November 3, 2023
In 2021, I criticised WarioWare: Get it Together for its needlessly complicated control scheme, and wistfully remembered the intuitive and easy controls of the WarioWare Smooth Moves for the Nintendo Wii. Well, somebody at Nintendo must have been paying attention, because WarioWare: Move it! is the perfect successor to the iconic Smooth Moves.
Set on a tropical island with a holiday theme, WarioWare: Move it! follows the misadventures of an all-star cast of WarioWare characters like Wario, Jimmy, Mona, Ashley, and many more as they enjoy their vacation. It features over 200 new micro-games across various single and multiplayer modes, making it a good time for solo players and friend gatherings alike.
I have waited a long time for Nintendo to remember that the Switch’s gyro functions are actually quite good, and I have finally been rewarded for my patience. Move it! must be played by disconnecting both Joy-Cons from the Switch and wielding them in various silly positions, called forms. For example, the “Sky Stretch” form has you hold both Joy-Cons up in the air as if you were reaching for the sky. Each micro-game will give you a simple goal, and it’s up to you to intuit what movement you must perform to clear the goal.
If you have never played a WarioWare game, it might be hard to visualise, but when you have the game in front of you, you will get the picture almost instantly. The 15+ forms are almost all completely new, with the only returning poses being “Tug o’ War” and “The Big Cheese”. One of the more unique forms is “The Hand Model”, which has you pointing the Infrared camera located on the bottom of the right-hand Joy-Con directly at your right hand to transmit hand signals into the game. (Did you know that one of the Joy-Cons had an IR camera? I didn’t!)
The story mode introduces you to a few of the forms at a time, and then has you play a randomised collection of micro-games that use those forms. After completing enough micro-games correctly, you face the Boss micro-game and move on to the next story. This has been the WarioWare way since the beginning, and it continues to work well in Move It!. One new aspect however is that story mode can be played with 2-player co-op, where player 2 The stories are all self-contained, light-hearted tales starring the WarioWare characters we know and love, with full voice acting to boot.
I had some initial trouble understanding the strange way the game insists you handle the Joy-Cons — in the middle of the palm with thumbs on the ZR and ZL triggers, and your other fingers poised to press SR and SL. I got used to it quickly enough, but I suspect someone with larger hands might struggle to handle it comfortably. Because the gyro sensor is sensitive, holding the Joy-Con the wrong way can easily result in mis-inputs, so it might affect your experience negatively. I must say however that my experience with the gyro controls felt extremely natural and accurate the vast majority of the time — there were only rare instances in which I failed a micro-game because the game didn’t detect my movements right.
Moving it with friends
As fun as WarioWare: Move it! is playing solo, it’s also a fantastic game to break out with company. You’re bound to fall over laughing before long as you watch each other react to the strange games and strike silly poses. The story mode can be played by either 1 or 2 players, but Move It! includes several multiplayer-only modes for 2 to 4 players that shake up the micro-games just a little to create new fun ways to play.
“You’re bound to fall over laughing before long.”
There’s a good-old showdown-type game where you simply try to beat more micro-games than your mates, but there are some more imaginative ones too! The “Listen to the Doctor” game gives players extra instructions while they play the micro-games, and has the other players vote on how well the extra instructions were followed. “Galactic Conquest” emulates a board game where players have to advance across the board to reach the goal by winning special PVP micro-games. “Who’s in Control?” Will try to hide which player is in fact controlling the game, and the players who figure out the controller win. Unavoidably, multiplayer requires a lot of space from your living room, which gets difficult with four players, so be careful!
The stand-out multiplayer mode is Mirror Copycat, which is played exactly the same as a regular Story mode level, but with a twist: one player holds the Joy-Cons and faces away from the screen, while the second player holds no Joy-Cons but can face the screen. The player who can view the screen performs the required actions, while the other must mirror those actions as best they can to clear the micro-games.
Even Story Mode is enhanced with 2 players. I was expecting the co-op story mode to just alternate the games between players, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much is changed to accommodate the second player. Some games can be played simultaneously by splitting up the actions required between the players. If one player fails a micro-game, sometimes a “tag-in” chance will activate, allowing the other player to clear the game themselves.
- Hundreds of new micro-games that are just as silly and hilarious as ever
- Gyro controls feel intuitive and accurate
- Lots of fun multiplayer modes make it a great party game
- Graphics, music, and voice acting are all on point
- Holding the Joy-Cons in the required way is hard for larger hands
- Multiplayer requires a lot of space
With or without friends, WarioWare: Move it! will have you smiling at every turn. Featuring hundreds of new and quirky micro-games, Move it! gets you on your feet and moving once more by striking silly poses with the Joy-Cons, which feels (mostly) natural and accurate. It’s not the kind of game you can play for hours, but it will be one to return to any time you need a pick-me-up. Its sense of humor and goofy mechanics will stay fresh for years to come. Finally, this is the successor to Smooth Moves we’ve been waiting for.