Do you ever find yourself nostalgic for the Wii era? Motion controls might not have been the best fit for all or even most games, but there’s something to be said about how fun they could be for party gaming. Few games have taken full advantage of the Switch’s motion control capabilities, but if you’re looking to shake your controller like it’s 2007, WarioWare: Move It! is the game you’re looking for.
I got to try a half-hour of the new WarioWare game at the 2023 Nintendo Holiday Tour. This event included many demos of new and upcoming Nintendo Switch games, including Super Mario Bros. Wonder (trippy!) and Returns (adorable!). The WarioWare demo was the newest on display, and to play it, I had to enter a “secret” room with tropical island decor and mustache-shaped garlic knots. Once directed to the hidden area, I and other press members were in for the world’s wackiest workout.
WarioWare’s absurdist microgames have graced every Nintendo console since the Game Boy Advance, but Move It!, the series’ second game for the Switch, most directly recalls WarioWare: Smooth Moves for the Wii. Smooth Moves figured out virtually every imaginable use for the Wiimote, and Move It! promises to do the same for the more precise gyroscopic abilities of the Switch’s Joy-Cons.
The first part of our demo was in The Museum, where unlocked microgames can be selected individually. For the demo, this lets our hosts select which microgames we’re allowed to discuss and publish footage of. Most of the microgames we tried in this session were competitive (e.g., cleaning turtle shells, landing Mario in mini-platformer levels, trying not to crash a moving train, drawing shapes with our butts). However, a few were collaborative (e.g., grabbing giant fish between both players’ legs or ringing bells in a rhythm game). All were classic WarioWare silliness, and all were based entirely on movement, with no button pressing required outside menus.
I’m not allowed to specify everything I saw in Story Mode and Party Mode, but those play as expected. Story Mode introduces various “forms” for using the Joy-Cons between cartoon cut-scenes of Wario and friends on a tropical island. In multiplayer, this is a collaborative mode, where you can save your team by completing microgames your partner failed, and you have to work together to defeat the bosses. Party Mode, in contrast, is competitive, presenting the microgames as part of a board game — think evil lo-fi Mario Party. In contrast to the other two-handed modes, Party Mode only uses a single Joy-Con controller per player.
The physically active nature of Move It! adds a lot of value to WarioWare‘s microgame formula. These games are fast-paced jokes; you can typically play through everything they offer in a few hours. Yet even a half-hour of playing Move it! is exhausting (in a good way), so you’re not going to burn through this game too quickly unless you’re an athlete. The sight of seeing your friends perform all these absurd tasks guarantees the humor will stay fresher longer — this is a game built for multiplayer.
The whole WarioWare: Move It! game will be released on November 3.