Move over, Wario. It's microgame making time.
Ten years ago, you had to buy a PC to create your own levels. Fast forward to 2010, and there are several build your own games on consoles, including Sony's LittleBigPlanet. Even Nintendo wants to empower its fans with the upcoming WarioWare D.I.Y., available for DS March 28th. If you love the WarioWare franchise and think you can make superior microgames, this should be an essential purchase.
With D.I.Y., Nintendo encourages you to unleash your inner creationist by dreaming up a plethora of microgames, short mini-games that players have only seconds to complete. To help you along, developer Intelligent Systems will provide hundreds of pieces that you can arrange an infinite number of ways, including cutouts of your favorite Nintendo characters, like Mario and Princess Peach.
To showcase the game in action, Nintendo walked us through a microgame, where it not only assembled pieces to make a forest set against a starlit sky, but also an animated rocket ship that took off when the player tapped it; you specify the condition, like tapping an object to win.
Although it was fun watching the whole thing unfold, it also raised concerns about the complexity of the user creation tools. Nintendo seems to pride itself on releasing games accessible to all ages, but WarioWare D.I.Y. has a monster learning curve. In other words, you don't just switch on the DS and immediately create 18 consecutive microgames (the max number you can string together). There's a lengthy tutorial that walks you through everything, from designing graphics to animation.
This brings up another issue. What if you love WarioWare, but don't feel like making your own microgames? Fortunately, D.I.Y. comes with over 90 pre-made games to enjoy, and you can score another fix with the WiiWare only WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, which comes with an additional 72 microgames; it debuts next month.
Naturally, you'd miss out on unlocking the game's full potential, especially when it comes to Wi-Fi. Exchanging Friend Codes allows you to share your creations with others and vice versa, opening up an infinite number of games to enjoy. Nintendo will even challenge the community to make and then submit microgames for a chance at being spotlighted across the globe. You'll just need a wireless broadband connection to hop online.
All told, this is one of the company's most ambitious games. If D.I.Y.'s a success, it could open the door to a whole bunch of exciting projects. Whether or not it's fun, though, heavily depends on the tools and the instructions on how to use them. If Nintendo holds our hands the entire way, we're golden. If it leaves us to figure things out, WarioWare will become much too frustrating. Check back with us during the last week of March to see if it's is the next big thing in user creation.