WarioWare: Move it! Review – Return to form

Since its first title over 20 years ago, the WarioWare franchise has changed shape to take advantage of the strengths and gimmicks of the current Nintendo platform. But the first entry on the Switch, Get It Together, bucked that trend, putting you in control of the characters’ actual roles in platform-style microgames instead of taking advantage of the Switch’s unique features. WarioWare: Move It is more in line with the traditional WarioWare experience, resulting in a better overall collection.

Move It takes the core tenants of the WarioWare franchise and cranks them up to 11. Players must learn different forms using two individual Joy-Con controllers, then complete rapid-fire microgames — three- to five-second minigames that rely on you to complete on-the-fly reactions. As you progress through the session, the difficulty of each game and the speed with which they fly at you increases, creating a more frantic experience.

I love the variety of microgames on display. One second, I’m holding my arms out, having drinks with people at a party, then a moment later, I’m holding my Joy-Cons like an umbrella to protect a woman from getting wet in a rainstorm before raising my arms. Choose a giant nose. Irrelevant comedy fans expect the full impact with Move It to be as creative as it is.

Forms allow you to position yourself properly for the upcoming minigame, but some are less developed than others. The “hand model” pose is confusing, as you have to let go of one Joy-Con, then move the other to the now-empty hand to pull gestures with the other hand; Even after completing the story mode, I still struggled to properly position this form due to the rapid-fire structure. It’s disappointing that this farm is so complicated to set up since so many of my favorite microgames are part of it. Another, “Ba-KAW,” has you posing as a chicken and has a broad mix of excellent and disappointing games. However, my least favorite activity is the long-form boss level that involves flipping steaks; I’ve failed several times because it doesn’t register consistently unless you make a very exaggerated motion as the meat moves away from you on the conveyor belt.

Fortunately, the Move It’s library was full of oddball games that I was constantly looking forward to. On many occasions, I smiled or simply said, “That was pretty cool” after experiencing a novel microgame for the first time. However, some of them aren’t quite as grounding, as the precise motion controls lead to frustrating failures, while others aren’t descriptive enough for you to reasonably understand what you need to do in a small window. Fortunately, if your heart is empty, you can continue by performing the “Sacred Pose,” a goofy version of a yoga pose, to keep going.

Working your way through hundreds of microgames is fun, but always, best with friends. WarioWare: Move It returns to one of the best entries in the series, the motion-controlled WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii. That entry is one of my go-to party games, and I have the same hopes for Move It.

However, due to some complex formats and accuracy issues with some microgames, Move It’s core mode is a tougher sell than its Wii predecessor, especially for casual players. Fortunately, the multiplayer-focused party mode lets you perform simple poses involving a Joy-Con in slow motion in fun contests. It’s silly and works on the honor system, but my favorite involves completing microgames, such as sitting on the floor or puffing your cheeks while you play. Another puts you in a board game context, where winning microgames earns you dice rolls. These side mods are great for a laugh and the go-to way to play Move It in a group setting.

Following Get It Together and Game & Wario, Move It is the Warioware game I’ve been waiting for for the past 15 years, and it mostly delivers. Even with some stickers in the mix, the motion-controlled madness gives you lots of fun and innovative experiences. Despite them, WarioWare: Move It’s catalog is full of microgames that I look forward to revisiting in the coming months.

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