Wario Land: Shake It!

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Wario Land: Shake It!
North American box art
Director(s)Madoka Yamauchi
  • Takahiro Harada
  • Etsunobu Ebisu
Designer(s)Tadanori Tsukawaki
  • Koichi Yagi
  • Takanori Mori
  • Hironori Kuraoka
  • Yuhei Matsuda
  • Naoya Sakamoto
Artist(s)Nobuhito Sue
  • Tomoya Tomita
  • Minako Hamano
  • JP: July 24, 2008
  • NA: September 22, 2008
  • AU: September 25, 2008
  • EU: September 26, 2008

Wario Land: Shake It! (known as Wario Land: The Shake Dimension in PAL regions, Wario Land Shake in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Wario Land Shaking in South Korea) is a 2008 platform game developed by Good-Feel and published by Nintendo for the Wii, with animation produced by Production I.G.

The game is the sixth installment in the Wario Land series, as part of the Wario franchise. It follows Wario as he enters the Shake Dimension with the goal of obtaining the Bottomless Coin Sack, which provides an endless supply of coins.

The game was released in Japan on July 24, 2008, and in other regions in September. It was digitally re-released on the Wii U eShop during 2016: in PAL regions on April 7, in Japan on August 24, and in North America on November 17.[citation needed]


Wario Land: Shake It! is a side-scrolling platform game in which the player controls the protagonist, Wario, who must travel through five distinct continents, each of which offers up to seven sequential levels, defeating the boss in each of them. The game is played by holding the Wii Remote horizontally, and makes use of the controller's motion control features; in addition to Wario's standard moveset, including a forward charge attack and a butt stomp, Wario also possesses several new moves which utilize the Wii Remote's motion-sensitive features. By shaking the controller, Wario can perform a powerful ground punch, which stuns nearby enemies and activates certain mechanisms. He can also pick up stunned enemies and coin bags, and shake them using the Wii Remote to make them spit out coins and items, and can throw picked up enemies and objects, aiming by tilting the controller. Various vehicle-based sections, which involve activities such as riding mine carts and piloting a submarine, also make use of the Wii Remote's tilt controls.[1][2]

The primary goal of each level in the game is to rescue creatures known as Merfles, who are imprisoned inside a cage located at the end of each level. Except for submarine levels, breaking open a Merfle cage triggers a countdown, with the player required to return to the beginning of the level before time runs out. Wario can make use of special machines to put him into a speedy dash which can break blocks in his path, with players encouraged to maintain their dash in order to return to the beginning quickly, as well as reach treasures and coins that are otherwise inaccessible. Players can replay levels in order to attempt optional objectives. The player's secondary objective is to collect as much money as possible, either from collecting coins scattered across the level or obtained from coin bags, or by finding the three hidden treasures that can be found in each level. Players can use any earned money at Captain Syrup's shop to purchase items, such as health upgrades and maps to new continents.


Wario Land: Shake It! starts with Captain Syrup breaking into a museum and observing the surface of an ancient globe, which houses the Shake Dimension. Captain Syrup witnesses a crisis occurring in the Shake Dimension, in which the Shake King has imprisoned Queen Merelda and her Merfle subjects and claimed the legendary "Bottomless Coin Sack", which releases an endless supply of coins when shaken. She steals the ancient globe and mails it to Wario, claiming that the real treasure is inside. Before Wario is able to break the globe open, one of the escaped Merfles emerges and asks for help. Wario becomes interested in the affair only after learning of the Bottomless Coin Sack, and follows the Merfle back into the Shake Dimension.

After progressing through multiple worlds, Wario eventually confronts the Shake King and defeats him. Queen Merelda crowns Wario a hero, though he instead nonchalantly claims the Bottomless Coin Sack and takes it home. Much to Wario's dismay, however, Captain Syrup takes the sack for herself as payment for agreeing to help Merfle save the Shake Dimension. Outraged, Wario chases Merfle around the garage.


Wario Land: Shake It! was developed by the Japanese video game developer, Good-Feel. Madoka Yamauchi was the game's director, while Takahiro Harada and Etsunobu Ebisu were the producers. Development for the game began after Harada approached Ebisu and suggested that a new Wario platform game be made. Harada wanted to extend a gameplay dynamic prevalent in previous Wario Land games, which is Wario's "use of strength to overcome opposition", and had the developers at Good-Feel play those games to understand that dynamic.[3]: 1  Design director Tadanori Tsukawaki asked Wario's animators "to strongly emphasize his manly characteristics" to help re-create this feel. Composer Tomoya Tomita used Wario Land 4 for inspiration when writing the game's music.[3]: 3  As with previous Wario games, Wario in Wario Land: Shake It! was voiced by Charles Martinet.

