In the world of gaming, few series have embraced motion controls as wholeheartedly as WarioWare. From the Gamecube’s Survival Fever to the Wii’s Smooth Moves, these games have proven that motion controls can be both silly and enjoyable. Now, WarioWare: Move It! aims to bring that same creative and enjoyable experience to the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems, Move It! attempts to showcase the potential of the Joy-Con’s motion controls and IR sensor capabilities. However, does it succeed in creating a fun and reliable gaming experience? Let’s dive into the game and find out.
A Mix of Delight and Frustration
One of the standout features of WarioWare: Move It! is the sheer creativity it brings to the table. The game’s Microgames, which require quick reflexes and instantaneous reactions, are a delightful mix of absurdity and fun. Wario’s signature facial features plastered across characters and objects never fail to evoke a smirk or a chuckle. The diverse mix of art styles, ranging from crude to simplistic to polygonal, adds to the game’s charm. Even the Joy-Con-wielding poses, known as “Forms,” are reminiscent of the poses in Smooth Moves, albeit with the added challenge of using two peripherals instead of one Wii Remote.
However, Move It! falls short when it comes to consistent controls. The game’s reliance on motion controls can lead to frustrating moments. Trying to have both controls point in the right direction can be a struggle, and understanding what needs to be done in the fast-paced five-second Microgames can be confusing. The lack of clarity and the game’s occasional failure to register inputs can leave players feeling uncertain and distrustful of the controls. This inconsistency becomes even more apparent during the Boss Stage segments, where accuracy is crucial but can be hindered by control issues.
The Challenge of Motion Control Inputs
WarioWare: Move It! offers a short single-player mode with around a couple of hours of gameplay. Unfortunately, the game’s controls can make this experience feel even shorter. Some Microgames require an immediate reaction to what’s on-screen, where a single movement determines success or failure. However, the game fails to clearly communicate what needs to be done, leaving players guessing. The sensitivity of the controls can also be unreliable, making it difficult to read and execute actions accurately. The lack of a control recalibration option only adds to the frustration.
To compensate for the control issues, Move It! introduces a feature that allows players to continue after losing four lives. By copying the pose shown on-screen before time runs out, players can restore all their lives and continue playing. While this inclusion may seem like a smart move, it exposes the inherent problems with precise motion control inputs. The game acknowledges that players are likely to fail through no fault of their own, particularly when using the Switch’s IR Sensor. For example, gesturing the correct response with your fingers may not register, resulting in a failed input.
A Mixed Bag of Communication
Move It! suffers from several instances of miscommunication, leading to confusion and uncertainty for players. Some Microgames are poorly designed, leaving players unsure of what they are supposed to do within the few seconds they have to react. This added layer of uncertainty detracts from the game’s core focus on quick reflexes and mental agility. While the motion control inputs certainly contribute to this issue, the design of the Microgames themselves also shares some of the blame.
The Multiplayer Experience
Move It! offers a multiplayer mode with various additions and revisits of modes from prior games. While these additions have sound ideas, their execution can be flawed. One multiplayer mode requires one player to replicate the actions of another player without looking at the screen, leading to delayed responses in Microgames that demand quick reflexes. Other modes provide familiar experiences for fans of the series but feel overshadowed by previous entries.
WarioWare: Move It! is a game that attempts to add legitimacy to the Switch’s motion controls, but it ultimately falls short due to inconsistent and unclear inputs. When the controls work as intended, the game shines with its creative and enjoyable Microgames. The involvement required from players can draw a smile at the absurdity of the experience. However, the numerous control issues, lack of clarity, and miscommunication hinder the game’s overall enjoyment. While Move It! has its moments of fun, it fails to live up to the legacy of previous WarioWare games like Smooth Moves and Touched.