Game & Wario
I stumbled upon a quirky, unexpected surprise when visiting Nintendo’s booth at E3 2012 today. During its press conference, Nintendo neglected to announce a new game in the vein of the absurd Warioware games called Game & Wario (working title). The game makes use of the Wii U’s tech in the strangest ways that I've seen. Is Game & Wario an odd reference to Nintendo’s old school Game & Watch series? Who knows. What I do know is that using the Wii U controller to fire a nasal bow and arrow and go skiing is a good time.
First of all, these aren’t microgames. In fact, spending more than three seconds playing a Warioware-branded game feels odd at first, but it's quite nice once you settle into it. The first game I tried involves some olfactory archery. Displayed on the Wii U controller is a bow shaped like Wario’s jagged mustache, complete with an arrow sporting a nose-shaped head on it. The goal is to ward off waves of marching toy Warios before they reach you. You do this by pulling back the arrow, aiming the Wii U controller at the incoming enemies, and letting it rip. You can clear out more mecha-Warios by aiming for landmines or rubbing a little pepper over the nose-arrow to agitate it and create an extra powerful sneeze-powered projectile. If the mechanical foes overwhelm you, they leap from the TV screen to the touchscreen display on your Wii U controller, forcing you to tap the little buggers as they attempt to destroy your potted plants. The minigame concludes with a battle against a gigantic Wario robot complete with weak spots that must be systematically destroyed. This odd archery game is one of the most fun experiences I’ve had on the Wii U so far.
The other game I tried out starred Warioware’s disco-loving, afro-touting Jimmy and a trip down a ski hill. Players control the downhill speedrun by tilting the Wii U controller left and right. The gameplay unfolds on the Wii U controller, while spectators can watch Jimmy launch off jumps and perform stylish tricks on the TV. Players can compete against their own ghost after completing a run. This ski game didn’t feel any more remarkable than any tilt-enabled iPhone game I’ve ever played, but I like that onlookers can gaze at the TV rather than over your shoulder.
Having played Game & Wario, I have no idea why Nintendo wouldn’t have wanted to shave two minutes off its embarrassing Nintendo Land demo to show a little of this fun title. The goofy characters, random scenarios, and charmingly stupid presentation would have definitely earned some chuckles. It definitely got some laughs out of me.