We’re quickly approaching the end to the first year of the Wii U and to be honest there have been hardly any games worth going back to. Game & Wario isn’t going to add much to the Wii U’s library, there are 16 mini games to chose from 4 of which are multiplayer related allowing up to 5 players to participate. The other 12 mini games offer some rather entertaining moments, but some feel like a complete waste of time. Whilst the cartoonish graphics are rather pleasant it doesn’t do much to mask how short lived Game & Wario truly is.
The best mini game of the lot is Gamer, you play a small boy in bed playing on his games console whilst he is supposed to be going to bed (we’ve all done it). You actually play even more mini games within Gamer but the challenge here is your mother is walking about and checking up on you. The small mini games within Gamer are actually the most challenging in Game & Wario. It divides your attention brilliantly because you have to keep an eye on the gamepad which is where you play the mini games, but on the screen you see your bedroom and you will hear your mother walking about. It would have been great to see more of these kinds of mini games in Game & Wario.
The very first mini game you play is the only game that really features Wario, you have a catapult and you use the Wii U Gamepad to draw the arrows back and shoot the things on the screen. You can even touch the nose of the arrow and it will make it have a bigger explosion but the art style is one of the better ones in the game. I would have liked to see Wario featured more, I think he’s a really entertaining character and you only see him in a couple of mini games.
Game & Wario certainly isn’t the Wii U’s saving grace. Taxi did however manage to grab my attention with a few of its characters. I honestly thought it would be a simple taxi game but boy was I wrong, firstly you are picking up animals like pigs and cows but secondly there are alien UFO’s trying to steal the animals. You have to drive around this small map picking up the animals whilst fighting off the UFO’s, you play through a first person perspective on the Gamepad whilst you can see the entire map on your TV. There is even a boss fight at the end (sort off) which actually is pretty fun to play.
After this though it is more of the kind of mini game that you would expect to come with the console for free. None of the other games do anything to grasp your attention for long, at times I would watch the intro video for the mini game but it wouldn’t turn out to be anything like I would have imagined. There is a Pirate mini game which is the other game that Wario is featured in, you have to move the Gamepad in rhythm to where the arrows are coming from, either up, center, left or right. However I found that if you held the Gamepad slightly wrong you didn’t hear the calls for where the arrows are coming from which just left my Gamepad being out of sync. Then there is some random musical dancing thing which isn’t really explained what to do, I was actually sat there thinking does it expect me to get up and dance right now because it’s just not going to happen.
I thought that the multiplayer side of the game might be its saving grace, combining these at times entertaining mini games with competition. Unfortunately that just isn’t the case, you get pictionary which is fun the first time you play it purely to see how bad your friends drawings are on the Gamepad. There is a rhythm game where both players will play on the Gamepad and send each other musical chords just like Guitar Hero did, the problem is the Gamepad just doesn’t seem to respond all that well to the game. The final two games are the better two, one has a spinning platform with different scores around it and players launch these random block things, you can knock each others out of the way and if one side of the platform has too much weight it will tip some off, it is pretty fun. The final multiplayer mini game is the most interesting, one player will control the Gamepad and he or she chooses a character, the objective is to steal fruit. The other player will watch the screen which has a ton of characters walking about and their job is to figure out which character has been stealing the fruit by the end.
Whilst some of the single and multiplayer mini games offer some entertainment value I just don’t see why you would want to return to it. There is no real need to replay any of the games, it becomes a lot easier the second time around and the replay-ability is pretty much non existent. I honestly feel like this should have been the game that came with the console at launch in the box, you might find yourself having an hour of fun but within a couple of hours you could have done every game a few times. The sad thing is this doesn’t feel as good as the likes of Wii Sports, Game & Wario is just lacking inspriation.