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Videogame: WarioWare
Wario and his staff. (ILLUSTRATE!)

Best Game To Play In-Between Breaths

(DESCRIBE!)

The WarioWare series is essentially a collection of hundreds of mini-games. (PLAY!) And the gold-hoarding, gas-cloud-belching Wario is in charge of it all, aided by a cast of wacky friends and neighbors. (SUPPORT!)

But wait! (WAIT!) There are three important details to these mini-games:

  • Each mini-game lasts for only about five seconds. (Normal-length games run eight beats; the BPM starts from 100 or so and rises from there). (RUN!)
  • In each 'level' you have to complete nine to twenty-five of them in a row, without stopping (And much more if you're going for a high score)! (JUMP!)
  • And you receive no instructions on how to play! Your only assistance is a single command that appears on-screen just as the game begins. (IGNITE!)

That's pretty much the WarioWare games in a nutshell. (CRACK!) Each game is a handful of about 200 or so "microgames" that come at you in roughly five-second increments, each time prompting you to do a simple task (POUR! STOMP! etc.). The microgames are shuffled at random, (MIX!) so you'll have to react fast to succeed (CHEER!) and impress Wario and his cadre of microgame developers (APPLAUD!). Once you've unlocked everything, the games basically become quests to beat your high scores at all the games. (BREAK!)

Games in the WarioWare series (LIST!):
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania in PAL countries) for Game Boy Advance and given a limited rerelease in 2011 under the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! for Nintendo GameCube — an extension of the above game with multiplayer games thrown in
  • WarioWare: Twisted! for Game Boy Advance — a cartridge equipped with a Motion Sensor
  • WarioWare: Touched! for Nintendo DS — with the games themed around various uses of the touch screen
  • WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii — the games are themed around holding the Wii Remote in a variety of ways to control the game
  • WarioWare: Snapped! for DSiWare — uses the Nintendo DSi camera to take pictures
  • WarioWare: D.I.Y. for Nintendo DS — this entry allows you to create your own microgames
  • WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase for WiiWare — a companion game for the above
  • Game & Wario for Wii U — a Gaiden Game, and a departure from the previous games (Having individual game modes similar to boss stages from previous games, although the microgames do appear in one of the game modes).
Other releases include multiple WarioWare, Inc. trial versions and selected microgames, downloadable to a Game Boy Advance from Wario World and in one case from the Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc, (LINK!) as well as the DSiWare games Bird & Beans and Paper Airplane Chase (respectively Pyoro and Paper Plane in PAL countries), standalone versions of minigames from Mega Microgame$! (REMAKE!) Wario also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with his default appearance having him wear his clothes from WarioWare (his Wario Land appearance is available as well (REMINISCE!)), along with a WarioWare-inspired stage and Kat & Ana as Assist Trophy. (SMASH!) Diamond City also appears as a course in the two Mario Kart arcade games Arcade GP and Arcade GP 2. (RACE!)

Rhythm Heaven was made by the same team that made this series, and it shows. (SIMILARITY!)

