Whenever I'm on the bus or train, you can be pretty sure I've got my Nintendo Switch with me. I really like the way that there are a whole bunch of games on it that you can pick up for a quick session and then pop back in your bag when you get to your station. Warioware: Get It Together! is the epitome of pick up and play gaming.
I remember when I first heard the premise. Minigames fired at you every 5 seconds that got faster and more difficult the longer you played. It sounded rubbish, and I really enjoy a mini-game fest. I've got a whole load of Mario Party games, but this seemed a bit too much. How much of a game can you play in 3 seconds? Well, it turns out, quite a lot.
Let's Get Together
The concept of Warioware is bonkers. There is a story, but it's not really of any consequence. Essentially you will be playing collections of 5-second minigames to try and beat as many as you can. Once you've played through a certain amount, you'll get a boss stage which is a bit more involved. Beat that and you'll unlock the next collection of games to play.
There are a decent number of collections, 10 if memory serves, each with about 15 games. They have a varied selection of themes, too. There is sports, nature, fantasy, and even a classic Nintendo collection. That one is usually a favourite of mine. So far, so Warioware. What makes this one different?
Well, each Warioware generally has a gimmick to it. The DS one was all about using the touch screen. The Wii version was all about the motion controls. The new switch version is a little different though. It adds characters into the mix. It's a bit odd to explain, but I'll have a go.
A New Way to Play
You see, normally in a Warioware game, the object you're controlling changes. In one game it may be a pair of scissors, the next minigame you might be controlling a fire hose, the next one may have you controlling a spaceship while you try and pilot it between some asteroids. With the switch version, you'll be controlling a character, and that character has to do something instead. For example, your character may have to knock the firehose into position by jumping on it instead. It's odd, and that's all part of the fun.
It also knocks the difficulty up a notch or two. You see, every one of the characters in Warioware: Get it Together has a different control scheme. Some may fly, others jump. One rides along the floor on a skateboard and throws a yo-yo. Now you've got about 150 microgames to learn and then they each play differently depending on which character you have selected. This can be absolutely brain-bending in places.
You've got just a handful of seconds to parse the game instructions, figure out what to do, then work out how to do it with your current character, then do it. Succeed or fail, don't get too comfortable because a new game will be starting pretty much immediately. Repeat until you're out of lives. It's not for everyone but it makes for a really unique score attack game.
And that's what this is, really. The fun in the game isn't going through the story, it's unlocking everything and seeing how good of a run you can get. There are a couple of different ways you can play through the games. You can play just the collection you're interested in or one of a few different collection of collections modes. Some of these set the games at the hardest level from the off, or only give you a single life to up the difficulty.
With A Little Help From My Friends
All very well and good, but for a game with the subtitle, 'get it together' I should probably talk about the multiplayer a bit. All of the story sections can be played local co-op. This should, in theory at least, make it easier. In reality, it just adds to the chaos. Lots of fun though!
There are also a few alternative ways to play to be found in the variety pack. Most of these need at least 2 players, but there are a few that can be tackled solo. Some of these are mini-games of their own. There is a brawler, a volleyball sort of thing as well as an air hockey game. There are also some new ways to play the minigames.
A favourite of mine is Balloon Bang, where one player is trying their hardest to complete a mini-game while the other players are furiously trying to overinflate a balloon. If you complete the game, you're safe and the next player takes up the driving seat. You lose If you're the one playing the minigame when the balloon bursts. It sounds silly but it gets really frantic when the balloon seems like it could pop at any moment.
There are a few brand new features to found in this Warioware incarnation as well. As you play you'll be amassing Wario Coins which can be used to buy prezzies for your characters. Each of the characters has likes and dislikes. The more prezzies you give them the more they level up. This unlocks new colours to apply to the clothing of your characters as well as some concept art type stuff. It also bumps up their base score in the Wario Cup, which is the other new way to play in this game.
Bringing Home The Trophy
The Wario Cup is a weekly challenge where a new set of rules will be applied to the minigames and you need to get as good a score as you can manage. This is all online too so you're competing against other players from around the world. You can win trophies depending on how you do, and you'll generally get a few Wario Coins for your trouble as well.
Another great way to unlock huge piles of Wario Coins is the challenges. You'll unlock some just by progressing through the story, but for the big payoffs, you're going to have to push yourself. You may need to get a high score on a particular set of minigames or manage to beat a particular game in a specific way with a specific character. I've found these to be a nice prompt to try something different each time I sit down to play.
A Beautiful Mess
And that's pretty much all there is to Warioware: Get It Together! It is a bonkers game with an inconsistent art style and odd sense of humour all wrapped around a really strange premise. It's a very hard game to review as the ideas behind it are so odd. Perhaps the best thing I can say is that every now and again while writing this review, I had to fire it up to check something. More often than not I ended up sitting down and playing for a couple of runs. It is incredibly pick up and play.
There are definitely some weaker characters to play, who will definitely have you groan as soon as you see they have been selected, but on the whole, this is a fresh approach to a concept that has been going on for about 20 years at this point. The mini-games are solid and engaging and the variety packs keep thins fresh once you know the ropes. Online challenges are a welcome addition and the ability to customise the look of your characters will probably appeal to some people, though I can personally take it or leave it.
It's pretty good at one but it absolutely shines as a party game. If you've ever found yourself playing something like Mario Party and wishing it would concentrate more on the minigames, this is definitely something you should check out.
Editors note: This blog was originally published on November 11th, 2021. Updated on March 10th, 2022 to improve the information available.