Out of all of its vast number of reliable first-party franchises, Nintendo's WarioWare series may be one of its most underrated. The idea of playing fast-paced microgames, one after another, at a breakneck pace is a lot of fun. Even if you're a solo player, it's a great way to unwind. However, it's also a series that's all-too-often been bogged down by gimmicks. If Nintendo had a hardware gimmick it wanted to push, there was no better tech demo than a WarioWare title, whether it was Twisted, Touched, Smooth Moves, D.I.Y., or Game & Wario. The formula still worked, but it felt more restricted when it had to rely on a specific mechanic. WarioWare: Get It Together works mainly because it doesn't do that and while it does have its own set of problems, this feels like a purer WarioWare game than a lot of what's come before it.
Friendship is money
There's a Story Mode to WarioWare: Get It Together and it's mainly how players will unlock the game's array of microgames. The story is that Wario and his eclectic crew of employees have put together a game, but because they rushed the process, the game is filled with bugs. Hang on a moment, reader, I'll give you a second to process that and then laugh in AAA game language. Anyhow, Wario's crew is sucked into the game and Wario must venture through his own creation, recovering his friends, and completing dozens of microgames in order to gradually progress and stomp out any and all glitches.
Get It Together doesn't rely on a hardware gimmick, but instead leaves the gimmicks to the individual characters. Everyone in Wario's party is playable in Get It Together and every character has their own specific movement pattern and ability. Cricket can jump high on command. Kat & Ana can't stop jumping, but they can also fire shurikens. Ashley can fly in any direction and cast spells at will. Each Story Mode level will tie players to that stage's character, but they'll also be able to assemble a full party of anywhere from three to five crew members. Players must complete roughly 15 microgames on five attempts, as the stage rotates between crew members. If you're not good with that level's specific character because you can't grasp their mechanic, the stage is still beatable, though the boss fight at the end might be a little bit tougher.
In fact, that's both the strongest and weakest element of Get It Together. Every microgame is designed to work with every single character. If you're playing a specific microgame, it's equally as doable with Mona and her scooter as it is with 18-Volt and his motionless body. Depending on which character you prefer, the microgame can be more difficult, but it is never impossible for everybody. On the one hand, that's great. It's both accessible to everyone, while also keeping players on their toes by having to approach microgames in different manners. For example, there's a microgame that requires you to block a shot before it goes into a hoop, which varies in difficulty between Wario and 9-Volt. There's another one that requires players to pump a ball full of air, which is nearly impossible for 5-Volt, but pretty easy for Dr. Crygor. Plus, there are a handful of microgames based on Nintendo classics, including one based on Devil World where you'll have a bad time if you have a character whose movements are wonky.
On the other hand, because every microgame is designed to be accessed by every single character, it means there are a few design restrictions. Those restrictions inherently lead to many of the games feeling a little too easy. If you're a solo player, in particular, the microgames may start to lose their luster over time. For those with friends, Get It Together will have a little bit of a longer shelf life, particularly because of the game's multiplayer.
Party with friends
WarioWare: Get It Together's Story Mode is entirely playable with a friend. In fact, some characters are designed with co-op specifically in mind, like the aforementioned Kat & Ana (one fires one direction and the other fires the opposite way), and can make many of these microgames feel like a party. There are also a handful of multiplayer-exclusive games that can be unlocked, but "unlocked" is certainly the key word there and that leads to Get It Together's biggest weakness.
The Story Mode is very short, clocking in at just a couple of hours. Still, if you're planning to play with three of your friends out of the box, you're going to be disappointed. Microgames are only unlocked once they come up in Story Mode and that could take several playthroughs. Likewise, the additional multiplayer modes won't be unlocked until later in the story, some of which remain locked until the whole thing is finished.
Having said that, those multiplayer games are going to be what keeps friends partying into the night. There are game modes like the air hockey inspired Puck'er Up and the Smash Bros.-style Frenemy Frenzy, which are a blast to play through, but if you have that one best friend or significant other, you'll likely find yourself playing a lot of Duelius Maximus, which is where two players will go head-to-head across a handful of microgames. These game modes are as competitive as they are fast-paced and the whole thing is a blast.
If you have no friends, then I'm sorry to say that Get It Together may not have that same lasting appeal. However, the Wario Cup does provide weekly challenges for anybody looking to compete through online rankings. The only issue is that rewards come in the form of in-game currency, which isn't good for much. Players can spend coins on "prezzies" for the game's multitude of characters, but all that does is level them up, give them fancy titles, and unlock alternate colors. In the grand scheme, it doesn't feel very rewarding.
Together for... a little while
WarioWare: Get It Together is a fun romp if you have friends, but it'll feel like a passing fancy if you don't. The best thing to say about it is that it goes back to the basics of what makes WarioWare work. It's all about simple microgames that go a mile a minute, no silly hardware gimmicks required. Instead, the gimmicks are left to the characters, which is a much stronger approach. Unfortunately, because there are so many characters in the WarioWare mythos, having to design mechanics for each of them and then having to put forward microgames that are playable by every single one of them means there isn't much room for experimentation.
Still, as a multiplayer romp, WarioWare: Get It Together is a great game to bust out and if you're pressed on time, that's even better! Just don't expect this to be your go-to game for nights in with your buddies.
This review is based on a Nintendo Switch digital code provided by the publisher. WarioWare: Get It Together is available now on the Nintendo eShop for $49.99 USD. The game is rated E10+.
WarioWare: Get It Together!
- Microgames without hardware gimmicks
- Balancing each character's abilities provides a good challenge
- Multiplayer modes are a lot of fun
- Microgame design sometimes feels uninspired
- Not every multiplayer feature is unlocked out of the box
- Not enough to keep solo players engaged
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, WarioWare: Get It Together review: Some assembly required