Title: WarioWare: Snapped!
Price: $5 / 500 DSi Points
Release Date: April 5, 2009
Publisher (Developer): Nintendo (Intelligent Systems)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Pros: Good use of DSi camera. Fun to play (initially). 15 single player games and 5 multiplayer ones.
Cons: There aren’t that many games. There are camera issues. Little replay value. The Kat & Ana two player games are incredibly trying.
Overall Score: One thumb sideways, one down; 65/100; D; * 1/2 out of 5
Nintendo is under a bit of pressure with the DSi. The system has new features, and users are expecting the company to have games and programs which immediately make use of those features.
In an attempt to step up to the plate, Nintendo released WarioWare: Snapped! in the DSi Shop. The game makes use of one of the system’s new cameras, allowing people to play the game using their heads and hands. It’s a noble effort, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite pan out the way you’d expect.
Freeze! Put your hands up and strike a pose!
Like in all WarioWare games, WarioWare: Snapped! starts with Wario attempting to make an obscene amount of money as quickly as possible. Like before, he’s joined by some friends to help his dream come true. This time, Mona, Jimmy and Kat & Ana come to help Wario with his four roller coasters.
Each character’s coaster has five camera sensitive games. Before you can play, you have to calibrate the game/camera by striking poses. Calibrating Kat & Ana’s games require both players to pose.
All characters have five games each, with certain motions required for each one. Wario’s games mainly involve moving your head left and right, moving your head closer to the screen, or standing still with your hands up, moving your hands to collect items. Mona’s mainly require you to move your head so it lines up properly, though Swat does require players to use their hands to swat a fly. Jimmy’s games tend to require specific poses, like the high five, peace sign and fists. His coaster also includes the famous Peekaboo game and a game where you must blow on the mic. Kat & Ana’s tend to require both players to strike similar poses at the same time, with the exception of Fan.
The touchy camera might make you snap.
WarioWare: Snapped! deserves points for originality. It really does. However, the game itself goes against the nature of the system.
In order to play WarioWare: Snapped! properly, you have to be in a well-lit area and ideally have the DSi resting on a flat surface in front of you. The DSi is a portable gaming device though, which makes playing WarioWare: Snapped! on the go quite challenging, if not impossible.
Resting the DSi on your knees doesn’t work, because the games require upper body movement and, more often than not, the position of your legs will shift as well. Before you know it, you’ll be out of frame and the game will be over. You’ll fail because your environment and current situation didn’t meet WarioWare: Snapped!‘s needs. A portable game should adapt to you, not the other way around.
The camera is also very temperamental when it comes to light and contrast. Sometimes it doesn’t cope well with fluorescent or natural light. This means it won’t even register that you are in front of the camera for the game. Admittedly, this is an error on the DSi’s part, but you’d think Nintendo would have somehow anticipated or tried to compensate for it with the WarioWare: Snapped! programming.
By the way, if you need to wear glasses, you’ll have problems. The game took issue with the fact that I need glasses to, you know, see. I was forced to take them off (and move noticeably closer to the DSi) in order to play.
Also, the Kat & Ana games can be quite difficult to play. They require two players to both be within the camera’s range, performing a certain action. So you have to make sure both players are perfectly positioned and can be seen by the camera. Then, you have to make sure both players are performing the appropriate actions.
As a final note, the 20 games available get old fast. This isn’t like a standard WarioWare game where there are tons of microgames. You only have 20, and all of them center around a single gimmick. Technically, if you’re playing alone, you only have 15.
Disappointing, but still one of the best DSiWare bets.
WarioWare: Snapped! has plenty of potential. The thing is, after about 15 minutes, the excitement and promise fade away and players are left with a logistical nightmare.
You have to have the DSi set up just so.
You have to make sure the lighting is just right.
Your position has to be just perfect.
At the moment, it is one of the most interesting and worthwhile games in the DSi Shop. Casual game and WarioWare fans willing to put up with WarioWare: Snapped!‘s etcentricities might still be pleased by the game.