WarioWare: Move It review: Watch your step

The second WarioWare title to hit the Nintendo Switch is much more reliant on motion controls, for better or worse.


WarioWare is arguably at its best when it's at its quirkiest. While many of Nintendo's other party games have fit a more conventional mold, WarioWare has never hesitated to go in a weirder direction. Many times, it has been to its benefit. However, WarioWare: Move It might be an instance where the series may have gotten a little too wacky for its own good.

Smooth moves, Ex-lax

Throwing a lasso in WarioWare: Move It

Source: Nintendo

Some might look at this latest WarioWare and wonder, "Wasn't there a WarioWare game released on the Switch not too long ago?" That's right, that was 2021's WarioWare: Get It Together. That was more of a traditional party game that relied on WarioWare's penchant for making memorable microgames. WarioWare: Move It, by comparison, is much more gimmicky. This latest game is played entirely with motion controls and designed much closer to 2007's WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii.

On paper, it's not a bad idea. The story (for anyone who cares about story in a WarioWare title) is that Wario one day put in his usual order of a few dozen garlic burgers and won a trip to a tropical island for himself and the entire WarioWare Inc. crew. The vacation setting serves as a simple backdrop for a fresh series of microgames with Wario and his supporting cast each getting a handful of games themed after a certain Joy-Con pose.

Yes, that's the other main theme of Move It. It isn't just that players are utilizing motion controls. It's that they have to hold their Joy-Con controllers in a certain manner. These are called Forms. Some of these poses are simple, like the At Attention or Tug-of-War stances, and others are there almost purely for laughs. There's no other way to explain the "Ba-KAW" chicken pose than the latter.

Using one Form at a time would be sufficient, but every chapter utilizes two to three of these poses and requires players to switch around back and forth at a moment's notice. That's where things get chaotic and not often in a good way. In fact, by the end of several sessions, I started to feel more frustrated than anything else. There are some microgames that are straightforward and simple, but the ratio of easy activities to confusing ones is a lot lower than previous WarioWare titles. That led to some early failures in Story Mode, but fortunately, there was a way to avoid a Game Over. That was by performing a second chance pose, which is almost always designed to stretch the player out in an unnatural angle. This was good for a laugh to help alleviate some of the game's quirks.

However, a greater sense of frustration ultimately surfaced because Move It's pace could be so frantic that sometimes Joy-Con motions weren't recognized. That led to a lot of the fun getting sucked out of the room. That especially proved to be the case with Forms that required using the wrist straps. This is where it should be noted that Move It's Story Mode isn't entirely playable without wrist straps, because some poses will outright require players to drop their Joy-Cons. There were some instances where the game didn't register the Joy-Cons' movements with these poses. If they led to memorable microgames, that would be one thing, but they didn't really add much other than increasing annoyance.

Elbow room

Party Mode's Go The Distance in WarioWare: Move It

Source: Nintendo

Putting aside the main grievances with any wrist strap-related issues, it is worth noting that this helps lead to Move It's other big problem. Players need some ample space to work with, because even playing in a decent-sized family room, our parties quickly devolved into accidental elbows and clashes with the ceiling fan. Under normal circumstances, it's a little easier to operate with spatial awareness, but because Move It operates at such a hyperactive pace, it can lead to some accidents.

With all of that said, it's worth noting that Party Mode can be a lot of fun. Players select from different Party Mode games, such as the board game-like Galactic Conquest and the house rule-filled Listen to the Doctor, each of which integrate Move It's microgames in different ways. It felt like a far more pressure-free environment than the Story Mode and resulted in some fun and friendly sessions. This is where Move It lives up to the potential of its premise more than anything else and I can easily see myself going back to these Party Mode games down the road.

Even better is that the Party Mode games are designed for up to four players. Move It is definitely a case where the more equals the merrier. This is especially the case with something like the all-out brawl that is Go The Distance, which randomly matches up players in microgame showdowns. While it's totally possible to have fun with two people, the enjoyment goes up several notches with more.

Get moving

Whether WarioWare: Move It ends up on your shelf is going to depend on how much you like motion controls. Those looking for a more traditional, button-based affair will want to stick with WarioWare: Get It Together. Those who want to enjoy a more physical activity that takes advantage of the Joy-Con controller's capabilities in a party setting will want to veer more in this direction. The Story Mode's samey structure and frenetic frustrations might turn a few players off, but the Party Mode rarely misses.

This review is based on a Nintendo Switch code provided by the publisher. WarioWare: Move It will release on Nintendo Switch on Friday, November 3 for $49.99 USD. The game is rated E10+.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

Review for
WarioWare: Move It
  • Creative microgames
  • Forms/poses are good for laughs
  • Party Mode is great for friends
  • Forms that rely on wrist straps are annoying
  • Some issues reading motion controls
  • Accidents can happen with friends using motion controls
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