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Review: WarioWare Gold For The Nintendo 3DS

Gold. Always believe there’s turmoil, as you’ve got the power to know, that he’s incorrigible when he believes there’s a way to win gold. Stuck between Spandau Ballet’s lyrics and Disney’s Pocahontas’ greedy schemer, Ratcliffe, is Wario. Charging 10,000 gold coins to play 300+ microgames in his latest gaming tournament, WarioWare Gold is just as wacky as the days of old. But with little content on offer outside the main story and no local download play on the 3DS, it’s a low blow for the party-game series.

Now on its eighth instalment, the WarioWare series has taken a five-year break after the Wii U’s bumpy ride with Game & Wario, dubbed as a spiritual successor to the franchise. Developed by Intelligent Systems, WarioWare Gold features more than 300 microgames, minigames and zany collector memorabilia across its two main modes for the Nintendo 3DS. Despite its relatively high download size (9,000+ blocks) on the eShop, it’s staggering how little content actually appears in the game. We’re wagering that its file size largely stems from the greatly entertaining animated segments within the story campaign, rather than what’s on offer as playable content.

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Fans of the franchise will be glad to see the return of Wario’s Diamond City friends; Jimmy T, Mona, Ashley & Red, 9-Volt, Kat & Ana, Dribble & Spitz and Dr. Crygor all appear, amongst others, as part of the motley crew that’s chosen to lend a hand with Wario’s latest money-making scheme. Charging 10,000 gold coins for entry into his gaming tournament, players must compete in four leagues – with three to five stages each – to gain a chance of the glorious prize; a whopping one million gold coins. Except that isn’t really the case. Wario knows it. His friends know it. And we all know it.

During Gold’s two-hour story campaign, you’ll face a variety of three to five-second microgames which fit into one of four technique categories or leagues: Mash, Twist, Touch and Ultra. While the former uses the A and cross-keypad buttons, the Twist league will utilise the 3DS’s gyroscope controls, and the Touch league uses the stylus. On the other hand, the Ultra league means anything goes, so you’ll need to seamlessly flick between one style to another, fortunately with on-screen prompts. Microgames are themed too, though the best ones often feature unique twists on classic Nintendo games. Highlights include Wind Waker Link trying to land on a podium following a short flight with a Deku Leaf, platform jumping in Pullblox (Pushmo), tilting the 3DS to flatten Pikmin (so sorry!), and avoiding obstacles with Star Fox’s Arwing.

But don’t worry, there’s the age-old zany microgames thrown in for good measure. Yes, you can still pick noses, dash into open toilet stalls, squeeze eye drops, catch toaster-popping bread, and pinch chickens. Plus, Intelligent Systems are great at educating players to slide in their Joy-Cons to their Nintendo Switch, pinpointing the difference between a peach and a pig’s bum, and how best to avoid the oncoming bruise-makers in high-school dodgeball. There’s some real life lessons to be learned here, after all practise makes perfect.

After completing a league stage, players will be rewarded with 600 gold coins, which can then be spent in Gold’s Capsule Machine to unlock items for the Toy Room. Losing all four lives in a stage will cost you 100 gold coins to re-enter at your last death checkpoint, otherwise you can forfeit your microgame tally and start from the beginning of the stage. Only after clearing Gold’s story campaign will you be able to unlock Challenge Mode.

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Featuring nine different challenges, Challenge Mode is a party-mix of all the microgames unlocked so far, where players will try to go for the high score. Try living on the edge with one life in Thrill Ride, select Super Hard to play all microgames at top speed, or choose to evade 9-Volt’s IRL mother and game in bed as a Sneaky Gamer. You can even go for gold and torture yourself with the return of Wario Interrupts, as you play through each microgame with an upside-down or super tiny screen and so on. It’s fun for a little while.

Challenge Mode is also the only place where you can face-off against a friend in local wireless co-op. Battle Time requires you and your friend to have one copy each of WarioWare Gold. It’s a crying shame there’s no ability to download play with up to four friends, a major flaw in Gold.

