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WarioWare: Move It! gets back to basics with some really good butt stuff

If Get It Together! wasn’t your type of WarioWare, Move It! might just be

A train with Wario’s face pulls into a station in a microgame from WarioWare: Move It! Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Drawing with your butt summarizes what the WarioWare series is all about. Nintendo’s 20-year-old microgame franchise has never shied away from crude, gross-out gags and absurdist humor — this is a series famous for its nose-picking and fart-clearing games, after all — and WarioWare: Move It!, the latest microgame collection for Nintendo Switch, is no different.

Most WarioWare games are built around a specific gimmick or will otherwise capitalize on Nintendo’s unique hardware in some way. WarioWare: Move It!’s core premise is built into its name: It’s all about movement. The game calls upon you to learn a series of poses, or as they’re called in-game, Forms. You may be asked to pose like a “Fashionista” — one Joy-Con controller in hand up by your ear, one down by your hip — before you lasso in a sheep, or to pose in a “Ba-Kaw” stance — one hand holding a Joy-Con at your nose, another at your butt — to mimic a bird’s beak and tail feathers.

Anyone who played the Wii game WarioWare: Smooth Moves will feel pretty comfortable with Move It!’s pose-packed, motion-controlled gameplay.

A screenshot of the Buttograph microgame from WarioWare: Move It! featuring a character with a quarter-moon for a face bent over and drawing a three-line shape with its butt
Back it up, then down
Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo

In WarioWare microgame tradition, you have less than 10 seconds to interpret a simple on-screen prompt, then perform an action to complete a task. In the handful of microgames I played during a recent WarioWare: Move It! preview in New York, that included wiggling my butt to make Mario’s Tanooki tail flap in a game inspired by Super Mario Bros. 3. In another, I had to draw on-screen shapes with the Joy-Con held near my keister while performing some reasonably precise booty movements.

Other microgames have you hold Joy-Cons mid-thigh while posed in a squatting position. This is how you (and possibly a partner) catch fish, naturally, by clamping your legs together. And it’s how you stomp like a sumo wrestler. Sometimes, you simply dance to a beat, which involves posing in amusing positions. Other times, you’ll use the Joy-Cons to simulate wiping your back with an imaginary towel.

While WarioWare: Move It! seems to be better when played with a partner or a group of friends, you can also enjoy it single-player. Some of the microgames I sampled play more like classic WarioWare fare than the previous Switch franchise entry, WarioWare: Get It Together! There’s a story mode that you can play solo or with a second player; with two players involved, this mode involves both cooperative microgaming and switching back and forth as you both work your way through a series of games.

A cat-person squeezes their thighs together to catch a long fish jumping over a dock in a screenshot from WarioWare: Move It!
Probably good for your glutes
Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo

Move It! also includes a Party Mode, in which up to four players compete in a series of microgames. In between rounds of competitive action, players move through a simple tabletop board game map, rolling dice to see who moves forward (or backward). Move It!’s Party Mode appears to borrow the same sometimes-infuriating progression rules of a Mario Party game. During my hands-on time with Party Mode, the players who were actually winning many of the microgames were dealt some bad luck and were kicked back to the starting position. I, a frequent loser of the selected microgames, found myself at the front of the group out of sheer randomness. Frustrating? Maybe, but it also feels so Wario.

Nintendo promises more than 200 microgames in WarioWare: Move It! when the game launches for Nintendo Switch on Nov. 3. After the somewhat divisive deviation that was 2021’s WarioWare: Get It Together!, Wario’s new game feels like a return to form for the franchise. Get your butts ready.