These games provide examples (TROPE!) of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: 5-Volt. Honestly, she and 9-Volt could almost pass off as siblings! Though it is somewhat justified because of the art style the games go with most of the time.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: The football player in Smooth Moves has a crush on Mona, who (in this game anyway) is one of his school's cheerleaders.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Smooth Moves, if you've just played a microgame involving spinning the remote around, and thus twisted up the wrist strap, the next game will be one in which you have to drop the Wii Remote and leave it dangling by the strap, untwisting it.
  • Anti-Poop Socking Smooth Moves, since actually getting up and moving around is the core part of the gameplay.
    • Not to mention Crygor's stage, which is specifically themed around getting some frickin' exercise. It even measures your progress in "kelories," each of which is about 1/100- 1/50 of a calorie.
    • DIY unlocks only one of five sets of microgames per calendar day and one of 18 sets of five comics (out of 18) per calendar day.
  • Art Evolution: The characters' designs have evolved subtly over time. For example, between Mega Micro Game$ and Smooth Moves, Mona's waist became more realistic, and her eyes became smaller.
  • Art Shift: Everywhere in the microgames.
    • Taken to eleven in DIY, where players' art styles are all over the place.
    • Every character minigame in Game & Wario gets this to ridiculous degree.
  • Badass Family: 9-Volt's family, if only counting his mother 5-Volt. She doesn't look like it, but she's much more of an expert gamer than he is, something that she's embarrassed of.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: "Wario Kendo" in the original.
    • Could be Subverted, given that all it does is bruise Wario's nose if you fail, that and the sword breaks in half.
  • Bishōnen: Young Cricket, anyone?
  • Boss Warning Siren: All titles have a sound clip whenever a boss stage is coming up next and will linger on the screen between microgames eight beats longer than normal. There will usually (but not always) be an on-screen message telling you that you're about to encounter the boss. Said sound clip varies from game to game, but that in WarioWare: Smooth Moves sounds particularly like a klaxon played to a beat.
  • Bowdlerization: Ashley's theme in Super Smash Bros. Brawl not only is it lighter and softer, as well as Ashley voice is replaced with "less creepy" singers.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Taken literally in two separate games. In the first game, one of the microgames has you catching a baseball; missing it causes the ball to smash through the screen. In Touched, Wario's boss microgame has you swatting flies on the touch screen; tapping too many times causes the screen to shatter and the flies to come flying out.
    • One of the bonus games in Game & Wario involves driving a toy car around a room using the gamepad. The gamepad's view is from the cardriver's perspective, and the main screen shows an overview of the room from one of the walls. If you look at said wall from the car's perspective, you see a TV showing yourself playing the game from the other side of the screen (it uses the gamepad's camera to do this).
  • Button Mashing
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: At the end of Inc. Wario makes a shitload of money, and attempts to flee in a rocket to avoid paying his employees. Dr. Crygor later flies into the rocket, sending Wario, and all the money, falling into the sea.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: The object of the quick-draw game in Smooth Moves.
  • Completely Different Title: The original Japanese title of the series was Made in Wario but outside Japan it's WarioWare.
  • Console Cameo: Several of the games, mostly 9-Volt's, include various Nintendo systems. This even extends to 9-Volt's multiplayer mode in Mega Party Game$, which is based on the e-Reader accessory for the GBA.
  • Continuity Nod: A lot of the later games feature microgames that replicate previous games in the series.
    • The setup of Gamer in Game & Wario (9-Volt is playing games when he should be sleeping, while his mom tries to catch him) originally appeared in a cutscene in Wario Ware: Twisted.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Wario. He hires his friends to make games for him, but doesn't pay them. At first they were somewhat forgiving (Especially Mona who is rumoured to have a crush on him) but in the end half the team quit to work for a rival company. Wario then hires (But still doesn't pay) the "Players" to make microgames for him. Despite that, WarioWare went under. So what does Wario do? Create Game&Wario starting all over again.
