WarioWare: Twisted! spins you right round

(Like a record)

Game Boy Advance sequel Mawaru Made in Wario (better known as WarioWare: Twisted!) is fifteen years old this week, which means it’s fifteen years since I bought both it and Kirby Canvas Curse at the same time on the same day. And a very good day it was.

I love the original WarioWare for GBA (as well as its multiplayer-focused Gamecube re-release), but in my opinion Twisted! tops it. It takes the madcap, rapid-fire variety of the first game and slathers a viscous layer of physicality over it, creating one of the most bonkers gaming experiences you can have. Yes, the big innovation for WarioWare: Twisted! is the inclusion of a gyro sensor in the (bulky!) cartridge, meaning you play it by – yes – twisting and turning your GBA all over the place. The sensor whirs and clicks with a satisfying vibration, its precise, tactile action married to perfectly responsive control in an extremely satisfying way.

It’s the same basic formula as the first game, but the microgames are better, more varied and more fun. The “Fronk” games are a superb touch. Whichever character or mode you pick, Fronk will show up at random with micro-microgames, even quicker than the already seconds-long tasks you’ll get thrown at you. It keeps you very much on your toes, knowing these games could blindside you anytime.

Aesthetically it shines as one of the greatest games on the Advance, as far as I’m concerned. Big, thick outlines make the brightly-coloured characters pop, there’s some fantastic use of sampled speech (This here is Mona Pizza! Makers of the world’s best eats-a!) and generally slick, gorgeous cutscenes. It’s also rammed with even more bonus content than the first game, with a “gacha” system providing a constant drip-feed of unlockables, including the best extra game in the series, Mewtroid.

Some of the games found here are also included in WarioWare: Gold for 3DS, but that’s an altogether more staid and less interesting package. Twisted is a game that’s not satisfying to emulate, so you’ll need to shell out for an original copy. I promise that it’s worth your time.