Platforming, combat, puzzle solving, all come together in a short but sweet game
It's great to see a game that doesn't fit completely into a single genre, especially if the various gameplay elements come together well. Wario World
mostly fits that bill, and it provides a unique experience you can't get in any other game.
It's a platformer, a beat-em-up, and to an extent, a puzzle game. The levels in the game all have elements of these combined. You explore, you jump, you look for treasure. Giant buttons of different colors cause treasure chests to appear that you must get elsewhere in the level. Sometimes the puzzle is trying to figure out how to reach the button or the chest. Puzzle elements are made more explicit in underground "puzzle areas", which are literally all about trying to solve whatever puzzle you need in order to collect an item or two. Some of these puzzles involve pushing blocks, destroying breakable blocks in a particular order, or other mental challenges, while other challenges are physical and require speed or timing.
The beat-em-up elements are fun but also repetitive. There are enemies galore in the game, and Wario's moves are limited. He can punch, charge, grab enemies and spin them around for use as a weapon, throw them, or piledrive them. The enemies just don't stop coming, and honestly, the fighting can get boring. Fighting is combined with puzzle elements from time to time, where enemies are required to be used as a weight to break into a locked trapdoor, thrown to hit buttons, or embedded into walls.
The main problem with this game, as I see it, is its length. Some argue the game is too short, but my complaint is different: the levels are too LONG. Levels tend to take around a half hour or more to beat if you try to get everything. When you start a level, you'd better have committed to spending a good 20-40 minutes, because you're gonna be here a while. One good aspect is that when you die, you can respawn instantly by spending coins you've collected, so you never have to restart a level.
Aside from that, every level ends in a boss fight, and there are boss-only levels. There's 8 levels, but 13 boss fights in the game, another example of the emphasis on combat. The boss fights aren't too bad though for the most part, and some are pretty fun.
The game is, overall, short, but packed with content. Definitely worth a try.