Wario Land: Shake It! was designed to be played by holding the Wii Remote sideways to emulate holding a NES gamepad or SNES gamepad. Yamauchi suggested shaking the Wii Remote as a key method of control after hearing Harada say that "when he sees something placed high up, he wants to knock it down." In early development for the game, the player would shake the Wii Remote in either horizontal or vertical directions to perform distinct actions, but this idea was dropped when tests indicated that the controller could not differentiate shaking in one direction versus another. The limited number of buttons easily accessible by the player when holding the Wii Remote sideways also presented difficulties; having the player to tilt the Wii Remote at different angles to perform different actions was chosen to overcome this obstacle. Yamauchi stated that this simple control scheme would potentially benefit newer video game players.[3]: 1 

Yamauchi proposed the hand-drawn art style which is featured in the final game, though Tsukawaki was initially opposed to the idea since future changes to a character's design meant changes to all of its individual animation frames for the game. Over 2,000 frames were drawn to animate over 200 actions for Wario alone; over 6,000 frames were drawn for all enemy characters, including those that were removed from the final game. All the game's backgrounds and scenery were also hand-drawn. Program director Koichi Yagi stated that clever programming techniques were required to efficiently store and handle both the non-repeating backgrounds and the thousands of character frames in the Wii console RAM during gameplay. Japanese anime studio Production I.G assisted with character animations and both the opening and closing cutscenes, while studio Kusanagi drew the backgrounds.[3]: 2 


Nintendo held various marketing campaigns, most notably an interactive YouTube video.[4] The company also held a competition at Six Flags near Los Angeles and St. Louis, where competitors competed for a "bottomless coin sack." Participants received fake Wario mustaches, and the winner won both the sack and an all-expense-paid trip to Nintendo World in New York.[5] Another marketing campaign had Nintendo giving away gasoline at a Los Angeles Mobile Gas area to market Wario Land: Shake It! in reference to Wario's flatulence.[6]


Wario Land: Shake It! received a score of 8.4 out of 10 from IGN[11] and a score of 31 out of 40 from Famitsu.[9] Nintendo Power gave a score of 8.0.[12] X-Play gave the game a 4 out of 5, praising the gameplay, but calling the constant shaking of the Wii Remote tedious and repetitive. GameSpot gave it 7.5 out of 10, praising the beautiful art style and fun gameplay, but criticizing the gimmicky motion controls and short game length.[10] It was nominated for multiple Wii-specific awards by IGN in its 2008 video game awards, including Best Platform Game[17] and Best Artistic Design.[18] Author Roger Pederson listed it as one of the best Wii games of 2008.[19]

Wario Land: Shake It! entered Japanese sales charts as the eighth best-selling game of the release week at 25,000 copies.[20] The game eventually slipped several places on the charts, but climbed back to tenth place for the week ending August 21, 2008.[21] Japanese sales for the game reached approximately 114,263 units by the end of 2008, according to Media Create.[22] As of December 2008, Wario Land: Shake It! sold about 150,000 copies in the United States.[23] This figure fell short of the game's 350,000 sales goal, which the marketing team attributes to a weak economy and lower video game sales overall.[4] Despite this, the game sold 1.06 million copies worldwide.[24]


  1. ^ Tanaka, John (June 13, 2008). "Wario Land Shake Details". IGN. Archived from the original on December 20, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Tanaka, John (July 12, 2008). "Hands On: Wario Land: Shake It". IGN. Archived from the original on October 4, 2022. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Ebisu, Etsunobu; Yamauchi, Madoka; Yagi, Koichi; Tsukawaki, Tanadori; Tomita, Tomoya; Sei, Kentaro; Harada, Takahiro; Matsumiya, Nobuo (2008). "Wario Land: Shake It! - Development Staff Interview" (Interview). Nintendo. Archived from the original on October 19, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Ryan, Damian; Jones, Calvin (2011). The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World: Mastering The Art of Customer Engagement. Kogan Page Publishers. pp. 91–94. ISBN 978-0749460631.
  5. ^ McWhertor, Michael (September 29, 2008). "Wait... Nintendo Was Handing Out Wario Mustaches?". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Fahey, Mike (September 22, 2008). "Nintendo Gives Away Free Gas In LA...Didn't We Just Write This?". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Wario Land: Shake It! Reviews". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  8. ^ "Wario Land: Shake It! Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Famitsu Review Scores". Nintendo Everything. July 18, 2008. Archived from the original on August 21, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Chiappini, Dave (September 24, 2008). "Wario Land: Shake It! Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Casamassina, Matt (September 19, 2008). "Wario Land: Shake It! Review". IGN. Archived from the original on September 23, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Slate, Chris (November 2008). "Shaking Things Up". Nintendo Power. Vol. 234. p. 94.
  13. ^ Metts, Jonathan (October 2, 2008). "Wario Land: Shake It! Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  14. ^ Reddick, Stuart (March 27, 2009). "Wario Land: Shake It! Review". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "Wario Land: Shake It! ONM Review". Archived from the original on September 26, 2008.
  16. ^ "Wario Land: Shake it! 1UP Review". Archived from the original on June 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "IGN Wii: Best Platform Game 2008". IGN. December 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  18. ^ "IGN Wii: Best Artistic Design 2008". IGN. December 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  19. ^ Pederson, Roger (2009). Game Design Foundations. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 58. ISBN 978-1449663926. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  20. ^ Jenkins, David (July 31, 2008). "Dragon Quest Still Atop Busy Japanese Charts". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on May 9, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  21. ^ Jenkins, David (August 21, 2008). "Japanese Charts: Rhythm Heaven Enjoys Festive Number One". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  22. ^ "2008年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500(ファミ通版)" [2008 game sales TOP500 (Famitsu version)] (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on January 27, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  23. ^ Casamassina, Matt (January 23, 2009). "THQ: Expect more de Blob". IGN. Archived from the original on January 26, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  24. ^ 2020CESAゲーム白書 (2020 CESA Games White Papers). Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association. 2020. ISBN 978-4-902346-42-8.

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