Welcome to the world of micro gaming, as defined by “WarioWare: Touched!” That’s how fast these micro games are: A challenge pops up; you tap, rub or scratch the Nintendo DS touch screen with the stylus and hope you beat the clock. Then in a second or two, it happens again – and again.
The games keep coming until you fail four times. Success will get you a boss battle, new levels and souvenirs.
“WarioWare: Touched!” has 180 games in all, which sounds like a lot but is actually down from 200 in the Game Boy Advance original. But the difference between the GBA versions and these new micro games is dramatic: Here, they make good use of the DS’s two displays and touch-screen capability.
Instead of pushing buttons, you use the stylus. A slashing motion cuts fruit in half. A swirl rolls snow into a snowman. A scribble scrubs mud off a kid’s face.
“WarioWare: Touched!” even has levels that require you to blow on the touch screen. The DS has voice recognition that picks up the sound of your breath.
Someone put their noggin to this game, taking a lot of creative risks. Some of the ideas are fantastic, some mildly amusing, but the effort is special. Some can be a little crude – root around in a man’s nose to make him sneeze, for instance – but they’re more amusing than harmful.
There really isn’t a storyline. The game is hosted by Wario, the infamously greedy Nintendo bad guy, but a bunch of characters put you through different levels. There are cool video clips before each level, designed mainly as tutorials.
Each level has a theme. In Jimmy T’s disco, you have to rub things to win (lather shampoo on someone’s head, erase a blackboard). In Ashley’s haunted mansion, you drag things (coins into a change purse, a match across a flint). There’s music, unique to each level, and people shout things at you like “Lame!” or “Pretty good!” You can unlock a game called Orbit Ball that requires you to repeatedly draw a trampoline for a bouncing ball as it travels progressively higher into the air. You start on a beach, and keep the ball bouncing until you reach outer space and beyond.
Then there’s the yo-yo game, which is crafty, but doesn’t hold your attention. You turn the DS upside down and use the stylus to make a yo-yo go up and down.
The only real nit I have with “WarioWare” is that there is no wireless multiplayer gaming. But the dual screens make up for it. You just have to like a game that asks you to catch a drop of water as it falls from the top screen to the bottom.
Think it’s easy? Tick, tick, tick.
© 2005, Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.