You know, if you're absolutely dying for a new WarioWare fix, Nintendo's new DS installment, WarioWare: Touched!, fits the bill. It does most of the things the other games in the series do, only it does them with the touch screen instead of a D pad or any buttons. Unfortunately, that's also where this installment sort of falls apart. It's a good product, overall, but its overreliance on touching means that many of the microgames have you doing the same sort of activity again and again. WarioWare's greatest strength has always been its variety. But without that same variety here, WarioWare: Touched! gets old fast.
WarioWare: Touched! is good, but it gets old fast.
The same basic story concept from the first game applies here. Wario loves money. Hey, who doesn't, right? In this installment, Wario manages to get his hands on some kind of newfangled dual-screen handheld game system, so he quickly sets his old plan back into motion: exploiting the locals to create microgames for him so he can keep all the profit for himself. Touched! doesn't really have a story arc, per se, but each set of games is associated with a character, and each character has an intro and an epilogue that bookends his or her levels.
The gameplay also sticks closely to the WarioWare concept. Your job is to play through these microgames, one after the next. You never know which one you're going to see next, and each clocks in somewhere around the five-second mark. Each has one simple task that you're asked to perform, and all these tasks involve the touch screen or the DS's microphone. You'll pop balloons with the stylus. You'll pop bubbles with the stylus, too. You'll even have to pop some of those little air bubbles that come wrapped around carefully shipped items with the stylus as well. Popping aside, there is some variety here, but most of the games involve tapping the screen in a specific spot, dragging an item around the screen with the stylus, drawing lines on the screen, or some combination of all three. The microgames stick to the same style found in other games in the series, and some of them have a great deal of charm. Also like the other offerings in the series, Touched! throws a bone to nostalgia fiends in the form of a section of games that are modeled after classic Nintendo games. In one of the Mario-themed ones, you'll have to poke a bunch of Super Mario Bros. question blocks to get coins. A Legend of Zelda-style game has you prodding fairies before time expires. Metroid makes an appearance, too, in the form of a contest where you must drag metroids off of Samus and keep them away until time expires.