Game & Wario didn’t play quite like I expected it to. When I hear Wario’s name these days, I can’t help but think of the absurd, fast-paced microgames he’s become associated with. This game seems a lot more toned down than his previous games, only handing out 16 games that are a lot longer than what I’m used to. It may not be fair of me to ask for the kind of frantic action I’m used to from the Warioware games, but what I saw here wasn’t all that impressive. I only got to try three of the sixteen possible games on the disk, but what I saw just did nothing for me.
The first game I tried was a crossbow game where I had to keep little robot Warios from walking all the way over to me. You pulled back on the Wii U controller’s screen with your finger to pull your arrow taut, and then aimed the controller at what you wanted to hit. You also had the option to scratch the nose on the arrowhead in order to put pepper on it, but this required me to look away from the main game and peer at the little screen to do it. This got me hit a couple of times, and I found it to be an annoyance. It was nice that they tried to add something onto the game, but touch screens aren’t good for doing more than one very basic, broad command. Shooting the arrows was fine, finding the arrowhead and rubbing it was not.
As for the minigame itself, you got to shoot at the robots as they crept closer to you. If they made it all the way to your screen, they’d jump on top of you and you’d have to flick them off the touch screen to get rid of them. Again, same problem here where I’m taking my eyes off the main screen to deal with something on the touch screen, often turning back to find the main screen littered with enemies. There are some mines spread throughout the grass that you can blow up, though, so I concentrated my fire on those and was able to make it to the boss. Once at him, I just had to hit his weak points a certain amount of times and he was done. Nothing more mind-blowing than Wii Sports on offer here.
The next game I tried was a downhill skiing game that I controlled by turning the Wii U’s controller. The artwork of Jimmy T shooting down the slopes before the game started cracked me up, but the game that followed did not. I had a lot of trouble reconciling what I was doing with the controller with what was happening on the screen. Since he was skiing toward me I had to remember that everything I wanted to do was backwards, but there’s a reason why reversing controls is considered a bad thing in most games. On top of that, the presentation was just plain boring, with the whole game looking like a slightly improved version of Ski Free. Yuck.
The last game I got to play was a detective game, one where I had to take pictures of people moving around a small environment. I could look at the screen using the Wii U controller, and could zoom in on spots with it. If I zoomed in too far I could always look away from the controller to see what was up on the big screen, which was cool effect. Just the same… looking for someone to take their picture? That’s all there is to it? It’s a cool use of the controller’s abilities, but it still just plays like a jazzed-up tech demo.
If this is what they showed to people to impress them with the game, I don’t even want to know what the rest of the games are like. Game & Wario is a shadow of games like Warioware: Smooth Moves – games that used the hardware in hundreds of interesting, funny ways. I appreciate that they’re still feeling out what to do with the system’s new abilities, but sixteen lousy minigames aren’t going to be enough to fill a Wario title. It’s ugly, plain, has no personality, and is boring to play. I expect more, a lot more, than what is planned to be on offer here, and consider this game to be a colossal waste of time unless it undergoes some big changes before its release.