Fortunately, there is an achievement system in WarioWare Gold. With 150+ in-game missions, players can go back time and time again to hit their microgame targets and unlock their stack of gold coins. Purchasing items for the Toy Room is also a way to access more in-game content. There’s a voice-over acting studio, where you can record your own voice in previously watched story segments. Plus, there’s a strange amiibo feature where Wario will try to replicate the Yoshi amiibo. He gives it a good go, but it does resemble a five-year-olds ‘my imaginary dinosaur’ painting. Amusingly, the Lucina Fire Emblem amiibo turned into a landscape drawing with grim grey blocks strewn across. Stick to scheming, Wario.

Long gone are the days of piling into a room with your friends to play WarioWare Smooth Moves on the Wii. Perhaps that’s why WarioWare Gold to a veteran player feels like an afterthought. There’s no chance of getting salty with your friends on a 3DS with no local download play and no stereoscopic 3D. If you’ve got a three-hour car journey with your kids over the summer, WarioWare Gold will just about fill that gap. Sorry Wario, we just expected more.


A review copy of WarioWare Gold was provided to My Nintendo News from Nintendo UK. 

37 thoughts on “Review: WarioWare Gold For The Nintendo 3DS”

  1. You didn’t address all the souvenirs and different minigames (not microgames) the game has, and saying the game not having download play is a “major” flaw is a big exaggeration. You treat the game like it’s supposed to be mainly multiplayer when it’s the opposite, handheld Warioware games are primarily a single-player experience.

    1. Yeah, I definitely agree. WarioWare games are always intended to be exclusively single player experiences, so I have no idea why the reviewer was expecting so many multiplayer options.

      Also, you are right that there are a ton of souvenirs and minigames to keep you playing, which is something that the reviewer didn’t bother going over.

      Plus, there’s also the fact that a secret mode gets unlocked when collecting every souvenir, which creates even more incentive to keep playing.

      Nothing against the reviewer, but I honestly feel as if there is room for improvement when it comes to this review.

    2. Just my opinion. :) I unlocked the minigames via the capsule machine but only mentioned their existence and the memorabilia (at the top of the review) rather than covered the detail with them. By all means I can add that in, if needs be. I agree this isn’t my best review by any means, so I do urge fans to play the game themselves, as I always say in any review I do. A 6/10 isn’t a bad score in our books at all. Thank you for reading and commenting though! I appreciate constructive criticism. :)

  2. Nice review!

    This seems like such an awkward release to me. It just feels like a game meant for the Switch. And while it’s historically more of a single player game, I agree that multiplayer makes sense, and feel as though it could utilize the Joycons well, since the Wii version did the same with the Wiimotes (I believe, unless my memory fails me?).

    Anyway, good stuff!

    1. A lot of the games wouldn’t even work on Switch, unless there was serious changes made to them, all microphone games were removed and the actually microgames games that use both screens, suddenly only used one.

  3. I feel like WarioWare Gold is Fire Emblem Awakening. Warioware games are dying and this is their last attempt at revitalizing it before they put the series away for a long time.

    It’s a shame because the series is great but it’s like they peaked with the first game and had trouble recapturing and growing the magic in the subsequent games.

    Also, I see some people saying the reviewer isn’t accurately describing the amount of content in the game. Can someone elaborate? And really be realistic with it. The GBA game had some good minigames (Dr Wario, Fly Swatter, Sheriff, etc) but I don’t consider the random “toys” from Touched to count as adding a lot of content. So which exactly does Gold have?

    1. Gold has multiple minigames in the same vein as the ones you just described from the GBA games. There are 14 minigames in total, which is more than what the originals had to offer.

      Also, outside of the nine Challenge Mode games and Missions, there is a secret game mode which unlocks after collecting every souvenir, which should give enough incentive to keep playing.

      This game offers what the GBA titles offered, but even expands beyond that and brings more to the table.

      Not exactly dumping on the reviewer, but I do think she didn’t go over the bonus content very well.