  • Creative Closing Credits
  • Cute Kitten: Disco dancing kittens in Smooth Moves! Later on, Jimmy P.'s stage has dancing puppies, and the similarity is lampshaded at the end.
  • Cute Witch + Emotionless Girl: Ashley.
  • Darker and Edgier: The title screens of the various minigames within Game & Wario. Can also overlap with Hotter and Sexier for some of them.
  • Death Glare: Ashley and 5-Volt are masters of this when pissed off or serious, thanks to their Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Deadpan Snarker: the explanations of the positions in Smooth Moves.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mike, despite getting his own Image Song, seems to do nothing now besides show up in scenes with the Crygors. Penny is kind of on the fence between this and Ascended Extra Supporting Character, considering she has a considerable presence in DIY and actually interacts with Wario on a significant level. In the tutorial.
  • Difficulty By Acceleration: The microgames themselves are ludicrously simple, so the bulk of the challenge is keeping up with them when they start going super-fast.
  • Endless Game: upon replaying games, you just keep playing the games faster and faster until you fail four times.)
  • Everything's Funkier with Disco: Why yes the Thang family, seemingly stuck in the 70's.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Kat and Anna get chased by these after having a beehive damaged.
  • Eye Beams: "Alien Laser Hero" in the original.
    • The original also had "Dry Eye" where you administer eye drops to someone, and a later game called "Laser Vision", where Wario shatters the eye drop bottle with Eye Beams.
      Don't even think about putting that in my eye! I hate eye drops!
  • Face-Heel Turn: 9-Volt in D.I.Y. Showcase.
  • The Faceless: 5-Volt, up until Game & Wario, was only seen From behind and from the knees down and later as a silhouette in the epilogue of 9-Volt's and 18-Volt's level in Twisted! and as a silhouette in a game over screen in Touched.
  • False Reassurance: This little gem from Penny: "Experiments are guaranteed to be 100% not-entirely-lethal.".
  • Fat Bastard: Wario. Not surprisingly
  • Final Exam Boss: The last levels of the original.
    • Touched is close. It has everything BUT the mic.
  • Funny Afro: Jimmy T. and his family.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Diamond Software collection of microgames is exclusive to the DS version of D.I.Y. The Wii counterpart game meanwhile has Wario-Man Software.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Penny
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On level three of the needle-threading game in the original, a design oversight sometimes puts the eye of the needle out of the thread's reach, making it impossible to win. A real buzzkill when you're racking up a high score on the Thrilling tower and this glitch takes you out.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The story and gameplay in most of these games (bar perhaps Game & Wario) have absolutely nothing to do with each other. This is because the games you're actually playing are video games made by the characters, who are apparently employees of WarioWare Inc and hence are surreal, arcade style experiences.
  • Game Maker: WarioWare D.I.Y. While its microgame engine allows for all different genres of games to be made, they're all still strictly microgames.
  • Gameplay Roulette: intentional!
  • Gasshole: Wario, as a character.
  • Genre-Busting: The series can be loosely considered mini-game collections, but it does it in such an unusual way (games are typically about 4 seconds long, must be done in quick succession, are presented in random order, and the goal is to survive a predetermined number of them before failing four times), and has an emphasis on single-player rather than multiplayer, that gamers and critics alike have largely given up trying to classify it at all.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Tiny Wario's Boss Stage in Smooth Moves, there are several instances of closeup ass-shots of your dancer.
    • Touched has a microgame called Taping a Leak. And in Hot Flash, it is possible to remove Wario's boxers.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: 5-Volt, during 9-Volt's microgame in Game & Wario. Goes to show how seriously she takes her role as a mother. Also, more generally, Ashley, when she gets pissed. The game does mention that 9-Volt's game was "born from 9-Volt's feverish imagination", though, so that might just be his imagination of his mother.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The quick-draw game in Smooth Moves features Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman-print boxers.
  • Handcar Pursuit: One of the micro games in Touched. Complete with being chased by another handcar, Wario in his car and a train respectively for the different difficulty levels.
