At last, a video game for those people without an attention span
introduced the concept of the microgame
for the Game Boy Advance
's Wario Ware Inc.
(aka Wario Ware Inc: Mega Microgames
and Made In Wario
). The gimmick behind the game is that instead of sending Wario
through a series of platformer levels, we instead follow his progress at developing his own video game
s. Yup, Wario
's gone programming. Of course, being the greedy cheat that he is, he's decided to make each of his games last only a few seconds so as not to give gamers much bang for their buck. You, the player, will play through Wario
's games plus the microgame
s of other aspiring programmers. Each of the 213 games lasts only a few seconds. The games to play are unannounced and only a short phrase is given for directions, such as "Jump!" or "Stomp!" or "Catch!", before play begins. As CrAzE
says, "The coolest part of the game is the fact that you don't just have to do what the microgame says in the time, but also figure out what is needed, and when in the given time! Often it is very cryptic in the first run through." Each block of games are divded by a theme, such as sports
or Nintendo Entertainment System
classics. In the introduction level (Wario
's games) include guiding a falling object to a target and balancing a series of plates on a unicycle. Remember, each of these objectives can only take four seconds or so to complete. Failure to complete results in a loss of one energy unit, and losing all four units ends the game (thank goodness for Continues and a save game ability). Completing all the objectives in a level reveals the Boss objective. In Wario
's level, for example, the Boss is a punching bag and Wario
(you) must punch it with the correct rhythm.
Still with me? Good. Don't let the rapid pace of this game put you off. It's strangely addictive. Nintendo is clearly having some fun here as some of the microgames include a brief recreation of Super Mario Bros. with Wario in the starring role. Another game, Dr. Wario, is also what is sounds like. Most games are not directly related to Nintendo products of the past; watch for cameos in the form of brief snippets from The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Land, Metroid, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Ice Climber, Balloon Fight, Mario Clash, and more. Other microgames are more unusual: one microgame requires the player to line up a finger in time to pick a giant nose. Controls are quite simple; typically only the Control Pad and A button are used. The game also does not explain what the controls are - players must figure it all out for themselves. There's not much to say about graphics and sounds. They're all standard and appropriate for the game, most of the people depicted outside of Wario and friends are similar to Mr. Game and Watch, and the music flies by so fast you probably won't notice it very much. After completing a bracket of microgames the individual games become accessible by menu for play on demand.
As you plow through the microgames keep an eye out for the eight full games and four deathmatch versus games hidden away in the game. If you'd rather sample the madness that are the mega microgames you can connect your Game Boy Advance to the GameCube release Wario World or the NGC Preview Disc #1 and download some sample microgames to your GBA for trial. Cell phone users in Japan have also had the chance to download sample games from various kiosks. I can't say for certain if the whole microgame concept will still be around in the future, but for now Wario Ware Inc. is some darn good fun. It's brand new on the market and easy to find wherever Game Boy Advance games are sold, plus a Nintendo GameCube edition, Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Party Games, guarentees to add more fun to the mix.