North American cover art
WarioWare: Touched![a] is a minigame compilation video game released by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. The fourth installment of the WarioWare series, and the first of three on the Nintendo DS, the game involves rapidly completing "microgames" — simple minigames lasting extremely short periods of time — as quickly as possible. The microgames are exclusively controlled with the Nintendo DS's touchscreen and microphone.
Developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD and published worldwide by Nintendo, the game was developed simultaneously with WarioWare: Twisted!. The game was created to utilize the touchscreen functions of the Nintendo DS. WarioWare: Touched! was released in December 2004 in Japan, in February 2005 in both North America and Australia and in March of the same year in Europe. Touched! was a launch title for the Japanese, Australian and European markets.
The game was positively received upon its release, with reviewers praising it for its fast-paced gameplay akin to other WarioWare titles, but were disappointed with its brevity. Touched! introduced recurring character Ashley to the series and used the touchscreen and microphone for the first time. Many of the microgames in Touched! will appear in WarioWare Gold. The game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console service in 2015 and briefly on the Nintendo 3DS the following year.
The game uses the same type of gameplay as in past WarioWare titles; the player must complete "microgames", a variation of "minigames". The player is given brief instructions before each microgame, such as "Find!", "Rotate!" or "Shoot!". Beating a microgame results in the game continuing to the next one, while losing causes the player to lose a life. If four lives are lost, the game ends in a game over, with the player's three previous highest scores being displayed. The game speeds up as it progresses. After every fifteen points scored, the player must complete a "boss stage"; a longer, typically more difficult microgame.
Touched! introduced touchscreen and microphone controls to the WarioWare series; all microgames can only be controlled with either of the two. The game has 180 microgames, not including boss stages. The game's nine stages have 20 microgames in each. Each level has a different theme, character, stage intermission and input style. All input styles use the stylus to interact with the touch screen in various ways, such as poking or dragging. Some microgames use the system's microphone; the player controls the game by blowing into it.
In addition to the main stages, the player can access "toys" by completing a stage. These toys are simple minigames, sometimes based on microgames from the main stage.
One day, while Wario drops his game down the sewers. A guru asks if they are his or if he dropped a new Nintendo DS. Being greedy, Wario attempts to get all the games but gets his hands on only the DS. He discovers that you play by poking the bottom screen with a stylus, he realizes that with two screens he can make double the money.
Then the game goes into several stories during the microgame stages. Wario gets cavities then goes for a drive on his motorcycle after fixing. After Mona reaches the top of the record charts with her band, the previous number one spot wants to stop her from getting to her concert. Jimmy T. gets a bug in his wig while dancing with his parents and siblings. Kat and Ana search for a thief that stole their bananas. A new character named Ashley has her imp, Red, get Orbulon for a spell. Dr. Crygor invents a machine capable of making objects younger. Later, he invents a karoake robot named Mike and programs him for cleaning. 9-Volt and 18-Volt buy and play a new game on their GameCube.
Finally, after Wario eats some bad garlic in an attempt to feel well, he turns into Wario-Man. He tries to stop a train but gets flown off into space. Meanwhile, the stores say that WarioWare: Touched was a great success. Upon making it back to Earth, Wario gets hit on the head by the sewer guru.
Development and release
The game, developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD, began its development during the development of WarioWare: Twisted!. The team working on Twisted! was split in two; one to continue work on Twisted! and the other to begin Touched!. In the game's inception, the development team wanted to use the technology of the Nintendo DS in the next iteration of the series like how Twisted! uses the Game Boy Advance SP's tilt sensors as a key game mechanic. The game was first revealed alongside the first Nintendo DS public demonstration in the form of a short demo.
Touched! was produced by Yoshio Sakamoto and Ryoichi Kitanishi and directed by Goro Abe, Taku Sugioka and Teruyuki Hirosawa. The game's music was composed by Masanobu Matsunaga and Yashuhisa Baba.
