The WarioWare series has always been one of the outlier franchises Nintendo has in its roster, and yet, it is one I generally find myself excited to experience. The main draw to a game like WarioWare: Move It! is how wacky the minigames can get. To shake things up, this entry into the WarioWare series has you moving about your living room. With a pair of Joy-Cons, you’ll shake, punch, dance, wiggle, and curtsey across more than 200 microgames. The series is known for games that last seconds, so the tempo is quick, and you need to be ready to shift at the drop of a dime.
And that’s why I feel like the longevity of the series is why we’re still getting WarioWare games in 2023. The last entry was good, but it wasn’t great, and I felt like if the series were to persevere, then the only way to shake things up. If anything, it would make sense to compare Move It! to Smooth Moves on the Wii, as they have similarities.
The Microgame Marvel
WarioWare: Move it! is a part of the long-running microgames saga that dates back to the Game Boy Advance. The core idea is simple: throw players into ridiculously quick, often hilarious microgames and see how fast they can react. But this time, the game takes a fresh approach to the microgame madness.
The twist here is all about form. Grab a Joy-Con in each hand (or just one for multiplayer) and strike a pose before the game begins. Your chosen posture determines how you’ll move to conquer each microgame. From wielding a virtual sword to mimicking a sumo wrestler, you have enough time to get into position before diving into a succession of quickfire microgames. It’s a brilliant evolution of the motion-controlled concept. While it’s not the series’ first game with motion controls, it feels more elaborate and cleverer without going overboard.
The Quick and Quirky Adventures Of WarioWario!
WarioWare: Move It! throws players into a whirlwind of over 200 quick and quirky microgames, each lasting seconds. Yes, you read that correctly—seconds. Just watching the hilarious trailer, I felt I’d be dodging, dancing, and exercising through these minigames by twisting, shaking, and contorting the Joy-Cons. It’s the perfect fit for the zany world of WarioWare. I didn’t expect to feel overly tired, but I came away a bit achy and sore, proving how engaging these microgames are.
In classic WarioWare fashion, you’ll find an eclectic mix of new, outlandish concepts alongside some beloved classics, with nods to Nintendo’s rich history. Long-time fans can rejoice as they dive back into activities like evading thwomps in a Mario-themed microgame or slashing through tall grass in search of Pokémon.
Before each microgame kicks off, you’ll need to strike a particular stance. Choo-Choo has you mimicking a locomotive, Knight positions your hands as if wielding a sword, and Sky Stretch raises your arms above. Once in a stance, you’ll play a series of minigames in that position. In Choo Choo, you’ll hold ZR and ZL and try to put out a fire with a bucket of water or cheers a glass of juice coming toward you, even hitting a squid’s tentacles in a boss battle! My biggest issue is that sometimes the instructions feel unclear, so you’ll risk losing a clove of garlic (health) in an honest mistake.
The Joy of Motion Gaming
I’ve never been a big fan of motion gaming, but WarioWare: Move It! managed to strike a balance between precision and fun that kept frustration at bay. The microgames provide just enough feedback to help you learn the ropes and appreciate the unique humour that defines the franchise.
On top of the central microgame mix, Move It! introduces a new 4-player Party Mode. With each player holding a Joy-Con, you’ll be flailing around in special cooperative and competitive microgames akin to the Mario Party series. This is an excellent addition that elevates game nights to a whole new level, getting everyone off the couch and having a blast.
I’m also impressed by how accurate the Joy-Cons are (and it surprised me I wrote this because of how few games use the IR on the Switch) when you’re attempting to complete a pose, draw something in the air, or accurately hold the controllers in an event that prompts you to act outlandish at times.
There’s also a story mode available that can be played with a partner, and it asks for up to two people to go back and forth over a series of minigames. It isn’t a traditional mode in the least, as it does no more than push you into the next series of minigames. Throughout several chapters, you’ll see a cutscene or two of Wario in an absurd situation before the minigames begin; there are some bosses you’ll face later on who do an excellent job at making these battles enjoyable.
WarioWare: Move It! Has A Ton Of Great Minigames
WarioWare: Move It! is a visual treat. The game bursts with colour and showcases Wario and his quirky crew in a series of absurd scenarios. The animations are buttery smooth and teeming with humorous details. It pays homage to the entire WarioWare legacy in a thoughtful yet gloriously ridiculous way, catering to newcomers and longtime fans. Usually, a game like Move It! should be played on a television screen, and while that’s how I spent most of my playthrough limited to that, the OLED screen does an incredible job at making the graphics pop.
The series is known for its innovative use of hardware features, and Move It! doesn’t disappoint. It brilliantly incorporates the Joy-Con’s motion controls in creative and engaging ways, making it a prime example of what sets the Nintendo Switch apart.
While solo play is an option, the real magic of WarioWare: Move It! comes alive in multiplayer mode. If you can grab some friends and spend an hour or two going through the sheer ridiculousness of the vast minigames, you’ll find mostly everyone having a fun time. Whether you’re working together or pitted against each other, it’s an experience that’ll have you all laughing, and it certainly makes having company overall the better.
The Party Mode is a standout feature which, if you’ve played the Mario Partyseries, will understand how to jump in. Picture players vying to reach a rocket and attain the highest score but with hilariously punitive consequences for your dice rolls. It’s the perfect recipe for a memorable game night to get everyone up and moving.
WarioWare: Move It! is sheer joy, and it is hard not to find yourself smiling when attempting an awkward pose with a group of friends. It’s silly, chaotic, and good-natured, which feels like the perfect description of Wario today. While the experience is catered to group settings, playing solo is worth it, too (which allows you to get practice against groups later). Wario’s second outing on the Switch is easily his best in ages and continues to showcase how Nintendo has a plan for all of its characters in some capacity.
[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]
Reviewed on: Switch
Review: WarioWare: Move It!
WarioWare: Move It! is sheer joy, and it is hard not to find yourself smiling when attempting an awkward pose with a group of friends.
The motion control games are a ton of fun
Getting into weird poses in groups will make everyone laugh