Game: WarioWare: Touched!
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 2005
Reviewed: 2009
Platform: DS
Genre: Minigames
Reviewer: ValkyrDeath

When the original Warioware game came out for the Game Boy Advance back in 2003, it was something completely unique. It consisted of a rapid succession of microgames that each took about 5 seconds or less to play. You had to work out what to do and then do it within that time, your brain having to change direction every few seconds as something new turns up. The game was completely insane, and utterly brilliant. And so it was natural that with the release of the DS, Nintendo would utilise its unique features to create a sequel.

Warioware Touched Manhole
Wario throws his DS down a manhole after being forced to play this game.

It sounds like a good idea in theory. The touch screen controls of the Nintendo DS console should add new possibilities to what can be done in the minigames. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work out that way. In general terms, the game plays out exactly like the original. You start a new category, and get a bunch of random minigames thrown at you that can have you doing anything from popping balloons, striking matches and cleaning windows to the rather more surreal animal stretching and building bridges for penguins.

So far, so Warioware. So where does it go wrong? Well, for a start there’s the variety of the minigames. Where before the different levels were based around loose themes, here they’re often based around the action that you need to perform. For instance, one category is based entirely around minigames that involve you rotating your stylus around in a circle. Well, there goes any challenge then. Every one of the games is won in the same way, eliminating the constant mind bending changes that your brain has to go through every few seconds. Even worse, the only section that doesn’t involve the touchscreen utilises blowing into the microphone. It’s hard to imagine how they could have made it any more boring. Some scene comes on the screen; you blow into the mic; you’ve won, well done. It’s like it was put in just to discriminate against anyone with lung problems. Some of the rounds do have a variety of different tasks, although many of those are just compilations of the games from the earlier rounds. The ones that aren’t, such as a set based around old Nintendo games similar to one in the original Warioware, are still made so ridiculously easy by the touch screen controls as to almost pointless.

In fact, the game is so easy that I’d completed every round, included the final few bonus mix rounds, in 90 minutes, making it probably the shortest commercial game I’ve ever played. In the initial run through I never saw the majority of the minigames, because I never had to replay a round. They were so easy I completed them all first time. Only the final boss level of the final set of games led to me failing a couple of times before I finally won. In the original Warioware I generally had to repeat each round a few times, and would get a variety of different minigames each time.

Warioware Touched Snails
Poking snails in the eye. Wholesome family entertainment.

Once I’d finished the game, that’s when I realised what it really is. It isn’t a full game at all. Let’s look at the facts. It has sets of levels each using a different feature of the DS. It’s over in 90 minutes. There’s no challenge. This is a tech demo! Nintendo made a tech demo to show off the things that the DS could do. Then, instead of bundling it with the console, they decided to stick the price tag of a full game on it and sell it, pretending it was actually worthwhile. All the profits were probably thrown into a vault with a sign on the door saying “CASH MADE FROM EXPLOITING OUR GULLIBLE FANS.” (The same vault has since been filled to overflowing with profits from countless Wii minigame compilations.)

There are a couple of features that try (and fail) to make up for the short length of the main game. As you complete levels, you gain access to new toys and games that you can play around with at any time. These range from the feeble to the completely pointless. You get such extras as a virtual yo-yo, hours of fun to anyone brain dead enough to enjoy watching a circle go up and down a screen. There’s a ping pong game where you don’t even control the movement of the paddles, a tiny part of a piano that you can play where the black notes don’t even work, and a calculator that only has plus and minus operators (although why even a fully functioning calculator would be needed as a bonus in a game is beyond me.) If all that is too exciting for you, you can also watch a metronome tick backwards and forwards. The only thing they forgot to include was the “drying paint” simulator.

There’s also the ability to play any of the minigames from a menu once you’ve completed them. This works in a similar way to the main rounds, where you get four lives and have to get as far as possible. The difference here is that that you are playing the same microgame over and over until you fail four times. If the game seemed a little too repetitive before, here it’s just tedious. And your reward for completing them all? More of those stupid pointless toys. Whoopee.

So Warioware Touched is a tech demo being sold at the price of a full game. So let’s all buy it and give some more money to the lovely folks at Nintendo. Remember children: CONFORM. CONSUME. OBEY.

Save System Review: About what you’d expect. It saves after you’ve completed a set, and saves your best scores. Can’t really fault that for a game of this type.
Graphics: Basic graphics, they do just about what’s required but nothing more.
Sound: Standard annoying console background music.
Bugs: Didn’t notice any bugs.
Gameplay: A bunch of far too easy microgames that are over in a hour and a half, plus the most pointless extra features ever to be included in a game.
Storyline: Pretty much none existent. Not really necessary for a game of this type, but at least it could have made it slightly less worthless.

Arbitrary Final Score: Half a star

If you like this, you might also like: Other Warioware games, sending your wages directly to Nintendo.

Would you have to be touched in the head to get enjoyment from this game? Comment in the forums!