Move It! Review – Shake It Off

WarioWare: Move It! on Switch

WarioWare has long stood as one of Nintendo’s wildcards. It’s a series that thrives on the unpredictable and the rapid-fire, quick-wit challenges that keep players on the edge of their seats. The previous installment for the Nintendo Switch, Get It Together, took a step away from the series’ traditional gameplay mechanics, leaving a void that avid fans were eager to fill. 

WarioWare: Move It! not only revisits the franchise’s foundational elements but also firmly establishes itself as a worthy successor to the highly acclaimed Smooth Moves, a title from the Wii that marked a high point for the series.

The WarioWare series has always had a distinctive brand of humor. Smooth Moves particularly became a fan favorite due to its innovative use of the Wii Remote, engaging players in an array of wacky poses and rapid reflexes.

Move It! recaptures this spirit by using the Joy-Con controllers of the Nintendo Switch in a similar fashion. It encourages players to strike an array of creative poses with a controller in each hand, reminiscent of the interpretative dance of gameplay that Smooth Moves pioneered.

warioware move it microgame characters
Image source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

Unlike Get It Together, which experimented with character-specific abilities, Move It! is a welcome return to form. It’s a sequel that feels refreshingly familiar, a game that pays homage to its roots while propelling the series forward with new innovations.

At the heart of Move It! lies an infectious rhythm of chaos and control. The gameplay is a frenetic sequence of microgames, each requiring players to strike various poses with the Joy-Con controllers, evoking the same delightfully quirky gameplay style that Smooth Moves offered. 

This time, however, the poses are even more integral to the gameplay, with the use of two controllers with their motion-sensing and IR capabilities to provide a fresh twist to the familiar formula.

Because Move It! requires the use of two detached Joy-Con, handheld mode and Switch Lite owners will need to sync an additional pair to join in. The absence of Pro Controller support is a conscious choice, emphasizing the game’s physical play style.

The new poses using the Joy-Con throughout each microgame are some of the most creative and hilarious choices Nintendo could have come up with. Some examples of the 18 poses include “Choo Choo,” in which players bend their arms bent at their sides like train wheels, “Ba-kaw,” in which players mimic the beak and tail of a chicken, and “Fashionista,” in which players strike a pose like a model.

I found myself constantly laughing at my own silly poses and body movements in each microgame, from shaking my hips to wiggling my arms. This game is not for couch potatoes.

warioware move it gift giver form
Image source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

The controls work very well for the most part. The Joy-Con technology is advanced enough that players don’t need to sync their position on the screen like they had to with Wii Remotes. However, the occasional misreading of the movements frustrated me at times as it disrupted my flow and caused unintended life losses.

Move It! is actually one of the few Switch games that makes use of the Joy-Con IR sensor. It’s used to great effect in this title, adding a new dimension to some of the microgames by reading hand movement in real time like a mini camera. 

For example, I played a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors using the sensor, and I answered a basic math problem by holding up the right number of fingers. It’s simple, but I was impressed at how flawlessly it worked.

Replayability is a strong aspect of Move It!, with the game’s unpredictable nature and the drive to surpass high scores compelling players to return time and again. The variety of microgames and the thrill of besting one’s own records make it an addictive experience that’s hard to put down.

There is a wide variety of multiplayer modes available, most for 2-4 players. I also unlocked several extra multiplayer games after rolling credits. This is the best WarioWare title for a group setting, making it an easy recommendation for any party or gathering, especially for people who might not necessarily be “gamers.”

warioware move it joycon microgame
Image source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

Kevin Afghani, who has recently taken up the role of voicing Mario and Luigi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, is our new voice of Wario. We feel Charles Martinet’s absence, but Afghani does a fine job with filling in those big shoes. The game pushes forward, ensuring the cutscenes remain as engaging and silly as they ever were.

Move It!, despite its strengths, is not without its shortcomings. The occasional inaccuracy in reading controller movements can lead to some frustration, and while the story serves its purpose, it is hardly the star of the show. Players come for the microgames, not the narrative, a fact the game seems well aware of as it focuses on delivering fast-paced, engaging gameplay over a complex storyline.

WarioWare veterans know not to expect a lengthy game out of Move It!. It only took me about three hours to play through all of the main levels. I realize this short length may be a deal breaker for many, especially considering the $50 price tag. This has been a downside in the series since the very first game, but Nintendo clearly hasn’t felt the need to pack them with more hours of unique content. They know that the fun is in the replayability factor.

warioware move it boss stage
Image source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

That being said, there is more to unlock after the credits, and there is inherent value in revisiting each level multiple times. I just wish that there was an online leaderboard (either globally or simply from my Switch friends list) to provide extra motivation to replay for high scores. This would have been such a natural inclusion in today’s gaming climate, and I’m perplexed that Nintendo still does not see the value in it.

Move It! might not win any groundbreaking awards or significant mainstream recognition, but WarioWare mega fans will know it as the best game in the franchise in over a decade. Newcomers to the series should keep an open mind to the quirky gameplay and consider it for their next party game night.

Move It! stands out not just as a return to the beloved mechanics of the series but as its crowning achievement since Smooth Moves. It’s a game that knows its audience, delivering a perfect blend of nostalgia and innovation that fits right into the Switch’s lineup.

WarioWare: Move It!

Reviewer: Rebecca Stone

Award: Editor’s Choice