Ever since the release of WarioWare: Twisted!, most of Wario’s mini game outings also function as a showcase for new hardware. WarioWare: Touched! was one of the first games to harness the potential of the Nintendo DS touchscreen, and WarioWare: Smooth Moves gave players all sorts of silly ways to waggle their Wii Remote. Game & Wario attempts to demonstrate the Wii U Gamepad’s potential in the same manner, though it falls short of the bar set by its predecessors by providing an experience that’s short on content and replay value.
Game & Wario does not feature the microgame mechanics of its WarioWare bretheren. Instead, players take on each of its 16 mini games one-at-a-time. 12 of these are single player experiences, while the remaining four are designed to be enjoyed with friends in the same room. Most of these mini games last between one to 10 minutes per pop.
Blazing through everything once shouldn’t take you any more than two hours. This wouldn’t be a problem if every game in this set was great and worth replaying, though that isn’t the case for most of this compilation. Many of the games in this set are minor variations on mini games that have already appeared in Nintendo Land. Arrow, for instance, is largely just the ninja game with a different weapon. Ski is basically the F-Zero game, which wasn’t good to begin with. Others in this mix are just flat-out bad. The biggest offender is Disco, in which two players hold the GamePad at opposite ends and battle each other in a Tap Tap Revenge inspired rhythm game. This one fails on both its premise and execution, which ultimately makes it not worth anyone’s time.
There are some exciting and novel thrills to be had, though they’re in the minority. Islands is a neat target shooting game that works well with friends. Shutter brings my TMZ paparazzi fantasies to life, as you use the GamePad as a camera to take photos of people who are unaware of your presence. Gamer in particular should strike a chord with us all, as your primary objective is to play games at night without your mom catching you in the act. Even though these are great on their own, they’re not enough to keep anyone’s interested for long.
Game & Wario‘s few bright spots aren’t enough to overcome a package that is painfully light on content. Most of this package wears thin almost immediately, and the stuff that is you should play isn’t enough to justify the game’s $40 price point. Even at $20, which is the price I got it for, I didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth. If you must play a Wii U mini game collection, stick to Nintendo Land.