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How WarioWare Was Ahead Of Its Time

With WarioWare Gold out now on 3DS, Tony takes a look at how the series has foreshadowed Nintendo's moves over the years, from the Wii, to the Wii U, to the Switch.

3DS releases may have slowed considerably since the Nintendo Switch arrived on the scene, but the handheld still has many notable games in its library, now including WarioWare Gold. The latest in the long-running microgame series, Gold collects more than 300 new and old games together into one package, making it not only the biggest WarioWare game to date, but also a fun reminder of how innovative the series has always been

Even when it first debuted on Game Boy Advance in 2003, WarioWare has always been rich with clever ideas. At a time when dense RPGs like Golden Sun and Fire Emblem dominated the platform, WarioWare stood in stark contrast with its rapid-fire five-second challenges and meme-worthy humor--long before smartphone games arrived to consume idle downtime.

Since then, the series has popped up on nearly every subsequent Nintendo platform, serving as a showpiece for each new piece of hardware. WarioWare Touched launched shortly after the DS in 2005 and put the dual-screen handheld's unique features to good use with a collection of microgames that relied on the touch screen and microphone. Likewise, WarioWare: Smooth Moves appeared on Wii soon after the console debuted and utilized the Wii Remote in clever ways, some of which would even be reprised in Switch's own minigame collection, 1-2-Switch.

The series' final DS outing, WarioWare DIY, continued to innovate. As much a game editor as it was a minigame compilation, DIY gave players a suite of tools with which to create and share their own microgames, paving the way for Nintendo's other game-creation software like Super Mario Maker and Nintendo Labo's Toy-Con Garage.

Despite its deceptively simple premise, WarioWare has proven to be one of Nintendo's more daring franchises. Join us as we look back on the series since its inception and how it's always been ahead of its time.