A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that WarioWare: D.I.Y. lets players create their own micro-games, music, and comics and share them with others. There are dozens of pre-existing games on the game card, and some of them display mild cartoon violence (smacking bunnies whack-a-mole style, fighters punching each other) as well as lewd behavior, such as a finger picking a giant nose. Also on the card are several short comics, some of which play host to juvenile jokes, like a kid performing a flaming fart on another’s head, and a child running so fast that the skin slides off his face, leaving just his wide-eyed skull. Parents should also take note that players have the ability to create any sort of content they like -- including that which might be offensive -- using the game’s editing tools. That said, the game is an excellent educational tool for kids who are interested in learning how to make games. It provides thorough instructions for everything from creating graphics and music to defining game rules and object behavior. However, patience is required; working through just the most basic -- and text-heavy -- tutorials necessary to learn how to create even a simple game takes at least an hour. The game does support online sharing, but the only games made available for download are the ones Nintendo deems best (and, which consequently, have been vetted for offensive content.)
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What's it about?
As expected, WARIOWARE: D.I.Y. features the franchise’s requisite collection of goofy four-second micro-games that have players doing things like guiding a finger to pick a nose and tapping items on a grocery list. However, its primary focus is having players create these games themselves. You begin with a series of detailed interactive tutorials that show how to create graphics and music and explain the rules that govern game design, including triggers, switches, and winning conditions. You can also compose short songs with a multi-track music editor and draw your own short comic strips. All creations can be shared with friends over a local wireless connection, uploaded to a Wii, or stored in an online warehouse where registered friends have access to them. Nintendo also hosts design challenges and makes the best entries available for download.
Is it any good?
Creative types will have a blast with this game. If you can think of a game that can take place in under ten seconds, chances are you’ll be able to make it. We made everything from simple card games to quick platformers starring our favourite game characters. Meanwhile, the music editor is a great introduction to making electronic music and allows for wonderfully complex 90-second compositions. A comic maker is the cherry on top, giving aspiring comic artists a chance to hone their skills.
Of course, all of these activities assume the player has plenty of patience. Learning how to make stuff in WarioWare: D.I.Y. is a little like learning how to use a new PC application like Adobe PhotoShop. There are loads of tools and rules to learn, and the only way to master them is to first work through hours worth of basic and specialized technique tutorials, then conduct trial and error experiments. It’s not easy, but creative kids with a little tenacity will be well rewarded for their hard work.
Online interaction: Players can store games online, making them accessible to people who are registered as their friends. Players can also upload games made in response to Nintendo’s design challenges. Those that are deemed best by Nintendo -- and, consequently, thoroughly vetted for offensive content -- could be made available for download by the public.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether, after playing WarioWare: D.I.Y., making games is more or less difficult than they imagined. Most game makers concentrate on only one aspect of the game making process. Which was your favourite? Drawing graphics? Making music? Creating the rules? Defining an objective and setting win conditions?
Families can also discuss whether this game has made them look at other games differently. Do you now have a greater level of respect for the work that goes into more complex games? When you play other games, do you imagine the sort of rules that must have been created to govern the behavior of objects and characters to make them work properly?
For kids who love to create things
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.