WarioWare: Move It! – Review
Follow FollowGenre: Party game, arcade game
Developer: Nintendo, Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

WarioWare: Move It! – Review

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Good: Motion controls are back, baby!
Bad: Not playable in handheld mode and limited appeal in tabletop mode
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With Super Mario Bros Wonder currently grabbing everyone’s attention, of course, Mario’s self-declared biggest rival couldn’t stay behind. Wario makes his triumphant return in WarioWare: Move It!. This new entry in the long-running WarioWare series doesn’t quite feel like a true sequel to 2021’s Get It Together!, instead acting as a successor to 2007’s Wii title WarioWare: Smooth Moves. It’s likely that 2023 is the last year that the OG Switch will have a holiday season, and Nintendo seems eager to push out as many high-profile titles as possible because of this. This means that Move It! is at risk of being snowed under by “bigger” titles like the aforementioned WonderDetective Pikachu Returns, and the upcoming Super Mario RPG, but we’re here to break a lance for Wario’s latest outing. Read on why you should consider picking this one up… unless you’re a Switch Lite owner, that is.


In typical WarioWare fashion, our story is simple and light-hearted. It all begins when Wario wins an all-expenses-paid vacation for himself and his entire crew to a tropical island, after splurging on garlic burgers. Upon arrival, Wario and his pals are gifted with so-called Form Stones, which suspiciously look like the pair of Joy-Cons that you are holding in your hands while you’re playing the game. Of course, if this was just WarioWare: Wario’s Lazy Vacation, then there wouldn’t be much of a game. Things quickly go wrong as our pudgy protagonist is disappointed that the ‘precious stones’ aren’t diamonds, and he throws them away, causing chaos in the process. This angers the island’s guardian spirits and Wario and his friends now have to deal with this before they can start to enjoy their time off.


With a wide variety of microgames comes a wide variety of visuals. Both the story scenes and overworld visuals stick to the familiar aesthetics of the WarioWare series, with thick outlines and bright, primary colors but the minigames themselves are a mish-mash of styles, ranging from slightly wonky 3D models to doodles that look like they were drawn by a child. Move It! definitely doesn’t push any visual boundaries, but the visuals being all over the place is somewhat of a trademark feature of the series at this point, and it adds to the overall feeling of chaos and zaniness that makes these games so fun in the first place. The fast pace of the game also makes it so that it’s often difficult to really appreciate all the fun details that are hidden in plain sight, and you might not spot these until you can watch as your friends play the game or if you’re taking on the same microgame for the umpteenth time.


Just like with Super Mario Bros Wonder, Kevin Afghani has taken over voice acting duties from Charles Martinet, bringing his finest burps and cackles to Move It!. It’s a good showcase of Afghani’s range, further cementing his role as a suitable successor for the legendary Martinet. Apart from this, it’s business as usual for the series. That’s definitely a good thing here: the wide variety of sound effects and catchy music make for a soundscape that fits WarioWare to a tee, without unwarrantedly taking front stage. If you’re playing the game together with friends, much of the audio will be drowned out by laughter and shouting too, as it’s pretty much impossible to play a WarioWare game and stay quiet. While Move It!’s audio doesn’t necessarily impress, it’s more than adequate for what the game wants to be.


The first thing you’ll notice when booting up Move It! is that the game forces you to connect a pair of Joy-Cons wirelessly. We were always aware that the focus was going to be on motion controls, given the game’s title, but the fact that you’re unable to even navigate the menus in handheld mode or with a pro controller was a bit of a surprise. Now, if you’re a Switch Lite owner, this requirement doesn’t necessarily lock you out of the game, although you will need a separate pair of Joy-Cons, and the screen size of Nintendo’s budget option isn’t ideal to play. Even on a “normal” Switch, you’re going to want to play this one in docked mode. Nintendo hasn’t really focused on motion controls in a long time, so this return to wiggling controllers around to play definitely brings back memories of the Wii era. It’s a bold move, given that many players weren’t fans of mandatory motion controls in the first place, even back then. If this small hill is something you can overcome, you’ve got an amazing party game waiting for you, however.

The core gameplay loop follows a template that will feel familiar to anyone who’s ever played a WarioWare title. Quick thinking and cat-like reflexes are required as you must complete simple microgames in quick succession. All of these are based on moving your arms around, so you’ll be performing tasks like chopping vegetables or protecting a candle from rain by holding an umbrella in the right way, just to name a few. To keep things simple, minigames are grouped by specific starting poses, called Forms, none of which are overly complicated. You’ll need to stack your Joy-Cons on top of one another like you are holding a two-handed sword, for example, or simply hold them out straight up in front of you, then quickly do what the game tells you to. It isn’t always clear from the get-go what the task at hand is or how you complete it, so especially early on Move It! can get a little confusing, but the microgames are so short that you won’t get stuck at a particularly frustrating task.

There are a ton of different modes here too, with the Story Mode offering a meaty and fun campaign that allows players to familiarise themselves with the wide variety of mad-cap microgames. However, Move It! doesn’t reveal its true potential until you team up with other players across its wide variety of other modes, with a Mario Party-like board game where up to four players take each other on being the most attractive prospect. That being said, the 2v2 Who’s In Control? mode certainly acts as an attractive secondary option. Additional smaller modes also unlock upon completing the story campaign, which can be tackled by two players in co-op. There is a survival mode that inexplicably takes on the form of a boxing game, as well as modes called Listen to the Doctor?, Copycat Mirror, Thrill Ride, and more. We could go into detail for each and every single one of these, although they pretty much stick to the same formula, introducing just a small twist. The point is that there are a lot of ways to play Move It!, and although some modes certainly have more longevity to them than others, you’ll have dozens of hours of fun before things will even slightly start to grow stale.


We didn’t quite expect a full return to motion controls to work so well for a game in 2023, but WarioWare: Move It! pulls it off. There is plenty of fun to be had here, although we do recommend getting friends together for a night of Move It! instead of relying on taking on Story Mode in single-player. While that is still fun, the game doesn’t really shine until other people get involved. The biggest downside to Move It! is that it’s less suitable for owners of the Switch Lite, where the mandatory use of Joy-Cons and the small screen size don’t do the game any favors. WarioWare: Move It! isn’t a massive step-up for the series either, instead fine-tuning Smooth Moves’ tried and true formula. Sometimes, that’s all you need though.

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