Gamers that haven’t played a WarioWare title are missing out on a lot of fun. The franchise started off humbly in 2003 on the lil’ handheld that could, Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! became a moderate success — one that I attribute to utilizing the craziest punctuation in any video game title. Ever. The franchise exploded in popularity when it added multiplayer for the Gamecube version. In my humble opinion, that’s the point at which gaming changed.
But that’s not why we’re here today. We’re not here to discuss how WarioWare was the first entry into the (now standard) party game market. Or how its simple and intuitive design made developers think that it must be an easily repeatable formula; one that’s possible to recreate on a shoestring budget, no less. No, none of that is why we are here. We are here because WarioWare‘s potential has transcended mere video game design, and leapt into the realm of analog games. To my knowledge, WarioWare‘s simple and fun games have lead it to become the first video game to become a TV game show.
Hit the jump to see the connection.
You won’t find WarioWare: The TV Show on any channel, but you will find Minute To Win It (MTWI) on NBC. The similarities between the two products should jump out at you like Guy Fieri’s bad hairstyle. Both contain short games with clear and intuitive goals. Each product pushes the nerves of players by handing them a short time span to complete the end game, or increasing the collective load. The games featured are basic – such as hanging nails on a wire (MTWI) – and often highly unusual – placing a lampshade on your head with a fishing pole, while blindfolded (MTWI) or picking fruit in the “Elephant position” (WarioWare: Smooth Moves). Despite the simplicity, or, perhaps because of it, the mediums are incredibly fun to watch.
Heck, the similarities don’t end at the hooks or game design; even the hosts are similar. Both are quick to drop comical, if sappy, one-liners. They have their own, umm, unique…sense of style and they push the scales a bit. Fine, one began his career as an arch villain and the other a Food Network personality, but that’s in the past now. Their future is in pushing childishly-easy, yet highly-entertaining microgames on us. And I can’t get enough.
Want to create and share your own zany games? WarioWare D.I.Y. was released on Nintendo DS in late March and will let you do just that. Minute To Win It airs on Sundays at 8:00 PM on NBC.