Everyone is familiar with mini-games: simple mechanics, control from two or three buttons, duration of half a minute. But how minimal can you make them? What if we simplify them to the very basics, to the level of, so to speak, micro games? Will it be possible to build an exciting gameplay on their basis?
In the WarioWare series, Nintendo has proven over and over again that yes, how it goes.
Bigger, shorter, faster
The key to success is extremely simple – unpredictability. If the task facing the player is as simple and trivial as possible, then time and the element of surprise will work against him. Every microgame in WarioWare operates on the “no time to explain” principle: it quickly, literally with a couple of words, describes the goal to the player and puts him in a new environment with a relentlessly ticking timer. In a matter of seconds, you need to figure out what and how to do, and then also directly execute the command.
“Cut!”: A steak appears on the screen with a knife hanging over it. A few clicks left and right – and the task is completed. “Grab it!”: Vario falls swiftly past the rescue umbrella, and you need to press the button in time when it flies by next to the handle. Both victory and defeat are accompanied by short, but very funny and often unexpected animation – the player does not have time to go nuts, as the next microgame begins, which will be either faster or more difficult than the previous one.
You will not be able to cope with the control: it is simplified to the choice of direction and just one button. But who do we rule? What is the only button responsible for? What is going on?! WarioWare, having abandoned depth, has received colossal dynamics and resourcefulness: if something is on the screen for just a couple of seconds, then it can be anything. This means that it will be able to surprise the player more.
The series debuted in 2003 with WarioWare, Inc .: Mega Microgames! for the GBA, which has established all the above canons for the series. Following this success, Nintendo quickly expanded the idea to a multiplayer game for the GameCube. WarioWare, Inc .: Mega Party Games! used the same micro games, but added a meta wrapper for several people. One regime offered to win the right to move on the tactical field by victories, the other was a semblance of Russian roulette, where winning allowed you to leave the danger zone, the third added conditions like “win by telling what you dreamed today” to the already crazy microgames. It was very good fun for a fun company, not inferior in fun to the Mario Party series .
Then WarioWare turned into a field of experimentation. Nintendo conquered the public with new control methods in the mid-2000s, so a set of simple but catchy micro games for illustration came in handy. Twisted is out on GBA ! with a built-in gyroscope – instead of a cross, it used console tilts. Touched appeared on DS ! using a microphone and stylus. But the most outstanding part of the series came to Wii: Smooth Moves.to heighten the role-playing, before each microgame, she explained in what position it was necessary to get up with the remote control. The multiplayer mode in it offered the alternate use of one remote control, but even in this form, it became one of the most notable side games on the platform. For her it was possible to put guests, not even very familiar with the games, – and together laugh at the convulsive attempts to perform seemingly simple actions.
But after the Wii, Nintendo’s creative impulse dried up: neither the 3DS nor the Wii U were able to offer such radical innovations. On the last WarioWare did not appear at all (the failed Game & Wario does not count), and on 3DS it was released only at the very end of the console’s life cycle – in 2018. Gold turned out to be not bad, but completely passable: it combined the mechanics of the first part, Touched and Twisted, but it did not have its own face (and sensible multiplayer).
And now the turn has come for Switch, which also does not offer a new way of control. How will Nintendo get out this time?
18 ways to plug your nostril
In WarioWare: Get It Together! the series, at a dead end, successfully reinvented itself, but for this it had to lose a bit of identity. Previously, the player had to guess who he was controlling: an airbag that needs to be deployed at the right time, a girl trying to suck snot into her nose, or the hand of a person who wants to drink beer … From this Get It Together refused; now you need to control well-known characters from the previous parts of the series. That is, for example, in order to make the swimmer get to the finish line in the first WarioWare, you just had to twist the cross, and in Get It Together your character must get close to the athlete’s hands and “help” them.
Management also depends on the selected hero. Vario flies on a jetpack and at the touch of a button makes a dash to the side, ninja toddlers tirelessly jump and throw shurikens. A broad-shouldered gamer does not lift his hind at all: when playing for him, the cross changes the direction of throwing discs that fly across the screen. The tired mother sleeps all the time, and we control her consciousness, to which the body is teleported by pressing a button. There are two dozen characters in the game, and each has its own flavor.
The entire campaign can be completed with a partner: the complexity of the tasks remains the same, but each player can either win independently or lose for both
Therefore, although Get It Together has lost its share of surprise, it has more than compensated for this loss with replay value. If earlier there was one approach to each microgame, now there can be several correct solutions, and you have to look for them in different ways. Every five seconds you need to rebuild not only for new tasks, but also for a new type of control: the game constantly shuffles the heroes so that you do not linger in the comfort zone.
Otherwise, it’s still the same WarioWare: 222 microgames, divided into thematic categories and diluted with cartoon cutscenes from the life of the heroes. Like the previous parts, Get It Together takes place over the evening and gives a lot of vivid impressions. But, fortunately, it is not limited to single mode.
Multiplayer in Get It Together is reminiscent of Mega Party Games – the “Russian roulette” mode with a balloon has moved right from there. In the passage of micro games, up to four players can compete: for points, for time, for life; with a tactical “meta” and just like that. This significantly prolongs the life of the game, transfers it from the category of “pass and put on the shelf” to the category of “regularly turn on with guests.”
There are, however, a few “buts”. First off, Get It Together still doesn’t compete with the brilliant Smooth Moves in terms of fun. Secondly, it has an unusually high barrier to entry: it will be difficult for non-gamers to get comfortable with multiple control methods. Thirdly, WarioWare, unlike the same Mario Party, is a game about a skill, and an experienced person will always have a huge advantage. After all, half of the difficulty here lies in surprise, and a player who knows all the presented tests by heart will not get lost and make mistakes. So unprepared guests may be offended. However, Mario Party Superstars , which will be released at the end of October, is probably better for them ; we will tell you about it too.
Instead of bosses, there are longer games lasting a couple of minutes. They are just as superficial in terms of mechanics, only slow and completely uncomplicated.
Although the essence of WarioWare is simple, no one has yet been able to do anything better in its field. There have been attempts like the same SpookWare on PC, but its authors lacked the taste, sense of proportion and ingenuity of Nintendo. Get It Together, on the other hand, is the best part of the series for almost a decade and a half, capable of entertaining both adults, and especially children, for whom the local scenario is designed.
- variety of play styles and approaches to microgaming;
- a solid selection of multiplayer modes;
- the unmistakable charm of WarioWare.
- obvious imbalance between characters;
- “Bosses” are drawn-out, easy and boring;
- quite high price.
How we played
In what : The key is provided by the publisher.
What : Switch.
How much : 10 hours.
Achievement of the editorial office
In all multiplayer Nintendo games, Vario is the one to choose – for the maximum heinousness.