The world rarely makes sense right now, but you know what does? WarioWare. More so than ever before. In a world where concepts like ‘leaving the home’ and ‘having friends’ seem more abstract than ever, what we all really need is a game that revels in its absurdity and laughs at the every day.
Pee on fires. Snip snot. Shave armpit hair. Wash someone’s face in the tub.
You can do all this and more in the wilds of WarioWare: Get It Together!, a mini-game collection that’s just as weird and wonderful as every WarioWare that came before. Does any part of this game make sense? No, but as we’ve established, neither does anything else in life right now. Between pandemics and a collapsing economy, WarioWare has arrived to remind us all that real life is silly, and games should be too.
Whether you’re traipsing through a Mario-themed boss stage or putting out fires with a weird nude statue, WarioWare isn’t afraid to laugh at its own premise, and it does — heartily.
Don’t come in expecting a coherent story, and you won’t be disappointed by the game’s balls-to-the-wall insanity.
In this game, you grab 3-5 of Wario’s closest friends (which include ninjas, taxi drivers, a witch and a literal devil) and jump into fast-paced mini-games where you need to jump, hop, shoot or skateboard your way to victory in the 3-5 seconds you get to figure out what each mini-game is about. The game throws clues at you in the form of shouted instructions: Get! Avoid! Bounce! Spin! Match! and the rest is up to you.
For newcomers, the speed at which WarioWare moves might be frightening. Instructions are usually vague, and fly at you so fast they’re easy to miss. But while the first few mini-games of each themed level will ease you in with a sense of comfort, the game speeds up every five levels until you’re literally scrambling to figure out what the hell is going on.
Some games are simple. Turn a screw, push a button or squeeze some toothpaste out. Depending on what character you’re using, you need to jump, shoot or fly your way out of danger.
But the further you dive into the waters of WarioWare, the more abstract and strange the mini-game solutions become. Instead of seeming like a coherent game, the action quickly devolves into a surreal journey through some of Nintendo’s wackiest ideas.
The above mini-game presents you with a simple instruction: Plug! So, what do you do? You jump in the sentient nose’s large nostril and get stuck there. The game congratulates you, and the next level begins.
This one presents a man with very hairy armpits. Shave! the game instructs. So you shoot, jump or slide through the man’s armpit hair, slicing it off in one go. The man blushes, and flexes his muscles in appreciation.
A rainbow appears, and the sky turns blue.
This is victory.
This is WarioWare.
If it frightens you, you don’t deserve it.
While this franchise entry isn’t as robust as others (there are fewer mini-games and collectibles to find overall), everything that is here is fabulous. The new character-based controls mean every mini-game can be tackled in new and different ways, and the game’s co-op capability is great for roping in friends. Sure they may see the hairy, nipple-free man as a figure of fear — but it’s easy to get new players sucked into WarioWare‘s odd little antics regardless, and playing with two or more friends is a real joy.
Games should be weirder. They should be shorter, and stranger, and funnier. They should make you sit and stare, and ask ‘what the fuck was that?‘.
In 2021, life is weird. In 2021, we need weirder games.
While WarioWare: Get It Together! won’t be for everyone, it’s a great little gem that represents a stranger side of Nintendo we rarely get to see. It’s nice to go on epic adventures, but it’s also nice to see Nintendo having a bit of fun and embracing the flat-out insane side of the Mario franchise.
If you want the world to feel a little bit more sane, play WarioWare. Then keep playing until you unlock every one of those baffling, bite-sized mini-games. The armpit hairs of the world depend on you.