WarioWare: Twisted!
Reviewed by Minna Kim Mazza
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-08-15 GBA Mini-games E (Everyone) Nintendo

Continuing my recent re-addiction to the GBA, I picked up this extra large looking game case, curious about its size (and the funky hologram thing on the cover), plus wondering what this new "gyro sensor" would entail. Opening the package revealed a game cartridge that resembled a N64 rumble pack. As I turned on the game and watched the intro screens, the similarities weren't too far off.

The game brand "WarioWare" is a popular line of handheld games that involves a vast number of small, short mini-games, aimed to please even the shortest of attention spans. This version is no different, basically using mini-game winning to progress the very minimal Storyline. By minimal I mean practically none - it seems that the mini-games are grouped into categories, associated with one of the regular WarioWare characters. However these mini-games have a twist - quite literally. The gyro sensor allows the game to sense rotation of the GBA. The very initial intro screen will instruct you to rotate the GBA itself in a clockwise/counter-clockwise motion, rather than turning your whole body (which also works, but is highly inefficient for playing the games, not to mention makes you dizzy). The only other button involved in the mini-games is the 'A' button, so there's no worry about trying to keep track of all the buttons while spinning the GBA. There is also a bit of a rumble element, hence the comparison to the old rumble-pack. You can feel things click and clack as you turn the GBA. Neat! Of course if you don't like the rumbling, you can turn it off in the options.

Each character has an introduction, then the mini-games come into play, and then if you get through all mini-games (plus a "boss stage") without losing more than 4 times, you will see an epilogue for that character, who then ends up at "Club Sugar." Every time you win for a character, you also receive a "souvenir" which can be a number of different little toys, some of which are also little games. So, if you want to call this a Storyline, the goal is to get all the characters to Club Sugar, and eventually get all the souvenirs (which takes a lot longer).

But wait, the game doesn't really end there! There are a few additional Storyline stages to unlock, which take all the mini-games you've seen and randomizes them in a mini-game spree which ends only after you have lost all your credits (usually 4). Each win in a mini-game speeds the game up slightly. Also, these stages award souvenirs for every 15 or so mini-games that you win. Eventually you will unlock all the different stages in the Storyline? but there's still more!

You can also replay the mini-games from each stage by re-visiting it in the Storyline, which allows you to play up to 3 difficulty levels of the mini-games. You can also play an individual mini-game in the "Spindex," where you can record high scores.

The biggest challenge at first was to learn what you are supposed to accomplish in the mini-game, and all you have at first is a word or two describing the goal, some less intuitive than others. Eventually you will know what to do for all the games, but of course your reaction time is still a big factor. Some of my favorite mini-games are ones based on old 8-bit Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Legend of Zelda, among a few others I didn't recognize. A lot of games made me laugh out loud - the humor in the game itself is pretty wacky, and it's a lot edgier than your standard Mario games.

It's not exactly the kind of game you want people watching you play in public, as all the twisting might draw some questionable looks. But it's definitely one that will entertain you as well as frustrate the hell out of you, all in good fun!