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Wario’s Woods

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Released: 1994

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo R&D1

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

The final game ever released for the NES, Wario’s Woods, would see you playing as Toad trying to create a variety of block patterns which in turn would lead you to the next level and a harder puzzle to work out.

Wario’s Woods has you playing as Toad, who has to put different coloured monsters into the right categories, in order to proceed to the next level. Toad is aided by Birdo who at certain points while you are playing drops various coloured bombs for you to match up with the various coloured monsters to increase your overall score. But if you don’t complete the level quick enough, Wario appears, proceeding to drop more monsters at you and also gradually drops the ceiling which, if it hits you, means you lose a life.

The game has four modes; Round game, Time race, Versus and Lesson mode. Round game is basically playing the game 1-player and completing 100 individual puzzles, which acts as the story mode in the game. Time race sees you play through a variety of levels, complete them in a set time and then the next time you play, you see if you can complete them in a faster time than the time you did before. Versus is basically a two player game and Lesson Mode just goes through the game giving you hints on how to get high scores and deal with a lot of monsters on the screen at once.

Graphically, the game isn’t very impressive, but being the NES and being a puzzle game graphics arn’t everything. The music is ok, but nothing really memorable like Tetris themes. The gameplay is fun, but can get highly boring and frustrating at times. One thing I find interesting is that Wario appears to be wearing purple and white in this game, yet throughout the Mario universe he wears yellow, due to the graphical incapabilities of the NES.

As I mentioned this was the last game released for the NES, so in a way it does have some novelty value to it but it is nothing spectacular. It is also the only game on the NES to have a ESRB rating as well as being the only NES game what Wario appears in. The game was also released for the SNES with improved gameplay and graphics but it is essentially the same game.

To conclude, Wario Woods is a quirky puzzle game in the NES library with some quirky trivia around it to match. The game contains the more obscure characters of the Mario universe; Birdo, Toad and Wario, so if you are a devout Mario fanboy, you might find this isn’t to your taste. If you are a fan of puzzle games, you will probably find this a blast, but if like me you are not their biggest fan, you might want to leave it alone too. The game was one of the first four games to be re-released for the Wii Virtual Console and is priced at 500 Wii Points. If you want an fun alternative to Tetris give this a try. If however you want a fun puzzle experience, I’d say stick to Tetris.