Game & Wario extends the Wii U fun of Nintendo Land with another tight collection of mini-games that has something for all the family.
Some may deride the new Game & Wario Wii U title for only offering a collection of mini-games with the Wario moniker something of an afterthought. However, I'm more than a little pleased to see these varied challenges hit the streets in fully fledged Wario form.
Game & Wario offers 16 different games that combine both multi-player and single player challenges. However, I discovered in my test families that even the one player mini-games soon had everyone in the room involved.
The most successful of these included Arrow, where you shoot enemies with arrows shaped like Wario's nose, Shutter where you use the Wii U controller to scan for characters in a crowd, and Pirates where you follow dance-style orders with the Wii U controller to deflect arrows.
The multi-player modes were also roundly engaging. Islands is a little like the Monkey Ball game "Target" where you fire different living projectiles at a floating dart board. But rather than aiming with a controller stick as in previous versions of this kind of game the Wii U tablet lets you fire your cubes much more accurately.
Nintendo add their usual finesse here and really make this a stand out challenge. Not only can you aim to knock other players off the target but there is also a multiplier puck that can be fired to change which zone scores the most.
Fruit was another multi-player success for us. Here, one player uses the Wii U controller to sneak about a town and steal fruit without the other players noticing. At the end of the round the other players have to try and guess who was doing the stealing.
It's another simple premise, well executed. It becomes an observation challenge as you have to figure out which on-screen character is moving in a human-controlled manner and stealing those fruit. It felt a bit like Chris Hecker's excellent upcoming Spy Party game, although with less shooting.
There may be some games in the collection that don't appeal as much to everyone. But I think these will differ from family to family. For instance my family didn't get on with the Design mini-game where you have to draw a line of a certain length or angle. However, another family who played the game really loved the competitive angle on this mode.
It should be said that, like the WarioWare Smooth Moves, Game & Wario Wii U continues the trend away from short, increasing difficulty challenges. However, for families like mine it offered great value for money and a lot of fun and hijinks.
If you are still enjoying Nintendo Land, Game & Wario is a great way to offer some more experiences along these lines -- with more whacky presentation.
Game & Wario Wii U is available on June 28th.