    • Twisted too; in fact it's the boss stage for the Dribble and Spitz stage (Stear Clear).
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Most of Wario's microgames involve him in some form.
  • Homage / Nostalgia Level: 9-Volt's and 18-Volt's microgames and worlds are shout-outs to various classic Nintendo games such as Super Mario Bros. 1, The Legend of Zelda I and F-Zero, as well as older, pre-videogame Nintendo merchandise.
    • And then in Game & Wario there's a straight Nostalgia Level, Gamer, which uses the old micro-game based gameplay from the original Mega Microgames...with a Red Light, Green Light styled twist. (9-Volt's playing the game late at night, so he has to hide whenever his mom is looking.)
  • Honest Axe: Spoofed in "Touched!" Wario's response? "Gimme all of them!" *tackle*
  • Idol Singer: minor character Sal Out, who sings the "Mona Pizza" song.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ashley. It doesn't show up that much in the games, and it's implied in her English theme, but her Japanese theme outright states it.
  • Image Song: A number of them. When they started to dub them after the first game, there was much outcry.
  • The Imp: Ashley's familiar, Red.
  • Jerk Ass: Wario of course!
  • Kaizo Trap: Even after defeating the...planet from Ashley's boss game in Touched, you can still be hit by a stray bullet.
  • Leitmotif: Everyone has a particular tone, even when not considering vocal songs.
  • Level Ate: In Game & Wario, Ashley tries to explore a world filled with pretty scary stuff. But once she inserts herself into the book, there was a slight mistake, and she ended up in a world filled with sweets, donuts, and candy. Only Red is happy, but she's utterly annoyed.
  • Looming Silhouette of Rage: Ashley in Touched!, when she collides with Orbulon.
  • Lost Forever: A few of the medals in D.I.Y. require entering microgame design contests that were periodically held by Nintendo. Nintendo no longer holds these contests, so if you hadn't already gotten the medals for them you can now no longer obtain them. Thankfully, it's still possible to get all the records even without these medals.
    • The same, of course, goes for the microgames that won those contests. Even while they were running, you could only access the two most recent contest sets at a time to download their microgames. Now, you can't get any of them, unless you can get them from other players.
    • Because most of the online services for the Wii and DS (aside from the Wii Shop Channel and the like) have been shut down, the online-related medals can't be unlocked anymore, meaning that not all records can be unlocked on one save file. Fortunately, there's a way around this as well: because the records you obtain from medals are semi-randomized, you can obtain the ones you lack from a friend or relative. If all you care about are the music on the records and not having the full collection in your game under the built-in section, you could also copy the music from the records you could get into new records in the music maker, send said records to DIY Showcase, then restart your game and get new ones.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Ashley's theme song.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Crygor.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Granddaughter: Penny Crygor.
  • Marathon Level: Master Mode in the GameCube game consists of playing every microgame in a row.
  • Market-Based Title: The first game had the subtitle Mega Microgame$! in North America and Minigame Mania in PAL territories. The removal of the dollar sign makes sense as most countries other than Australia and New Zealand that use that title don't use dollars, in contrast to how both English-speaking North American countries do.
  • Meaningful Name: Put Kat and Ana's names together and you'll get one.
  • Minigame Game: The point of the series, as pointed out in the first game's PAL region title.
  • Mona Pizza Smile: In the American version of Twisted only.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted with a Dribble and Spitz game in the first installment that involves dodging bombs with a scooter, which is called Scoot or Die.
  • New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: So where were the characters who start appearing in Twisted, Touched or Smooth Moves back in the GBA original again, and how come all these ancient places never appeared on the maps of the game world before they became important to the plot?
  • Ninja: The twins, Kat and Ana.
  • No Fair Cheating: In D.I.Y. a stage and comic are unlocked each day you play until you have them all. You could set your clock forward a day at a time to unlock them. Your DS's clock can be set backward, but the game's clock will stay forward and won't move until the DS matches. Of course, setting your DS clock backward before starting your save file will let you avoid this.