Published worldwide by Nintendo, it was released as a launch title for the Nintendo DS in Japan on December 2, 2004, among Super Mario 64 DS and other titles. It was released two months later in North America on February 14, 2005 and in Australia on February 24, 2005, as the second first-party title published on the system for the regions. It was released on March 11 in Europe in the same year, as a launch title for the region. It is the third installment of the series, and the first of three to be released on the Nintendo DS.
The game was re-released on the Wii U as part of its Virtual Console service in Europe and Australia on April 2, 2015, on April 9 in North America and on April 15 in Japan in the same year. It was released on the Nintendo 3DS as a limited-time reward for My Nintendo members on March 17, 2016 in Japan and March 31 of the same year in North America, Europe and Australia.
WarioWare: Touched! received generally favorable reviews, receiving a score of 81 on review aggregator Metacritic. The game was praised for its visual style, microgame-based gameplay and callbacks to retro Nintendo games, as it was criticized for its brevity and enjoyability in comparison to past titles in its series.
Touched!'s use of touchscreen mechanics was polarized amongst reviewers. Ben Kosmina writing for Nintendo World Report found that the stylus and microphone controlled the game "flawlessly", and applauded the inclusion of a mode for left-handed people. Other reviewers also applauded the game for its touchscreen controls. However, other reviewers criticized the control scheme. Jeff Gerstmann reviewing the game for GameSpot stated that the game "leans way too heavily on the touchscreen for its own good", citing that many of the methods to complete the game's microgames are too similar. Despite this, critics praised the game's use of the Nintendo DS' dual display.
The game's visual style was commonly lauded by critics. Kosmina described the game as having "a potpourri of different styles", referencing the non-conforming nature of the game's artstyle. Craig Harris, writing for IGN, stated that "the variety of styles and graphic techniques work to the game's advantage".
Another common point of praise amongst critics was the game's references to past Nintendo games and systems in the character 9-Volt's stage "Retro Action" in its microgames and its sound effects. The game references Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and the Game & Watch series, among other classic titles. The game's soundtrack was also praised, specifically "Ashley's Song" and "Mike's Song" for its full localization to English.
The microgame-based gameplay in Touched! was commended for its unique nature, but many reviewers found that the game was less enjoyable in comparison to the series' past iterations, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! and WarioWare: Twisted!. In addition, Kosmina expressed concern about the future gameplay possibilities of touchscreen controls as the microgames "Pro Bowling" and "Galaxy Bounce" were similar to that of other minigames in Feel the Magic: XY/XX and Super Mario 64 DS, other early titles for the Nintendo DS. Another common point of criticism for Touched! was its short length. Kosmina called the game a "fairly short version of the GBA game [WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames] with not much replay value".
The game's Wii U re-release was applauded for its variability in its display options, with critics stating that the vertical GamePad-only display was the best choice. However, James Charlton writing for Nintendo World Report stated that the game's touchscreen controls had aged poorly, citing that "in the era of capacitive touch screens, the sluggishness of using a stylus [can make] these touch microgames frustrating."
The touchscreen and microphone-based gameplay first implemented in Touched! has become a recurring mechanic in the WarioWare series and is present in most subsequent titles. Many microgames featured in Touched! make appearances in WarioWare Gold.
Touched! also marks the first appearance of the recurring WarioWare character Ashley, who has since appeared in WarioWare: Smooth Moves, WarioWare D.I.Y., Game & Wario and WarioWare Gold. Ashley has also made regular appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series; in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker and in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS as an assist trophy, wearable Mii outfit and trophy. She has also made cameo appearances in Nintendo Badge Arcade, Rhythm Heaven Megamix and Super Mario Maker. Versions of "Ashley's Song", which plays during Ashley's stage in Touched!, appear in Brawl and for Wii U and 3DS as selectable songs. "Mike's Song" also appears in Brawl. The songs can be played in both English and Japanese.
- Sawaru Made in Wario (さわる メイドインワリオ, Touching: Made in Wario)
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