Wario Ware Inc.: Mega MicroGame$
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-03-12 GBA Mini-games E (Everyone) Nintendo

A trip to one of the biggest malls in Europe (and the biggest in Portugal) proved fruitful with a cheap wacky find. Wario Ware Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ was sitting on the bottom shelf of a store for roughly $13. I never played a Wario game before, but could use a weird distraction, so I grabbed it.

Mega Microgame$ at first glance seems just like a collection of minigames. But it's not a party game, so get that out of your mind right now: this is a single-player game.

There is a bit of a plot to this game. One day, Wario is watching TV and gets the idea of starting a videogame company. At his service are a bunch of weird people, who will be the ones giving you the games to play. Each of them has a series of minigames that you must clear in order to advance to the next 'level' (a.k.a. another employee with a new set of games).

It seems simple and boring, and it would have been if it weren't for the way the games are tossed at you. Each of these microgames lasts only a few seconds, 3 to 5 to be exact.

In them, you perform varied and really weird tasks within the time limit: jump rope, pick a nose, dodge something, answer questions, sink a golf ball in a hole, play basketball, snowboard, snort up some snot, swat a fly, keep a spotlight on Wario while he tries to run away, plus a whole bunch of other equally weird and hilarious situations (and there are 200 if them in total). They are all logic, reaction and decision-based.

Each character has a certain type of challenges to offer you, some of them are even themed. For example, Dribble and Spitz (the cabbies) have a series of sci-fi-based games while Kat's theme is nature. You should get a kick out of 9-Volt's challenges, since he has microgames based on classic Nintendo titles (Dr. Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mario Bros. and Wild Gunman, to name a few). The last of your challenges is Wario, who will randomly throw at you any of the games you have already played before.

The games all revolve around a single action, and you won't know what the game is until you're in it. You will be given a word before it starts to know what type of activity it is. For example, it will only tell you "Dodge!" or "Jump!", so you will always be on your toes to see what comes after and do the correct action in time.

The controls are extremely simple, as the game only uses the D-pad (if the game requires moving) and A button to perform any action. If you fail to complete the microgame within the time limit, you lose a life. At the beginning of each stage, you have four lives. The stages come in set numbers of microgames (10, 15, 20, 25) and at the end there is a "boss game", usually a more challenging microgame that takes longer to complete. If you lose all lives before clearing the boss game, you have to start the stage all over again.

There's a catch, though. As you clear microgames, the game gets faster and faster, making this one of the most hectic and crazy titles I have ever played.

Once you have seen all the microgames the game has to offer, Wario Ware Inc. isn't as exciting anymore, but has some replay value. You can go back to any stage and compete again to beat your own score, or you can play any of the individual microgames to practice.

But there are also a series of hidden unlockables such as Dr. Mario (actually, Dr. Wario), the classic arcade Sheriff and Jump Forever (a rope-jumping game). Additionally, after all stages have been cleared, new gameplay modes become available: Easy, where the game speed remains the same, and Thrilling, where you only get one life.

Wario Ware Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ has had me making weird faces or bursting out in laughter on random occasions, either because of the weirdness of the games or the strangeness of the sound effects and their sequence with short crazy bursts of music.

Mega MicroGame$ makes for a great casual game to have for the GBA, since you can play it in little rounds and then put it down. It's the weirdest thing I have ever played, that's for sure, but also one of the funniest and most entertaining. If you're one of those who enjoy minigames on the run, then you should bother tracking down yourself a copy.

Let the microgames begin!