Support Andy, click to buy via us...
Towards the end of the life of the Gameboy Advance Intelligent Systems released WarioWare: Mega Microgames and it was nothing short of a revelation. Wario was an existing and popular Nintendo character - something like Mario's heavier evil twin. Although the game had shades of Mario Party's varied quick fire rounds, WarioWare was unlike anything previously released and single handedly breathed new life into the mini game genre with its imaginative, time limited, quick fire wacky games.
Party games have existed since video games first began. They are typified by their short duration and simple tasks. More recently, the entertainment of mini-game based releases has focused on variety, novelty and quantity of experiences on offer in a single package.
Although the concept of mini-games has been around for sometime, WarioWare: Mega Microgames delivers a collection that turns the genre on its head. Each game is limited to just a few seconds, and you are only provided with a one word instruction before being plunged in at the deep end. Rather than requiring hand-eye co-ordination skills, WarioWare: Mega Microgames challenges the player to quickly identify what it is they need to achieve.
Each mini-game is a riddle in its own right. The challenge is to make the connection between the one word instruction, mini-game visuals and a real world task.
Although the concept is a little odd at first, give the game some time and it starts to shine. The obtuse clues and nuanced connections force you to access an instinctive part of your brain. Once you have cracked a particular mini-game you can repeat play it to see how many you can solve in a set time. WarioWare: Mega Microgames here shows its depth, as it takes each mini-game and stretches them to creative breaking point, adding tricks and speeding things up to try and out wit you.
Although this is a mini-game experience, WarioWare ties together a string of themed levels that take a good five to ten minutes each. It is worth setting aside a half hour or so. WarioWare not only has plenty of replay value, but should last a good eight to ten hours first time through.
Novice and experienced players alike should be able to enjoy WarioWare: Mega Microgames. The quick fire levels suits younger player's shorter attention spans. As we mentioned, those with a longer video gaming history will benefit from the various Nintendo references. Because the action relies on restricting the available time, and the one word introductory clues, very young players may struggle to keep up with even the earlier levels.
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: