Review: ‘Warioware: Move It!’ is a mini-game collection worth checking out

Stefan Bradley

If you’re looking for your next Christmas party game, you should check out WarioWare: Move It!, but it’s not for everyone.

The WarioWare series are collections of “microgames”, which you usually play in quick succession. Microgames are just mini-games that usually last three to eight seconds.

Move It! is a direct follow-up to Smooth Moves on the Wii, (remember that console?), and thus all the microgames make use of the Joy-Con controller’s motion-sensor functions.

Most of the microgames are quite simple, like twist a wet rag until all the water is released; look at your watch; or pick a nostril – all done through moving the Joy-Cons. The visual representations of these microgames is zany and whacky, which is typical WarioWare flavour. In one microgame for instance, you draw a shape with your butt. You can go from catching jumping fish with your thighs, to ‘paw punching’ the enemy as a cat.

Before each microgame, the game informs the player what ‘form’ they must take as they hold the Joy-Con. For example, ‘Gift-giver’ involves holding the Joy-Cons in front of you like you’re giving someone a present, and then you use that pose to beat the microgame, which may include balancing plates or grabbing a hand.

As many will recall of the Wii days, the motion controls can be quite clunky. Sometimes, you know it’s your fault, other times it truly does not feel fair. You can of course practice the microgames and forms as much as you want, but Move It! is still more frustrating than most other WarioWare games. The developers probably knew that some people would struggle with some forms, which may explain why players have unlimited chances in the story mode.

When you’ve got the controls down, the game is enthralling, and hilarious to play with others. It’s not quite as easy to pick-up-and-play Move It!. Smooth Moves on the Wii largely focused on the single Wii Remote, whereas in Move It, the forms use both Joy-Con controllers.

WarioWare games are like a sugar high – you can get absolutely addicted until you’ve run out of energy. I’ve seen people I know just be totally transported into this series before – long before the days of TikTok or mobile gaming encouraged short form entertainment. There are hundreds of microgames, but the entire story mode can be done in a couple of hours, and after that, most of the appeal is finished.

The visuals and sound are excellent, and Wario and his friends remain a silly bunch during the story’s cutscenes. The plot isn’t important – essentially the gang win a trip to an island paradise and Saturday morning-esque shenanigans follow them. Finish each character’s collection of microgames and you see a cutscene resolving whatever obstacle they’re facing. And then repeat that for other characters – and the game is beat!

The story can also be played in a well-designed co-op mode with two players. There’s certainly longevity for this to be a party game, including a Mario Party-inspired mode with up to four players (only one Joy-Con needed each), but the single-player content is very short-lived.

Those who have fond memories of Wii Sports should give this a look, but those who dislike the motion controls of the Wii days would be encouraged to stay as far away from this as possible. It’s hilarious to watch others play this, but there’s bound to be that ‘one person’ at a party who will be unable to get any of the forms right.

Despite its short length and sometimes annoying controls, WarioWare: Move It! is another fine entry into this series, and fans in particular will find great enjoyment.

WarioWare: Move It! is out now for Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by Nintendo.