Games Review: WarioWare Gold (3DS, 2018): It’s Wario’s World, We’re Just Living In It

WarioWare Gold is the latest in a long line of bizarre, microgame collections that can best be described as Dada art. Gold is the culmination of 15 years of WarioWare goodness, featuring the best microgames of the past, and brand new microgames for the future. You’ll be glad to know that it’s lost none of its charm.

Those familiar with the WarioWare franchise will be aware of the weirdness that the title entails. Players are tasked with completing rapid fire microgames in order to progress to the boss stage of each level. These microgames require players to stick their fingers up a sentient nose, inflate a camel’s hump, wake a sleeping woman with noise and sort out the different between an apple and a human ass.

To list those few games that stuck out would be to do WarioWare a disservice, because it only gets weirder from there. Other games have players snipping the snot drip of an elegant lady, practicing dental surgery, preventing a solicitor from entering your house, counting facial moles, entering a toilet correctly and removing moustache hairs from an onion.

These scenarios play out in rapid fire, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments that require quick thinking, and the ability to parse vague and confusing instructions. Often, you’ll find yourself losing points for overthinking or acting rashly. Some microgames require thought, while others require speed. It’s a balancing act that makes WarioWare equal parts frustrating and exciting, keeping you on your toes with rapid changes in pace.

This time, minigames are separated into three leagues – mash, twist and touch. This actually makes the game slightly easier, as it reduces the panicked thought process behind each game. After completing each of the separated leagues of story mode, players then go on to face the final three levels, each of which contain a mix of microgames. These modes are a harder as instructions become more vague and puzzles, much harder. These modes are a welcome change, and increasing difficulty makes for a far more interesting challenge.

Completing story mode will also unlock the aptly named ‘Challenge Mode’, which features a variety of subtly different story modes that change up the classic gameplay formula. This includes a mode where Wario attempts to distract you while you complete games, and ‘Battle Time’ – an online mode where you face fellow WarioWare players.

Among other subtle changes, this is the first WarioWare title to feature full voice acting, a move that has helped the series immensely. The voice acting in Gold is superb, and adds to the niche brand of humour. Dr. Crygor and Mike’s interactions in the haunted woods are particularly funny, with stellar comedic timing and a great script.

Outside of the main game, there’s a surprising amount to do. Completing microgame levels will earn players coins, which can then be deposited into a vending machine full of minigames, collectible cards, phones and items. Collectibles provide a whole new dimension to the game, and a reason to keep coming back for more. Finding every collectible and game will take hours, but it never feels like a chore.

In fact, one of the greatest features of the game – Wario’s amiibo Sketch can only be unlocked by trying your luck at the vending machine. This feature sees Wario interpreting your beloved amiibos in his own, unique style, to a variety of hilarious results. To be clear, this game boasts amiibo functionality – this is the only functionality that they have. It is brilliant.

 WarioWare Gold is the classic WarioWare formula at its zenith, a brilliant collection of wild and varied microgames filled with bright and zany characters, and with enough content and personality to keep you hooked for hours. There’s a variety of microgames to discover, heaps of achievements to pursue and many collectibles to save up for. WarioWare Gold is the peak of the WarioWare franchise, and proves once and for all that WARIO IS MUCH BETTER THAN THAT CHUMP, MARIO. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.

You heard the man.

Score: 8.5 out of 10
Highlights: Frantic gameplay; superb voice acting; endless fun
Lowlights: Quick and easy tournament mode; some confusing microgames
Developer: Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Out Now
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Review conducted on a New Nintendo 3DS XL with a retail code provided by the publisher.