By Kris . June 12, 2012 . 3:31pm
Outside of a few familiar faces and an adaptation of the WarioWare art direction, Game & Wario is a far cry from the WarioWare series, feeling more like a Wario-skinned Wii Play successor for the Wii U.
The first game I played was "Arrow," a game in which little robotic Warios constantly walked toward the screen and I had to shoot them away by firing arrows at them with the gamepad’s touchscreen. I tilted it 90 degrees left of a standard controller configuration and drew back arrows with my right index finger. Aiming was done by moving the controller, and the further I drew back the arrow, the straighter the onscreen indicator of the trajectory of the arrow would get and the damage of the arrow seemed to increase. More powerful arrows could knock robo-Warios into each other for more points.
Mixing things up were pepper shakers and landmines. Shooting landmines would cause them to explode and knock Warios into each other. They were really helpful when the Warios got too close and there were too many to shoot. Pepper shakers would allow you to use more powerful "Sneeze" arrows by tapping (pouring pepper onto) on the nose-shaped arrowhead on the gamepad, but I didn’t see any real advantage to doing this.
When the robots got too close, the action would switch to the gamepad. "STOMP ‘EM" would pop up onscreen and I had to tap a lot of Warios before the made it from one side of the screen to the other. Nobody ever got past me.
After I’d shot enough robots, a giant Wario-head/tank thing started attacking and I had to shoot out various screws holding it together. Ultimately, the tank opened its mouth to reveal a giant tooth, and sped up towards me. By shooting the tooth repeatedly, I managed to drive it back and destroy it, ending the demo. None of my foes ever touched me.
The next minigame I played was called "Ski" and lasted about a minute, and had Johnny (one of my favorite WarioWare characters) skiing down a slope. I held the gamepad the same way, and watched the action on that screen, tilting left and right to control the way Johnny skied, aiming him towards ice and jumps to speed him up and trying to avoid patches of dirt that would slow him down. The TV screen just displayed the action with cooler camera angles. At the end of my 42-second run, I was given a bronze medal.
Finally, I played "Shutter". The game involved the use of the gamepad as a camera and gave me a list of "fugitives" at the bottom of the TV screen. It presented me a cityscape with all sorts of people wandering around, driving cars, and opening and closing window shades.
I had to find the characters that matched the pictures at the bottom of the screen and take a picture of them. After every picture, I had to tilt the gamepad forward from its camera-like position to a horizontal position to present my photographs to my boss (a character who I forgot the name of). I was then graded on how centered and close the photo of my target was.
To be honest, I was less than impressed by Game & Wario. The games themselves weren’t very interesting and didn’t have the bizarre personality of the WarioWare series. The final game will have ten minigames, but considering that the three I played didn’t feel that much fun, I hope that the other seven are great.