developed and published by Nintendo / GameBoy Advance / 23.05.2005
1 player / 1 save slot / cartridge with gyro sensor and rumble
The Wario Ware series turned a new leaf with Twisted!, featuring a built-in gyro sensor that detected the orientation of the cartridge. You play most of the included 200 micro games by tilting the GameBoy Advance, and in some cases you’ll have to fully rotate the system in your hands to win. The cartridge also comes with a rumble feature, which gives you satisfying tactile feedback for every degree you tilt the system. The gyro sensor calibrates when the game is turned on (and after each micro game) so it can be played regardless of whether it is plugged into the top of a GameBoy Advance or the bottom of a Nintendo DS.
Like the other games in the series, Twisted! modifies the successful formula from the old Game & Watch portables: each micro-game has a short time limit and is designed to test your reflexes, and they get progressively faster the longer you survive (gradually making them more difficult). You can only mess up four times before it’s game over, but there are boss stages every 10-15 rounds that offer you a chance to earn a 1-up. The 200 games are divided amongst characters living in Wario’s funky city, each with their own little stories and micro-game themes.
Although tilting left and right is at its core a very simple interaction, there is no shortage of unique game designs. Whether you’re tilting the screen to cause a ball to drop through an obstacle course, flying a plane through a tight corridor, or simply shaving the stubble from a chin, each micro-game is fun and intuitive. And they have to be, since most of the time you only have a few seconds to figure out what to do and how to do it. Even with the hints that pop up before each one, it can be quite disorienting as the speed increases. Unfortunately this means some micro-games are a bit too simple, requiring a quick left-right-left-right tilt combination to win, but they do mix things up with three or four variations of each game.
New to Twisted! are the addition of souvenirs, which are randomly unlocked as you pass boss stages. These are mostly little time wasters that take advantage of the tilt sensor – from music records that you can scratch like a DJ to extended versions of micro-games you’ve already played. It will take quite awhile to unlock them all, and simple though they may be, they add incentive to return to characters you have only beaten once. Some of the optional challenge modes, which only give you one life or that toss micro-games to you at top speed will certainly put your memory and reflexes to the test.
The Wario Ware series can be a bit hit-or-miss, but Twisted! is up there with the best of them – its tilt mechanic is both fun and original. It’s sort of amazing to me that modern devices like smartphones, that come with gyro sensors built into them – don’t have more apps that take advantage of this functionality. The only problem with Twisted! is that you can’t play it on the GameBoy Player for the GameCube, which allows you to play GameBoy Advance games on your television, because you’d have to physically tilt the entire GameCube to get it to work.
Quick Run Down
- Unique tilting game designs are fun and intuitive
- 200 funny micro-games to play
- Good for quick spurts of gaming on the go
- Some micro-games are too simple
- Not compatible with GameCube’s GameBoy Player
One Sentence Review: Puts a new twist on the Wario Ware formula.
One Word Review: Fun!