WarioWare: Move It! is a butt-wiggling return to form

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When I first saw WarioWare: Move It! On a Nintendo Direct, I almost forgot it wasn’t the series’ first entry on Nintendo Switch. Just two years ago, WarioWare: Get It Together! brought the eclectic microgame collection back from obscurity, but it didn’t leave too much of an imprint. In my review at the time, I chalked that up to the entry’s lack of a good central gimmick. The series’ best entries, like the Nintendo Wii’s standout Smooth Moves, have always been tied to some sort of tech twist that makes for wildly creative, goofy experiences. Get It Together simply didn’t have that spark.

WarioWare: Move It! – Nintendo Direct 6.21.2023

So in some ways, Move It really does feel like the series’ first true Switch entry. Unlike its predecessor, it takes full advantage of the console’s Joy-cons and its underutilized features. On paper, it sounded like a direct response to every issue I had with Get It Together — and it is in practice too. I went hands-on with WarioWare: Move It! ahead of its November 3 release and found a return to form for one of Nintendo’s wackiest series. If you love wiggling your butt, you’ll be happy to know that the microgame collection delivers.

I like to move it, move it

I’d get to try three specific pieces of Move It during my demo. That would include a quick glimpse of story mode, which sets the beachside tone of the adventure. Wario and his gang go on vacation, things go wrong, and microgame gauntlets ensue. It’s the same structure as a lot of previous WarioWare games, as each level centers around one character and a certain Joy-con pose that players (it can be played cooperatively) hold to complete 5-second minigames.

For instance, some poses require players to sit in a squatting position with a Joy-con on each thigh. Another has me placing one to my mouth like a bird’s beak and the other on my butt. It’s a smart way to organize microgames, as players don’t have to scramble to change poses between fast-paced games (which was the case with Smooth Moves).

Nintendo

Of course, the real star in any WarioWare game is the microgames themselves, and Move It is bringing its A-game. I’d pop into the Museum mode during my demo to free-play a few games. In just a bit of time, I got a sense of just how weird the 200-included games can get. One minute I was completing a handbell beat-matching rhythm game. Next, I was controlling Tanooki suit Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3 by wiggling my butt to float. That one had some especially creative twists, as one version of it played like a version of Flappy Bird where I had to float through a field of Bullet Bills.

The series’ signature humor is back in full swing too. One minigame had me putting a Joy-con behind my back and moving my butt to draw shapes in outer space. (If it’s not clear by now, there’s a lot of butt in Move It.) It’s as hilarious and unpredictable as ever, still getting consistent laughs out of me after all these years. Maybe that says more about my own maturity than the game.

A cat catches a fish with its thighs in WarioWare: Move It!
Nintendo

The last piece of the puzzle came in the form of a Party mode, which finds the series making its biggest swing at multiplayer yet. Party mode throws players into a board game and has them rolling dice to advance spaces and playing competitive games in between to earn points. Yes, they basically put Mario Party inside WarioWare. While it’s not as fully fleshed out as that series, it’s a fun way to turn the microgame format into something party-ready. It’s clearly meant to be a faster, more casual multiplayer experience too, as random spaces can completely change the score of a round on a dime. It’s not a skill-based mode, just something that’ll get you to laugh with a room full of friends.

There’s not much more I really need to see from WarioWare: Move It; it’s exactly what I was hoping it would be after the underwhelming Get It Together. The motion-controlled minigames are a blast so far, bringing the wacky joy of Smooth Moves into the Switch era. The only real question mark left is who is voicing Wario following Charles Martinet stepping down from voicing Mario characters (Nintendo wouldn’t confirm who’s voicing the mustachioed anti-hero, but it’s noticeably different here). That’s more a curiosity than a concern, though, and it certainly won’t stop me from wiggling my butt until it falls off this November.

WarioWare: Move It! launches on November 3 for Nintendo Switch.

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