Preview: Game & Wario takes foot off the accelerator

November 3, 2012

When it comes to turning short tech demos and unfinished concepts into compelling experiences, no series has had more success than WarioWare. The trick has been to throw so much at you that none of it had to be good. The gameplay wasn’t what mattered. Speed did.

Upcoming Wii U title Game & Wario isn’t fast. 

What it is: Game & Wario, a Wii U minigame collection, appears to gather the weirder tech demos and concepts that weren’t converted to Nintendo Land attractions. There’s a lot of Wario here, as you’d expect, but the games themselves are more about the esoteric capabilities of the system.

Why we’re excited: The WarioWare team tends to do a good job with its projects, and though this project doesn’t have the manic pace, it’s still their steady hands at the wheel. Also, the uses of the GamePad are certainly different; one game will have you holding it flat and vertically, using a bow on the screen to shoot enemies on the TV. If you start to struggle, the enemies will advance onto the screen itself, where you tap them to crush them.

What we’re wondering: Is this more than just the reject concepts? One game on display had you hold the GamePad vertically and up, tilting it to guide a skiier down a hill, SkiFree-style This was it. It lasted about thirty seconds, and it’s a top-level menu option. Also, some of these games aren’t just weird; they don’t work very well. Generally, though, we just hope there’s more we haven’t seen.


Part of the Wii U’s “launch window,” Game & Wario will release early next year.