Though it has only 20-30 minutes of gameplay, WarioWare: Snapped! serves as fun technical demonstration of the enhancements found in the Nintendo DSi. The title uses one of the DSi cameras to bring a sort of motion-controlled experience to the handheld console while retaining all the quirky charm of its predecessors.
The latest in a lifetime of moneymaking enterprises sees Wario open a theme park with the help of some familiar faces. Wario Park has four roller coasters to ride, each being a series of five themed minigames. One coaster features Wario, while the rest feature Mona, Jimmy and Kat and Ana respectively.
WarioWare: Snapped! is played entirely using the inner camera of the DSi to track the movement of your head and upper body. This creates motion-controlled gameplay similar to that found in games that use the PlaySation Eye or Xbox LIVE Vision Camera on home consoles. More…
The Nintendo DSi is laid flat on a table with the top screen tilted at a 120 degree angle in order to play WarioWare: Snapped!. At the beginning of each coaster, the game will attempt to calibrate the camera by having players align their face and hand with an on-screen indicator. The calibration checks that the play area is adequately lit and that a player’s skin tone contrasts enough from the background.
The technology certainly is not perfect; there are a number of factors that can influence the recognition of a player’s face or hands. Lighting and background colour are certainly the largest factors, however I had some troubles while wearing my glasses as well. The in-game manual also suggests that difficulties may be encountered in the case of thick facial hair, light hair colour or if a player’s eyebrows are obscured.
For the most part, however the motion recognition in WarioWare: Snapped! works rather well and does manage to provide a console-like experience anywhere a DSi can be set down. Intelligent Systems has made some concessions in gameplay to accommodate the new input method. Much like WarioWare: Smooth Moves on Wii, this titles pauses before each minigame to allow players to realign themselves or get into a new position. The time limit of each minigame has also been markedly increased to 20 or 30 seconds.
Upon completing the five minigames of each coaster, players are presented with a slideshow of themselves making the motions required to play, sometimes with enhancements drawn on them. These slideshows will appear on the title screen, however there is no way to save the photos or slideshows created by WarioWare: Snapped! and they will be erased if the DSi is closed or if players exit the game.
Saving photos or slideshows would have been a welcome feature as the four coasters have players making some very distinct motions that would be fun to share with friends. Wario’s coaster features big expressions and movements, Mona’s asks players to align their body with on-screen objects. A variety of actions are performed during the coaster featuring disco king Jimmy, while Kat and Ana have a second player join in the fun.
The whole package can be completed within half an hour, less if there is no one around to act as a second player. Those looking to get the most out of WarioWare: Snapped! will want to play through the interactive credits as well. This stage sees players moving their head in order to pilot a roller coaster through the names and titles of the staff in order to score points.
The audio/visual presentation is exactly what one would expect from a handheld title in the WarioWare series. Everything features a hand drawn look, bright colours and an oddball charm that has become synonymous with the series. The music and sound effects should also be familiar to those that have played the previous WarioWare titles.
Though very brief, WarioWare: Snapped! does a great job of showcasing what the Nintendo DSi inner camera is capable of. It’s not flawless, but it does succeed in bringing motion and spatial recognition to a handheld game system. Because there are no peripherals involved and the game can be played while seated, I’d argue that this motion control method is more accessible to physically disabled users than titles found on Wii or camera-based games found on other consoles.
WarioWare: Snapped! Would best be played by people within the first few days of owning a DSi. It is not much more than a tech demo, however it is an effective one and is definitely worth a look to those seeking a title that takes advantage of the DSi hardware and a provides a glimpse of what is to come in future games on the upgraded handheld.
+ Motion Tracking Works Surprisingly Well
+ Retains Art Style and Charm from Previous Games
+ Takes Advantage of DSi Hardware
– Extremely Short, Very Little Content
– Cannot Save Photos or Slideshows