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Is Game & Wario Worth Your $40?

Is Game & Wario Worth Your $40?

The reviews for the newest Nintendo Wii U game, Game & Wario, have been all over the place. However, games are not simply a question of enjoyment but a question of cost. There are great games out there like Mortal Kombat, Portal, and Dead Rising that are all really fun – just maybe not $60 worth of fun, especially in a market where price drops and sales are frequent. Game & Wario did not release for $60, however; only $40. While it is, in my opinion, a fun game, the question remains. Is it $40 worth of fun?

Game & Wario is a mini-game collection that boasts sixteen different playable games, all of which make some use of Nintendo’s unique gamepad controller. This number is misleading. Yes, there are sixteen main mini-games. However, not all of them are open to single-player. There are four games exclusive to multiplayer mode. There are also, in addition, many smaller games (more akin to what would be found in the WarioWare series) available to unlock via the game’s collectable trophy system. Overall, advertising only sixteen games does the title a disservice as many of the games they don’t mention provide fun, albeit simple experiences with the Wii U gamepad.

Are these games worth playing: yes and no. Game & Wario‘s lukewarm critical reception is based largely on the fact that several of the advertised mini-games are simply not very fun to play. Others fail to make effective use of the controller, reducing more to a gimmick than a novel gameplay experience. This is not to say that there is not fun to be had with Game & Wario. Several of the games, including the simply titled “Gamer” make effective use of the dual screens and offer an experience that cannot be found with either Microsoft or Sony.

"Gamer" makes effective use of both screens. The player plays WarioWare-style games on the gamepad while watching out for the mother on the television.

“Gamer” makes effective use of both screens. The player plays WarioWare-style games on the gamepad while watching out for the mother on the television.

The “Miiverse Sketch” mode is also worth mentioning. This section of the game, separate from the other mini-games, makes use of the gamepad by allowing players to challenge one another to draw images and post them to Nintendo’s Miiverse. Players suggest the words and rate the resulting pictures. It sounds simple (and it is) but it provides an incredible draw. There is simply a truly neat feeling to going through dozens of personal interpretations to phrases like “Xbox One fail” or “hot dog planet”. This mode greatly extends the game’s longevity and provides a unique online experience. Good for Nintendo as online has been an area they have struggled with in the past.

The "Miiverse Sketch" drawing portion in action.

The “Miiverse Sketch” drawing portion in action.

Overall, there is hours of fun to be had with Game & Wario. It is a real pity that not all of the games are not equally interesting but the majority of them pull through. Another drawback is a limited multiplayer experience. While this game supports five players, it does not make effective use of this multiplayer. Those looking for an experience akin to Nintendo Land will be disappointed. Game & Wario supports five players all right but expect to all be taking turns using one gamepad instead of five separate controllers.

The verdict: there is enough enjoyable content in Game & Wario to make it worth $40 to those out there looking for something new to play on their Wii U. However, $40 is the extreme asking price for a game of this quality. Many people would probably be happier waiting for a sale. Recommended price: $30 or less.