move It! Review – Story
Like most WarioWare games, this one begins with a story as absurd as the game itself starring a familiar cast of colourful characters. This time, Wario’s latest get-rich-quick scheme is centred around a tropical island getaway. After purchasing an entire life-time supply of garlic burgers, the greedy gremlin discovers he’s the lucky winner of an island trip!
Hmm, the gods on this island seem familiar…
The only catch? Wario has to bring all of his friends with him. Accompanied by fan-favourites like Ashley, Jimmy T, Kat & Anna, and all the rest, the tour group set off to explore the paradise of Caresaway Island. Upon arrival, each character is gifted with mystical “Form Stones” by the local inhabitants. These mysterious objects harness the ability to control various “forms”, created by their deity to harness incredible power.
I’ve seen this one before!
Without going into too much detail and spoiling the downright stupid plot, each character must overcome their own trials and tribulations using the mystical Form Stones. And the only way they can overcome their hardships and discover the secret of the island? That’s right, embarrassing microgames.
WarioWare: Move It! Review – Gameplay
Move It! immediately catapults players into a zany island where rapid-fire microgames meet the unpredictable realm of motion controls. Much like its predecessor, Smooth Moves, the game’s emphasis on motion controls transforms playing into a side-splitting spectacle for both those wielding the Joy-Cons or onlookers comfortably seated on the couch.
But this isn’t a game that incorporates motion controls like a gimmick; it revels in them. The mystical “Form Stones” require the player to adopt a wide range of poses, each dictating how you hold the Joy-Cons in each hand. From the dignified “Scales” to the downright silly “BAH-GAWK!”, each form adds a layer of physicality to the gameplay that goes beyond mere button presses.
I Choo-Choo choose to play stupid videogames.
Much like any prior WarioWare game, you’ll be tasked with cycling through a frenetic assortment of challenges against the clock. The real challenge here is that Move It! requires you to quickly adopt the corresponding form, turning each microgame into flailing madness. The precision required to smoothly transition between forms injects a delightful physicality into the experience.
This is, however, let down by the inaccuracy of the Joy-Cons. Most microgames will accurately register movements and will be simple enough to complete, but there are moments where the Joy-Cons simply cannot keep up with the accuracy required to complete certain challenges. If you’re aiming for high scores, you will likely find yourself frustrated, but if you’re purely playing the game for a good time, the clumsy controls are only an occasional drawback.
Over 200 games for the price of one!?
With a library that spans over 200 microgames, each lasting only a few seconds, players are thrust into a whirlwind of challenges that range from the absurd to the downright surreal. The rapid-fire nature of the microgames keeps the game progressing quickly, and you’ll likely find yourself able to finish the main story within as little as a couple of hours. Thankfully there’s plenty of replayability, which we’ll discuss later in the review!
WarioWare: Move It! Review – Visuals
Once again, the visual style of WarioWare weaves together the absurd, the charmingly nostalgic, and the downright quirky. Embracing the eccentric, you’ll be treated to a barrage of offbeat cutscenes that set the tone for the rest of the game. Wario’s charmingly exaggerated cartoon style, larger-than-life expressions and flamboyant animations definitely help add an extra layer of humour to the experience.
Oh Japan, please never change.
It’s the microgames, however, that are the beating heart of Move It!, showcasing diverse visuals that span the spectrum of absurdity. Each microgame is a bite-sized burst of creativity, with visuals that range from the peculiar to the outright surreal. The art direction perfectly matches the offbeat nature of the microgames, with a mix of 2D and 3D visuals that complement the rapid-fire pace of the gameplay.
The retro games are back and better than ever!
And my personal favourite aspect of any WarioWare game it its ability to pay homage to gaming history with numerous nostalgic Nintendo throwbacks. Its best set of microgames features clever nods to classic Nintendo titles with many familiar characters and settings. Whether it’s taking on the form of a Cuccoo rapidly avoiding Link in Ocarina of Time, or upper-cutting Mike Tyson in PunchOut!!, these visual throwbacks always serves as a love letter to longtime Nintendo fans.
WarioWare: Move It! Review – Audio
Composed primarily by Jo Kondo (any relation to Koji Kondo?), Move It!’s infectious soundtrack is more than just an accompaniment; it’s an integral part of the gameplay experience. Music dynamically adapts to each microgame, seamlessly transitioning between genres and styles with the precision of a well-choreographed dance.
Lively beats and catchy melodies not only inject energy into each microgame but also serve as a rhythmic guide, syncing with your movements. On multiple occasions I found myself involuntarily bouncing up and down with the music, which certainly helps when there are microgames that expect you to quite literally dance in time with it.
You’ll even be treated to quite a few classic Nintendo tracks!
The voice acting doesn’t take itself too seriously, which perfectly fits the overall tone of irreverent humour. Though its worth noting the legendary Charles Martinet no longer voices the grumbly and grouchy Wario, which is quite obvious in Move It! Wario’s new voice actor, Kevin Afghani, doesn’t quite capture the same sense of the character that we all love to hate. But maybe like a bulb of garlic left in the fridge for too long, he might grow on us.
WarioWare: Move It! Review – Multiplayer
So the single-player campaign only lasts for a couple of hours – what else is there to do once credits roll!? Thankfully, there’s absolutely tonnes of content to keep those Joy-Cons swinging. The only catch? You’re gonna need friends. If you’re a lonely gamer with nobody else to play with, you’re missing out on around 80% of the game’s content.
Once finishing all character levels, you’ll be given access to a variety of co-op modes and competitive play. This will have you playing microgames side-by-side with another player, either facing off or helping each other out. One particular mode swaps back and forth between each player, with the inactive player frantically performing actions to keep the screen visible.
Ashley’s Mirror mode is stupid fun to play with friends.
And my personal favourite mode, Mirror Mode, has one player holding Joy-Cons but facing away from the screen, needing to mimic actions of a player facing the screen and acting as a middle-man. It’s downright creative and ridiculous, making it the perfect addition to any games night.
Flip off your friends! Many of the best microgames are made even better with another player.
If that wasn’t enough to keep your party entertained, the game also features an entire set of 2 – 4 player minigames. These include a Mario Party-style boardgame, a boxing-themed knock-out game, and several more that I didn’t have the chance to try out because I was too busy having way too much fun. Although Mario Party or Mario Kart are emphasised as Nintendo’s go-to party games, Move It! might just steal the show as my personal favourite.
An equally absurd follow-up to the motion-controlled madness of Smooth Moves, Move It! injects even more absurdity into its microgames, making it possibly the most ridiculous (and entertaining) WarioWare game to date. Although some games are held back by the inaccuracy of the Joy-Cons, this is barely a dampener on the enjoyment. Despite a smattering of single-player content, a huge set of delightful party modes make Move It! a must-have multiplayer title that’ll result in non-stop laughs every time you pick it up.
So, why should you play WarioWare: Move It?
- You love the series’ delightfully absurd sense of humour
- Enjoyed Smooth Moves on the Wii? You’ll definitely get a kick out of this
- Looking for a light-hearted and entertaining party game
- Overall a better WarioWare game than Get It Together
But why shouldn’t you play WarioWare: Move It?
- Prefer to play single-player? You’ll be missing out on most of the game’s content
- Joy-Cons don’t always register accurately in certain microgames
A review code was kindly provided by Nintendo Australia for the purpose of our WarioWare: Move It! review. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out our detailed WarioWare retrospective for a history of the series and jump on the Qualbert Discord to chat with us about all things Wario.