      1. Thanks, Broski (for not dumping on me!). I appreciate constructive criticism and have explained my thoughts in a previous post. :) This isn’t my best work – and as I said earlier I do urge people to go out and play the game themselves. Everyone thinks differently! And I try to be as unbiased as I can. I’m glad you are enjoying the game and thanks for reading!

    2. And honestly, you should play the game yourself instead of assuming that this entry isn’t good. I’ve said this before, but don’t take reviews as an accurate depiction of how much you will enjoy the game, give it a go yourself.

      1. Well, I played the demo and enjoyed it. I was just waiting for reviews to get an idea of the amount of content. If it was something like Warioware Touched, I’d probably pass on it (being $40) but if there’s a lot of challenges and unlockables and replayability in the game modes and mini games… then I’ll probably go for it.

  4. This game looked pretty lame in all the trailers and previews I’ve seen. I haven’t ever liked any of the handheld WarioWare titles personally. And no download play either? Hard pass. Good review btw. Told me everything I needed to know.

  5. Honestly I don’t know what you were really expecting, 6/10 isn’t TOO bad, I consider anything under that to be.

    I mean there are 316 microgames in this one, which is record-breaking. Nintendo was right when they were saying it’s the most jam-packed game in the series.

    I’ve been playing it a lot and it’s really fun, the challenges and missions give it more depth. Over 200 souvenirs is nice too (even though there’s a lot of telephone numbers and alarm clocks, but the minigames are cool.) This is more enjoyable than Game & Wario.

    For those who are disappointed that the game didn’t make it to the Switch, I’m sure at some point WarioWare might make it there (and Rhythm Heaven)! Maybe we could have one like Smooth Moves. I actually prefer that this game is on the 3DS, it wouldn’t feel the same if it was on the Switch.

    I’m really glad Nintendo and Intelligent Systems made this game, along with the fact they still support the 3DS. I was more excited for this game than Smash.

    1. A 6/10 is bad when other outlets have scored it an 8/10 with Nintendo World Report going as far as 8.5/10. It’s an absolutely fantastic game that is a perfect Swan Song for the 3DS as it is a game that makes the most of the console, in the way it was intended.

  6. Compete against your family/friends for high scores in all the levels and you’ll find out what WarioWare is about, and how this game can last *way* longer than a 3 hour car journey.

  7. The original (and best rated) WarioWare game of all time was not multiplayer focused either and — even though we are 15 years ahead now — I feel Gold should not be punished this severe for a lack of multiplayer content. Also, it’s strange Colette didn’t even reference to the GBA original once… this is the Gold edition!

  8. I’m going to try this as soon as it comes out, looks like fun. Thanks for the review, helped me think about this game!

  9. Pingback: Review: WarioWare Gold For The Nintendo 3DS - 1st Gamers

  10. The big issue I have this review is that it treats the warioware franchise as a party game series, which (Except for one actual entry) it has never been. All of the handheld versions have always been focused on the single player aspect, and the home console versions have always had multi-player as a small, tacked-on mode (See Smooth Moves and Game & Wario). The only instance I know of a Wario game actually focusing on multi-player is the Gamecube one which was released with no new minigames and instead was solely a multi-player experience.

    Multi-player in this game is clearly a bonus, not a focus.

  11. It was a fun read :’D Too bad the game wasn’t up to expectation though. If the 3DS have had in-built video recording, I would (kindly) demand to see some of the story segments with you as Wario xD

    Great read, C! Keep up the good work as always!

  12. Thanks for the review sister this is one of must have game I really benefit from the review thanks again

  13. Right so! Don’t be gentle just because it’s a Nintendo game. They don’t deserve praise for a bad job.

  14. I only every played demos of the original WarioWare, but I owned and plays the hell out of Touched and Smooth Moves. (I also got Game&Wario, but eh.. it was okay) Smooth Moves ended up being one of my favorite Wii games to date just because of the wonderful memories with its multiplayer.

    I’m sure I’ll pick up this one when it goes on sale in the distant future. But oh, how I would love for the series to come to the Switch.

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