Published on December 4th, 2023 | by Andrew Haverty

WarioWare: Move It! Review

WarioWare: Move It! Review Andrew Haverty

Summary: WarioWare: Move It! captures all the fun quirkiness that fans of the franchise have come to know and love while boasting some surprisingly engaging motion controls.


Sweet moves!

Though WarioWare: Move It! is the 11th installment in the franchise, I must admit that it has been nearly 20 years since I’ve played a WarioWare game. WarioWare: Smooth Moves, released in 2006 for the Nintendo Wii, was my first true WarioWare experience with the exception of some occasional Nintendo DS gameplay from a friend. With its wacky and truly off-beat tone combined with funny and engaging minigames, there’s no denying that Wario and his peculiar group of friends had an instant and lasting effect on me. With more in common with Smooth Moves than I had anticipated, WarioWare: Move It! hits like a blast from the past, bringing back motion controls and all the signature quirkiness that fans of the series have come to love.

WarioWare: Move It! revolves around our title protagonist winning a vacation to “Caresaway” island for himself and twenty of his closest (and craziest) friends, where everyone in Wario’s entourage gets themselves into some sort of crazy predicament. Whether it’s winning a jet ski race or challenging a group of jacked penguins to “micro-combat,” there’s no shortage of wacky hijinks for these vacationers to get themselves into.

These hijinks spark a series of minigames, those having played a WarioWare game before will be very familiar with. In the spirit of the title, these minigames require the player to move their body in various ways. Each minigame, usually lasting only five seconds long, will start the player in a particular pose while holding both joy-cons. For example, the “knight” pose has the player holding one joy-con over the other like you’re wielding Excalibur, while “fashionista” has the player pose like a model with one joy-con on their hip and the other behind the back of their head. Minigames have the player do anything but the ordinary. For example, when in “knight” pose, the player may have to pluck Pikmin out of the ground or poke a pesky intruder with a stick.

I was a bit worried about the motion controls going into Move It! since games in the past with those features have been hit or miss on the Switch, but I came mostly impressed. There are several minigames that take advantage of the joy-con’s different features and not just the motion, like using the right joy-con’s bottom sensor that could tell how many fingers the player holds up and using the joy-con strap as a minigame tool that sometimes requires the player to physically let go of the controller. The movements were surprisingly accurate on screen with some minor exceptions, making for some of the best use of motion controls since the Nintendo Wii.

Story mode has the player learning dozens different poses, putting them to the test in a series of minigames leading up to some seriously wacky boss battles. The player is given four lives in each level. Mess up those four times and fear not, since getting right back into the action is as simple as doing the “sacred pose.” While the “sacred pose” will certainly save your life, it’s at the cost of looking absolutely ridiculous in the process. But in all honesty, while the “sacred pose” mechanic is a funny way to gain some extra lives, it simply makes story mode far too easy. I never sweat messing up too many times since I knew I could just be saved anyways, making each level virtually impossible to fail.

While playing the story solo is fun in short bursts, I highly recommend grabbing a buddy to play along since it changes the whole dynamic of the way minigames are played. With a partner, the two players are forced to work together in unique ways: like having one player throw a baseball while the other hits it, or waving your arms up and down in a fanning motion towards your partner who needs to spin their body all the way around.

The story can be completed in just a couple of hours, with some replay ability in achieving high scores after completion. Thankfully, there are a variety of “party” modes that make for both a competitive and hilarious multiplayer experience. “Medusa March” has players running towards a treacherous Medusa in between minigames while being careful not to be turned to stone. “Listen to the Doctor” forces players to act out odd behaviors such like completing minigames “while telling a lie” or “as if you had the hiccups.” My personal favorite mode “Galactic Conquest” is WarioWare’s miniature version of Mario Party, placing players on a gameboard where equal parts skill and luck are required to achieve victory. Believe me, landing on a space that gives other players half of your points is really humiliating, but not as humiliating as losing the dance-off that came before it.

Final Thoughts?

Having no online modes, the longevity of WarioWare: Move It! will ultimately depend on if you have others to play with. While the single player is fun in short bursts, it’s short-lived and can only carry so much replayability given its bite-sized nature. Regardless, WarioWare: Move It! is an absolute blast. It captures all of the fun, off-beat quirkiness fans come to expect from the franchise while boasting some genuinely impressive motion controls. And if you’ve never played a WarioWare game before, Move It! just might be the weirdest and best place to start.


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