It's three in the morning and I'm chasing a toilet through a cave in the middle of the desert. I leap forward to avoid falling rocks and make contact with the porcelain throne.
In an instant, I find myself transported to a screen where I witness a small child open a box that contains a giant turd. Human or animal, I do not know. I am simply asked to guess if the child enjoyed his present or hated it. I oblige, and for my effort I am whisked away to confront a giant statue and tweeze the extra-long armpit hair that keeps popping out of it.
My journey through this multiverse is infinite and humbling all at once. It is filled with endless possibilities, surprises, and an alarming number of toilet-based jokes.
God, I've missed WarioWare.
WarioWare: Get It Together! is a game I think most Nintendo fans have been waiting for since the Switch launched back in 2017. The WarioWare series' knack for utterly ludicrous microgames is, after all, quite unlike anything else the iconic company puts out.
The series has always combined bullet-hell, mini platforming adventures, tests of logic and memory, and other unexpected challenges, throwing them out at lightning-fast speed and asking players to rack up the highest score possible. The games have always been richly varied, unified only in their wonderful simplicity, and frequent hilariousness. But aside from a "greatest hits" style collection in 2018's WarioWare Gold for the 3DS, it's been a while since we've seen anything genuinely new from Wario and the gang.
Fortunately WarioWare: Get It Together! is a riotous return for Mario's greedy nemesis. Even if it doesn't quite match up to the heights of past games like Touched! or Smooth Moves, it's still an absolute joy to have a brand-new collection of microgames that embrace the inherent silliness of WarioWare's rich and anarchic legacy.
Like past entries, Get It Together! re-works its microgames around a new concept. Here, Wario and the gang find themselves sucked into the world of their latest video game, and must actively take part in the various microgames as themselves.
You'll gradually unlock a large roster of characters that can be assembled and used in every microgame in different ways. Wario can fly around the screen and bash into things, for example. Mona's moped putters around unpredictably, but has a boomerang that can be thrown and guided around. And 18-Volt can't move at all, but can throw discs anywhere on the screen.
This, it turns out, is an inspired choice that adds much more variety to the mayhem than its predecessors. There's still usually only one set "solution" to any given microgame, but how you go about reaching that solution can change significantly depending on which character you're using.
In one microgame, the aim is to escape through a small maze and reach the helicopter. As Wario, you can simply fly him to the exit. It becomes more of a challenge with a stationary character like 18-Volt, however, as you suddenly need to aim for various grapple points to obtain freedom. Different characters are better suited for different games, obviously, but to plan ahead would be against the very spirit of WarioWare. In other words, you just have to throw yourself into every challenge and be ready to adapt. Even the microgames you're most familiar with can take on an unexpected new twist with the right - or rather, wrong - character.
If I have one complaint about this new approach to microgames, it's that they're not always as immediately intuitive as WarioWare on the DS or Wii. The touchscreen and motion controls of Touched! and Smooth Moves were much easier to instantly understand and get to grips with, to the point that most could pick up and play right away.
Get It Together! requires a little more patience from players. There's even a brief story mode with built-in tutorials to get us used to the "rules" of each unique character, which I fear may put some more casual observers off from picking it up as a party game to whip out with friends. With that said, even the more complicated characters are only controlled using the left joystick and A button, so it's hardly impossible to learn.
I should also quickly point out that Get it Together! doesn't support touch screen or motion controls on Switch. Clearly it could have, but I respect the decision to do away with both. The focus here is on pure fast-paced microgame mayhem that can be enjoyed anywhere by almost anyone, either in handheld or docked. The pick-up-and-play nature of WarioWare's microgames make the Switch the perfect home for the franchise.
And what microgames they are. The aforementioned story mode is your introduction to the various characters and their own unique selections of themed games. Ninjas Kat and Ana will take you through a selection of nature-themed challenges, such as reuniting a baby bird with its mother or... covering up a cat turd in a litter box. Wario's games have a looser, anything-goes feel to them, while gaming fanatic 9-Volt offers a great batch of Nintendo-inspired minigames that pay tribute to everything from Super Metroid to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
You'll smash through this story mode and meet every character in under two hours, but a gripping narrative isn't exactly the point of WarioWare, is it? Nintendo wisely opts to give you every toy in the box quickly so that you can get on with the business of chasing down high scores and playing through bonus content - including an incredibly bizarre Tamagotchi-style system in which you give characters gifts to earn them promotions and unlock further content.
There's plenty of content for the single player, then, but Get It Together! also has plenty to offer those looking for some multiplayer action. For a start, every single microgame in the story mode can be played cooperatively for some of the most hard-to-follow chaos ever committed to Switch. I mean that in the best possible way, to be clear.
There's also a veritable smorgasbord of head-to-head party games, many of which have their own entirely unique microgames built in. My personal favourite is a pass the bomb-style game in which players must take it in turns to either blow up a balloon or play a microgame. If you're the one still playing a microgame when the balloon pops, you lose. Oh, and you can't swap out until you've beaten a microgame. It is agonisingly tense, especially when the action gets turned up to 10 times the usual speed. There will be screaming. And probably lots of swearing.
Simply put, WarioWare is the latest in a long line of classic Nintendo franchises that has well and truly found its groove again on Switch. Get It Together! is gloriously silly, consistently puerile, and heaps of fun. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Pros: Frequently hilarious, fantastic multiplayer modes, great to pick up and play
Cons: Still hurts me that Waluigi has never been part of WarioWare tbh
For fans of: Mario Party, Wario Land, Really, really weird microgame action
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