  • Old Master: Master Mantis from Smooth Moves.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: D.I.Y. and D.I.Y. Showcase. 100% Completion of the medals in D.I.Y. requires linking up with Showcase at least once, and Showcase includes games from several of the traditional characters that weren't in D.I.Y. itself. There's nothing special in Showcase that really requires D.I.Y. however, other than being able to play your own creations on the TV screen rather than just the built-in ones and other people's.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In most microgames you play in every installment, you only get one shot to clear the goal. Screw up in any way, and it's a fail.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Mona, who changes jobs with each new game
  • Otaku: 9-Volt and 18-Volt are hardcore fanboys of all things Nintendo.
  • Out of Focus: Dribble, Spitz, and Orbulon took the backseat in Touched as mere cameo appearances. They have since taken the spotlight back, but now Mike has suffered this and is currently Put on a Bus (Despite appearing in Smooth Moves).
    • Mike was used only for Mic based games, (Hence the name) which was exclusive to Touched. DIY couldn't use them because that would give the impression that the player could create Mic games. So unless we get a 3DS entry in the series, we shouldn't hold our breath.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In Mona's ending in Touched!!, rival pop singer Vanessa briefly tries to disguise herself as Mona. No one buys it.
  • Parody Magic Spell: Ashley - "Pantalones Giganticus!"
  • Power-Up Food: Garlic for Wario.
  • Predatory Business: Pizza Dinosaur
  • Press X to Die: Each game usually comes with at least one microgame that tells you to do nothing. You only lose if you push a button.
    • One particularly irritating example is in Touched!, which involves a group of Gronks trying to cross a tightrope. Blowing into the microphone causes them to fall, ending the game in a loss. This minigame is incredibly infuriating when it catches you off guard, doubly so if you're playing it at a high speed, and TRIPLY so when you're playing with the DS's language set to a language you barely understand.
    • Background noise can cause failures in this game, and Twisted has a game with an egg that breaks if you turn the GBA, or if the car or bus you're sitting in takes a turn.
  • Press X to Not Die: A lot of microgames closely resemble Quick Time Events.
  • Punny Name: More than half of the microgames.
  • Quality Over Quantity: In the series, this is the contrast between Mona Pizza and Pizza Dinosaur. While in their shared theme song, Mona Pizza boasts about how great their pizzas are, Pizza Dinosaur only boasts about how they're everywhere, while acknowledging that their pizzas are terrible. In WarioWare: Twisted, Pizza Dinosaur has its business being taken away by Mona Pizza, driving them to use more aggressive measures of competition.
    • The series in general is about a small team of people cranking out games on a per-minute rate. Each game is about 4 to 8 seconds long, and hundreds of them pour out at a time. Wario has seen much success with this model, both in the stories for the games and in real life sales of the video games in this series. (So basically, this game is an aversion where quantity wins out.)
  • Random Events Plot: Mega Party Game$!
  • Recycled Soundtrack: WarioWare Mega Microgames uses a lot of Wario Land 4 music and sound effects for its cutscenes and mini game music. Most easily soon with the Crescent Moon Village theme used in the ending and the Curious Factory theme used during Paper Plane.
  • Regional Bonus: In Japanese versions of DIY, one of 9-Volt's games is based on Nazo No Murasame Jo. The NTSC and PAL versions replaced the game with one based on Pikmin instead. The two games can be played on either version via Socialization Bonus however.
  • Rhythm Game: A few microgames task the player to time button presses to the beat. The game as a whole runs on a beat with a rising BPM. In most titles, regular microgames are 2 measures, and long ones are 4 measures.
  • Running Gag: Every official WarioWare installment has a game involving nosepicking, usually as one of Mona's games.
    • In DIY, the nose-picking minigame is also used as confirmation as to whether or not you wish to erase your data.
    • Noses in general, considering Wario's got the biggest one of them all.
    • Mona getting a new job every game.
  • Scare Chord: This plays in the background whenever 5-Volt passes by the window in Game & Wario.
  • Send in the Clones: 18-Volt, Jimmy T.'s whole family, Penny Crygor.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Parodied with Dr. Wario, Wario's knockoff of Dr. Mario.
