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E3 2013: Hands-On With Game & Wario

Marcus Estrada

The WarioWare franchise has been one of my favorite Nintendo character spin-off games out there. Of course, the whole thing began to change once WarioWare D.I.Y. came out. Instead of granting players another bunch of microgames, they decided to let us make our own. Although the concept is interesting, it wasn“t what I wanted from WarioWare. We may never get back to that classic style of play though if Game & Wario is a sign of things to come.


Your enjoyment of Game & Wario may also be dependent on whether or not you feel similarly wistful for the original games. It's a little too early to call it right now, but here are descriptions and opinions on two of the sixteen included games in the upcoming collection.




In Game & Wario, players are tasked with only a handful of minigames. These are far longer than any of the microgames of the series“ past and, for the most part, far less quirky. Each minigame has multiple levels to play through as well as a listing for high scores. Nintendo only had a few minigames playable at E3, so I played two.


First was a game titled "Kung Fu," where you must play as Young Cricket to try and reach the Master to snag his meal. All you do in the game is move the character and he jumps whenever he touches the ground automatically. What makes this difficult is that he is forced to traverse pretty dangerous territory. Falling into water or lava ends your run pretty abruptly.


What makes this game interesting is that sometimes you“ll do better by looking at the TV screen and other times it is best to use the GamePad screen. On occasion, you“ll actually need to look at both to safely navigate. The GamePad shows a top down perspective which is useful for landing on small platforms while the TV showcases the world in third person.





At one point during the demonstration, I had to dodge columns of lava shown on the TV screen while also jumping across very small platforms. The simple concept of using two screens to navigate proved to be quite difficult at that point, but also fun, and encouraged “backseat gaming” as well to keep me aware of incoming lava. Although some may dislike it, I found it fun to ask for the aid of others in such an instance.


The next minigame, Gamer, felt more like a classic WarioWare title. Playing as 9-Volt or 18-Volt, I was meant to play WarioWare microgames on the GamePad until my mother popped into my room. At that point, you“re supposed to act like you“re sleeping instead of gaming. Just the premise is funny enough but the execution was excellent.




While playing microgames on the GamePad, you can hear when mother is approaching from outside the hall, outside your window, or whatever else weird location she may appear from. However, just staring at the GamePad screen won“t let you know when she“s about to peer into the room - you have to look up at the TV to be sure. When she does appear, it“s often quite frightening/hilarious! It was also fun to see some classic WarioWare games brought back for this mode.


I found myself often getting caught up in the microgames, just as 9-Volt would, before being spotted. What makes the game more interesting is that you can't simply hide every time you hear a creak, either. If the player uses the hide function too much then they'll actually just end up falling asleep! Overall, the game is quite comedic as well as an interesting use of the two screens.




Of the two modes, I only really found one compelling enough to want to play again. Of course, there are sixteen modes in all but it“s tough to say if they will skew more towards entertaining or something akin to tech demos. For the most part, it appears that Game & Wario has lost much of its series“ charm and I really hope that appraisal is off the mark.


Here is a video of the first stage of Kung Fu:


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