WarioWare: Move It! Review
Ever since its first title 20 years ago, the WarioWare franchise has shapeshifted to take advantage of the capabilities and gimmicks of whatever the current Nintendo platform was. But the first entry on Switch, Get It Together, bucked that trend, putting you in control of the actual cast of characters in platforming-style microgames instead of taking advantage of the Switch’s unique traits. WarioWare: Move It aligns more 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 various forms using two individual Joy-Con controllers, then complete rapid-fire microgames – three-to-five-second minigames that rely on your on-the-fly reactions to complete. As you progress through a session, the difficulty of each game and the speed at which they fly at you increases, creating an ever more frantic experience.
I love the diversity of microgames on display. One second, I’m holding my arms out, clanking 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 soaked in a rainstorm before raising my arms to pick a giant nose. The irreverent humor fans have come to expect is in full effect with Move It, as is the creativity.
The forms allow you to properly position yourself for the upcoming minigame, but some are less developed than others. The “Hand Model” pose is confusing, as you must drop one Joy-Con, then move the other to the now-empty hand to pull off gestures with the other hand; even after completing the story mode, I still struggled to position myself correctly for this form in time thanks to the rapid-fire structure. It’s disappointing this form is so complicated to set up since several of my favorite microgames are a part of it. Another one, “Ba-KAW,” has you pose like a chicken and features the broadest mix of excellent and frustrating games. However, my least favorite activity is a long-form boss level that involves flipping steaks; I failed multiple times because it doesn’t consistently register unless you make overly exaggerated motions timed to when the meat is moving by you on a conveyor belt.
Thankfully, Move It’s library is full of oddball games I consistently looked forward to. On multiple occasions, I smirked or outright said, “That was so cool,” after experiencing a novel microgame for the first time. However, a few of them don’t quite land, as imprecise motion controls lead to frustrating failures, while others aren’t descriptive enough for you to reasonably understand what you need to do in the short window you have to do it. Thankfully, if you run out of hearts, you can continue by performing a “Sacred Pose,” which is essentially a goofy version of a yoga stance, to earn a continue.
Working through the hundreds of microgames is fun, but as always, it’s better with friends. WarioWare: Move It harkens back to one of the better entries in the series, the motion-controlled WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii. That entry was one of my go-to party games, and I had similar hopes for Move It.
However, due to a couple of complicated forms and accuracy issues with some of the microgames, the core mode of Move It is a harder sell than its Wii predecessor, particularly for casual players. Thankfully, the multiplayer-focused Party Mode lets you perform simpler poses involving one Joy-Con at a slower pace in fun competitions. It’s silly and operates on the honor system, but my favorite involves completing microgames with added challenges like sitting on the floor or puffing out your cheeks while you play. Another puts you in the context of a board game, where winning microgames earns you dice rolls. These side modes are great for laughs and are 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 over the last 15 years, and it mostly delivers. The motion-controlled madness gives you plenty of fun and novel experiences, even if a few stinkers are in the mix. Regardless of those, WarioWare: Move It’s catalog is full of microgames I look forward to revisiting for months to come.