The WarioWare series has always been a wacky ride since the first game on Game Boy Advance. Get It Together is no exception.
It’s all about the mayhem of microgames: tiny, seconds-long games that require split-second decision making to complete. It could be squeezing a tube of toothpaste, selecting the odd one out, brewing tea, or dodging a hazard. Some are Nintendo-themed. Nearly all require minimal input.
There are over two hundred of these games to play through, though it’s an inconsistent mix. While some of the games are instantly comprehensible, others are infuriatingly over in seconds, some can be won without even moving, and others are just plain boring.
You’ll play through them primarily in a Story Mode that throws you into a corrupt video game, in which Wario will need to rescue his friends. Completing microgames destroys game bugs and advances to the next stage of bizarre weirdness. Nobody could criticise the game for lacking personality: it’s vibrant, psychedelic and eccentric, throwing visuals and gameplay at you at a fast pace.
WarioWare is confusing enough alone, but as the Get It Together title suggests, this is a game made for multiple players. Story Mode can be played with two players, while other game modes allow for more.
Except it doesn’t make for a fun multiplayer game.
On the one hand, the simplicity of the microgames makes them accessible for anyone. On the other hand, they’re so fast they’re often impossible to pass straight away. Throw in an extra player and it only adds to the confusing, hyperactive mess.
What if one of you understands the microgame quicker than the other? What if a quick button press causes an instant fail? What should be fun and accessible is anything but.
It’s made worse by the variety of characters. You don’t just interact in the microgames as Wario, but as all the friends you rescue along the way. And each has different methods of control. Some can float around the screen, others are static; some can jump, others can shoot. Each is introduced with a short puzzle tutorial that really deserves to be its own game.
Instead, you’re forced to play using different characters on rotation with only seconds notice beforehand. It’s a sudden and confusing change that makes it all too easy to interact in the wrong way, and the games themselves don’t have the depth to lend themselves to multiple control styles. You select the characters you want to use, but why make it even more difficult for yourself? If a character has mind-bendingly frustrating controls, why bother selecting them?
Thankfully the cost of a restart is minimal, setting you immediately back on track with only coins to pay. Yet this means you’ll race through the Story Mode in one sitting. Beyond that, you can revisit the microgames individually, play party games in the Variety Pack that are over too quickly, or eventually unlock the Wario Cup.
Here is where you’ll spend most of your coins. Buying prezzies increases the job score of unlocked characters who are then used in specific weekly challenges where you compete against others online. New outfits and art can also be unlocked. It likely won’t keep your interest for long.
As a whole, then, WarioWare: Get It Together is as short and wacky as the microgames themselves and a frustratingly chaotic experience no matter how many players are involved.
Perhaps worst of all is that the game doesn’t make use of the Switch’s capabilities. Where previous games in the series made use of tilting technology (Twisted!), touch controls (Touched!), or motion controls (Smooth Moves), Get It Together relies solely on standard controls and local multiplayer.
Wario might be Mario’s nemesis, but he deserves better.
2 / 5
WarioWare: Get It Together is released on Nintendo Switch on 10 September.