  • Shout-Out: 9-Volt's Stages in every single game he's in, and ditto for 18-Volt in DIY Showcase. But there's sometimes a Mario reference outside of 9-Volt's stages.
    • In Wario's first stage of WarioWare: Twisted!, the music box is visible on a shelf behind the watch.
    • One of the games in WarioWare: Smooth Moves has you shooting cans off of a fence. One of those cans is Crab Juice.
    • Orbulon's space bunnies also appeared in Rhythm Heaven.
    • D.I.Y.'s graphic editor is highly reminiscent of Mario Paint, and its music editor has many samples from the same. Some of the microgames also make references to it in the form of the man doing sit-ups and one in Touched! where the objective is to color in a picture.
      • The Mario Paint music Easter Egg in D.I.Y. (activated by renaming your microgame to "Mario Paint" and then opening the graphic editor) further drives the point home.
    • The Kat and Ana stage in Smooth Moves has a quartet of turtles representing the player's lives.
    • Jimmy P. in Smooth Moves bears an uncanny resemblance to Bobobo.
    • The Samurai from Rhythm Heaven Fever is in one of the fish-slicing microgames in Game&Wario, as well as the Wrestler and several other characters from Rhythm Heaven Fever make cameos. Most notably in the ending credits which at that point the player may not have even known they were in the game.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Surreal without a doubt, way more than the parent Super Mario Bros. and Wario Land series, and quite possibly the most Surreal 1st-party work ever put out by Nintendo.
  • The Song Remains the Same: Sometimes averted (Mona Pizza's Song, for example), sometimes not (Kat and Ana's Song, for example).
  • Spiritual Successor: D.I.Y. is this to Mario Paint, complete with a music composer and drawing program.
    • The entire series is actually this to the Mario Artist collection, specifically Polygon Maker with its "Sound Bomber" mode.
  • Starfish Language: According to the description of the alien "instrument" in D.I.Y., the sounds made by the instrument are how an alien talks. And if you haven't guessed, it sounds nothing like human speech.
  • Stylistic Suck: The graphics of the microgames often invoke this, though there's often just as many aversions.
  • Super-Deformed: The final story level of Smooth Moves chibifies Wario.
  • Sweater Girl: Whose nose is running. Did we mention these games are weird?
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Considering the whole thing is Gameplay Roulette, this comes up about once per game, often in boss fights.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: In the needle-threading microgame in Mona's stage, sometimes the needle is placed too high to thread it, making that game unwinnable.
  • Villainous Glutton: Wario. Even if he is the main character.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Believe it or not, Mona has a thing for Wario.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Mona has been a gelato worker, a soda jerk, a pizza deliverer, a rock star, a cheer leader, a meat bun vendor, a temple explorer, and now a Criminal Photographer and Paparazzi.
  • Widget Series
  • Yandere: Ashley, borderline:
    ...And yes, it's true,
    I don't have as many friends as you,
    But I think you're nice and maybe we could be friends!
    And if you say no you're toast...
  • Wingding Eyes: In Game & Wario, Ashley gets X-shaped eyes and Instant Bandages if she bumps into the walls or flying obstacles too much.
  • Yonkoma: Basically, the kind of comics that you can create in D.I.Y.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kat's is Pink, Ana's is bright red, and Jimmy's whole family has multi-colored hair/wigs. Jimmy actually has blue hair, Papa T has Yellow, Mama T also has pink, Jamie has Pink/Indigo/Red(Depending on where you look), and James has orange. Jimmy P from Smooth Moves has Yellow hair as well.

(INDEX!)
Video OlympicsSports GameWii Play
TetrisD Si WareZenonia
Viva PiņataParty GameWii Party
Wii SportsMinigame GameMons
The Unfinished SwanPuzzle GameWhere's My Water?
1213Action GameWarlords
Wario LandCreator/NintendoYoshi's Island
Wario: Master of DisguiseNintendo DSXenoSaga
Panel de PonCreator/Intelligent Systems    
WardnerPlatform GameWhacked!
Wacky WheelsRacing GameWipeout
Tomodachi LifeUsefulNotes/The Eighth Generation of Console Video GamesWii Fit
Fist of the North Star: Ken's RageWii UGiana Sisters Twisted Dreams
Wario Land 4Game Boy AdvanceWings
Wanton Cruelty to the Common CommaSelf-Demonstrating ArticleWeasel Words
Tokimeki MemorialRhythm GameZack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Wario WorldNintendo Game CubeWave Race

alternative title(s): Wario Ware
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