Warioware Gold 3DS review - A fitting end to Wario's reign over the DS
| WarioWare Gold

The biggest downside to any Warioware game is the length. With each mini-game clocking in at only a few seconds, the game itself won't last long. Of course, they can be extended through extra modes, playing with friends, or beating high scores, but for that you'll need friends. And patience.

Here, Wario is up to his old tricks and has been stealing treasure. He decides that the treasure isn't enough for him and he must make more money. He does so by setting up a tournament, charging people to enter.

That's the basic premise, and while it's a little half-hearted, there's only so many ways you can package a collection of mini and micro-games. Thankfully the animation is superb and the colours pop from the screen.

Make me laugh

On top of this, the humour is genuinely funny, especially when taking pot shots at games being streamed online for clamouring fans. This vein of comedy transfers over to the interactive parts of Warioware Gold too.

One particular game made me, my flatmate, and my kids snort with laughter. Tilting the console left and right to guide a ball along a digestive tract is surreal enough to cause a smile, but the little fart that comes at the end is going to amuse the child in all of us.

The entire game epitomises child-like glee, from picking noses to squirting ketchup all over the place. It's not all toilet humour, some games are quite sweet - pairing up couples or using a love tester - and some just aim to twang nostalgia strings.

Warioware Gold 3DS screesnhot - A mini game featuring Bowzer

Being a Nintendo product, it's obvious that crossover potential is high. So many icons and games appear to raise the corners of your mouth. Guide Link into caves in 8-bit Zelda style, or even land him on a podium as he drifts around in his Wind Waker incarnation.

Mario, of course, pops up. In one game you'll need to deal with his avatar from Mario Land on the Gameboy, and there's an odd tilting-game version of Super Mario Bros, which recreates the classic game on a weird rolling globe.

The pseudo-tournament is broken down into three leagues - mashing, tilting and touch, representing the three main control schemes of the DS brand. The mashing league requires D-pad and the A button. These games are often about moving an umbrella to keep a cat dry or to run a sprint race in Track and Field.

Warioware Gold 3DS screenshot - Mario makes an appearance

Next up is titling, which kind of speaks for itself. Tilting the console left and right digests food, steers Mario on Rainbow Road, or balances a broom on a finger. Some games still use the A button which makes these games a little harder.

Frantic sometimes makes the screen harder to see, which nearly spoils some sections. Part of the joy is seeing the bonkers outcomes of each game, and quite often you'll have had to tilt it in a way that means you don't get that spectacle.

The touch league is easily the best collection in the game. Using the stylus or just a finger is a wonderful way to interact with mini-games. One moment you'll be guiding a skier down a snowy slope, the next writing numbers in maths problems or tapping the screen to cut hair.

Top of the league

Once the leagues have been conquered and characters from past games are vanquished, it's time to face Wario. Here the games are muddled up, forcing you to rely on reaction more than ever.

Dancing by tilting, blowing into the microphone to power windmill based cars, and protecting Mario from Donkey Kong are all taxing and entertaining in equal measure.

Of course, the game soon ends. Gold you've won in each round can be used to buy capsules from a Gashapon machine and build up a collection of stickers. That's if you haven't spent it all on continuing when you fail.

Collectors will enjoy this feature, but the stickers and character cards offer nothing more than a digital image for tiny moments of perusal.

Warioware Gold 3DS screenshot - Putting chocolate in an ear?

Thankfully, the game does extend itself with challenges. Endless modes and timed challenges offer a decent burst of freshness at just the right time. Perhaps the best mode uses the gyroscope in a very different way.

Tilting the DS up towards your face speeds up the mini-games, making them harder, but giving you more points if you complete them. Tilt it down to slow the games but lose points. This makes for a frenetic experience that feels refreshing.

Multiplayer modes are available for competing against friends, but multiple copies of the game need to be owned, which somewhat limits its potential. Especially on a system known for sharing one cart to play with others.

Warioware Gold is likely the last of the mini-game franchise for the DS, and it's certainly going out with a bang rather than a whimper. One of the first games released for the original DS was Warioware, and it's nice to see everything come full circle.

Sure, we've seen some of the games before, and a few miss the mark a little, but there's no denying the charm of Wario and his ensemble cast. This collection is gorgeous to look at, bags of fun to play and who doesn't find farts funny?

Warioware Gold 3DS review - A fitting end to Wario's reign over the DS

The story mode of Warioware Gold only lasts a couple of hours, but those few hours are bursting with enjoyment and madcap humour