Developer: Nintendo (Nintendo EPD and Intelligent Systems) Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: September 10, 2021 Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Despite me being a big Nintendo fan, and there having been 10 entries in the series (depending on how you count), WarioWare: Get It Together is my first game in the WarioWare franchise. In the Switch era I’ve been trying different kinds of games, and series I’ve never played, to expand my horizons. With WarioWare: Get It Together, I’ve discovered an enjoyable, hectic, minigame laden, arcadey, party game style experience that shines especially when playing with others.
If, like me, you’ve never played a WarioWare game, then briefly, each game contains a large collection of very short minigames, dubbed microgames, that are said to have been created by the characters in the WarioWare universe. WarioWare is Wario’s game development studio where he’s focused on making the microgames you play, and as much money as possible. In theory, these games are simple and easy, but in practice, they require speed, precision, and quick thinking due to short timers. They’re also extremely unusual and varied in terms of art-styles, and many involve gross-out humor, while still remaining (for the most part) family-friendly. The challenge amps up as the timers get shorter and shorter and the the microgames get harder and harder.
What’s Different (and What’s The Same)
If you are more familiar with past WarioWare entries, it’s my understanding that this game differs in some notable ways. The main way this game sets itself apart from previous WarioWare titles is that you actually play as Wario and others from his large crew, in the microgames. In previous games you might move the arm of a random character on screen in a particular minigame, but in this version you’d have to knock that person’s arm with your character to have it move.
This game is described as having “over 200 quick and quirky microgames,” by Nintendo. It’s worth mentioning that some previous entries in the series have had more microgames, and in particular the last game, WarioWare Gold. Lastly, while there has been co-op, or multiplayer, modes in previous WarioWare games, this iteration, as demonstrated by the subtitle of the game and the split joy-cons on the cover art, has more of a focus on multiplayer. Despite these differences, it’s still very much a WarioWare game, with plenty of wacky and ridiculous microgames.
One of the ways that the game provides a great deal of variety, and replay value, is from the large cast of playable characters. Each character handles differently, and each minigame can, hypothetically, be beaten by each character. The controls for all of the characters are fairly simple. Every character is controlled by only two inputs: the control stick and the A button. Even with these limitations, some of the characters are still much more complicated than others, and most of the movesets feel unique and different.
Occasionally, you’ll be assigned a particular character who is not well suited to the particular microgame you’re playing, but the game moves at such a rapid clip, and is just so silly, that this isn’t especially frustrating. Conversely, some of the minigames feel completely broken when you’re handed the right character, and again, this isn’t a problem, due to the randomness and general nature of the experience.
The game includes a number of modes for you to explore, depending on your mood and the number of players. The obvious place to start is Story Mode. Story Mode can be tackled alone or in tandem with a friend, in 2-player co-op. In Story Mode, there’s a light narrative about Wario and his compatriots being sucked into their newest game and battling game bugs.
In the Story Mode, you progress through levels on an overworld map, each based on one of the characters who has been sucked into this game. There’s a nice short cinematic before each new area, and it introduces you to the character who is the focus of that level. These cutscenes are a wild, weird ride, and a lot of fun. You’re then run through a gauntlet of random microgames, where in order to progress you need to successfully complete a specific number of them, along with a ‘Boss Battle’, which is usually a tougher, meatier microgame.
The story mode itself isn’t terribly long, and can be completed in a couple of hours. However, it does, like much of the rest of the game, have a lot of replayability. Each area has an arcade style, personal best leaderboard. The game is a fast-paced blast, and if you’re like me, you may find yourself replaying each area many times just to see how high you can get that score. But if you’re looking for a little more variety beyond Story Mode, there are other choices.
If you need a break from Story Mode, the game has a handful of alternatives. You can navigate over to the Play-o-pedia, where you can select from all of the microgames you’ve unlocked, and choose which one to play. Each microgame has several levels of difficulty to progress through, and you can choose to play as either a Crew of 1, 3, 5, or all of the characters. Just like in Story Mode, there are high score boards for each of the minigames, to encourage replaying and mastery.
In the Variety Pack there’s a number of options, which can fit a varying number of players from 1-4. Some of the game modes in Variety Pack are cooperative while others are competitive. Some of the choices here feature microgames unique to this mode. For me, some of these were pretty hit and miss, but they were all relatively enjoyable to at least explore.
In Crew you can level up the characters you’ve unlocked by giving them presents, known as prezzies. You purchase the prezzies with the in-game currency you earn in the various other modes, and characters prefer different prezzies, allowing you to level them up faster as you make these discoveries. The benefits of leveling up the characters are strictly cosmetic, but it gives you something to do with the coins you earn in the game, and could be appealing to completionists, or folks who want to customize specific characters.
The final game mode is Wario Cup. Here you can play the minigames in a way that’s very similar to the Story Mode or Play-o-pedia, but has a bit of a twist. There are weekly challenges where certain microgames or characters or other limitations may exist. This mode also has the only online functionality in the game, where you can rank up and see how your score compares to others. This is one of the few single-player only modes in the game.
As stated earlier, WarioWare: Get It Together has more of an emphasis on multiplayer than many of the previous entries. One can play through Story Mode, the Play-o-pedia, and most of the options found in the Variety Pack with others. For me, the game really shines in multiplayer, especially co-op. As the game gets more frenetic, the timers shorter, and it’s harder to keep track of which new character you’re handed, it creates a lively atmosphere. I know that, for me, this is going to be a game I pull out when I have friends and company over more than something I regularly play on my own.
Despite this emphasis on multiplayer there’s not much online, at all. There is online records and ranking within Wario Cup, but there’s no way to play cooperatively with, or competitively against, your friends unless you’re in the same room. This feels like a missed opportunity, but unfortunately seems par for the course with Nintendo.
So far, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing WarioWare: Get It Together, especially when playing with my son. If you’ve always wanted to try a WarioWare game out, and you don’t have access to one on an older system, this seems like as good an entry point as any. If you’re on the fence, or just prefer to try before you buy, there is a demo for this game available on the Nintendo eShop. I know that for some time, when I want something wacky, fast-paced and frenetic to play with friends, I’ll be reaching for WarioWare: Get It Together.
Patrick Knisely is an associate writer for Boss Rush Network. In addition, he’s a freelance video game writer, with his most recent work being on the VR game Totally Baseball. Patrick also co-hosts the podcast Super Switch Headz. You can find him on Twitter and Twitch.