Watch & Game.
Curiously missing from Nintendo’s Wii U presentation at their E3 press conference, Game & Wario
is a set of not-so-micro mini-games, featuring Wario and his crew from Warioware
games. On demo was four of these mini-games, yet more are promised when the title releases this holiday.
Each title, while lacking in depth, more than made up for it with easy-to-play, endlessly enjoyable fun factor. Still on the short side, these mini-games aren’t the quick-fire, single-button press, rapid-succession games found in other Wario
The first game I tried, Arrow, offered the Wii U Gamepad up in a portrait, one-handed position. The other hand used the Gamepad’s touchscreen to stretch back the string of a bow to launch arrows at oncoming robo-Warios. Aiming was done via tilt and point, similar to what can be accomplished with the Wii-mote. Surprisingly accurate, it made nailing oncoming enemies from afar a breeze. Should any of the robo-Warios advance past your archery skills, they hop toward the front of the TV screen and onto the touchscreen, initiating a mini-game that replaces the bow with a kind of whack-a-mole game.
Another game, Skiing, lent more opportunities for portrait Wii U Gamepad tilting to guide your character through the twists and turns of the downward slope. Straightforward and not very impressive; however, like everything else in Game & Wario
, a good time.
Shutter, yet another game, turned the Wii U Gamepad into a digital camera of sorts, with the goal of taking pictures of itty-bitty characters hiding on the TV screen, Where’s Waldo
?-style. It was a lot more difficult than it sounds and was my least favorite of the bunch.
Last of the four available games on display was Fruit
, the first of the multiplayer Game & Wario
games that all use just one Wii U Gamepad. Player one took over the Gamepad as a character displayed only on the Gamepad’s screen. The rest of the players, mere spectators for now, watched fruit floating in crowded streets. The aim here was to watch closely for who steals the fruit to correctly identify the player with the Gamepad. When the timer was up, the Gamepad gets passed between players who have to choose the fruit thief out of a lineup.
In the short time I had with these demos, it gave me a sample taste of what the Wii U Gamepad was capable of. None were mind-blowing with innovation, but were enough to have me wanting to see what other mini-games they can cook up.