Rough Guides to find out."/>
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Everyone loves a bit of time in the play room, and no games delivers this more imaginatively than the WarioWare series. But how do the five games differ from each other, and which ones best fit the gamers in your family? We draw on our Rough Guides to find out.
The various WarioWare games all have plenty in common. The riddle of their one word clues. The time limited levels that stretch the mind as the player tries to connect the scene with a real world activity. The subverting of existing video game interactions to trick and confuse. These things bring gamers of all ages back again and again to the series.
We've recently been working through a set of Rough Guides on each of the WarioWare titles. These pieces aim to answer the simple questions parents may have about the games played by their family members:
Armed with this information, it's time to discover which WarioWare game suites you.
The slightly easier difficulty setting of Touched, combined with the more direct and tactile interface makes this game much more suited to beginner players. The fact that the different games are themed into different styles of interactions again gives young players more of a chance to learn one particular style. Once they have mastered the basics they can then move onto the mixed collections that are unlocked towards the end of the game.
Additionally, WarioWare Touched has some of the best unlockable interactive prizes - think jack in the box, spinning tops and mini-drums. Our youngest child seemed to spend more time playing these that the game itself. Again testament to the range of experiences on offer here not to mention how well this series understands its younger casual audience.
Whilst the single player game may veer towards the intermediate and hardcore gamer, Smooth Move's turn based multiplayer mode is ideally suited to a group of players of different abilities - a great match for getting all the different generations together. In our family we have often split into teams and go head to head. This enables older players to give advise to novice and younger members, in particular expanding the one word clues into something more meaningful for the young-lings. We found that shouting instructions at our youngest didn't really help here, but some calm clear directions enabled him to join in the gaming fun with the rest of the family - an experience he obviously valued.
As the first game in the series this resulted in the most head scratching at release. It turned out that those with a little more gaming history were first to rise to the occasion. They both understood and felt connected to these re-imaginings of their favourite games. Accordingly, the levels themselves were tailored to this audience and had a purer, more cryptic edge than the later games.
The Gamecube version was the first WarioWare game to offer proper multiplayer. Although many expected this to be eclipsed by Smooth Moves on the Wii, it remains the best group experience of the series due to its simultaneous multiplayer games. Rather than Smooth Moves, which (perhaps for technical rather than design reasons) provides a largely turn taking approach, WarioWare on the Gamecube used four controllers simultaneously for hilarious head-to-head games best played with some friends. The last man standing skipping game is in itself more than enough to justify playing this again on your old Gamecube or the backward compatible Wii (provided you have four Gamecube controllers to hand).
Twisted was expected to be something of a novelty, not least because it employed a strange idea (at the time) of Motion control. This was of course before the Wii had proved the market and these unusual interactions seemed odd and somewhat gimmicky. Therefore it was a surprise to discover that this is perhaps the most nuanced and difficult of the WarioWare games. Although you may be tempted to think that the built in Motion controls makes it more suitable for novice and younger players, in our experience this is not the case. A combination of the disorientation of the unusual interface, together with the high difficulty of even the early levels make this a game for experienced players.
Whatever your gaming experience or persuasion there really is something here for everyone. Each of the WarioWare games serve up a surprising dish. Much like a Japanese meal - admittedly small portions, but so many servings!
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: