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WarioWare: Twisted!

Wario's back for more microgame mania - but this time around there's a bit of a, er, twist

It's time to hang up your logic hat again as everyone's favourite Nintendo villain returns for another bout of insane mini-game mania. This time though, there's a bit of a, um, twist.

Wario, our lightning-moustached anti-hero, has broken his GBA in a tantrum and, in a barrage of tenuous plot-deployment, winds up with a replacement that only seems to function by twisting it left or right. Ever the capitalist, Wario sees marketing potential and dollar signs and - lo - another venture into mini-game lunacy is born.

Although following the five-second microgame set-up of the original GBA title (and slightly lacklustre DS Touched!), Twisted!'s gimmick - a gyroscopic motion sensor built into the cartridge - gives a much-needed kick up the arse to what was in danger of becoming a stale and repetitive formula. Each five-second gameplay snippet requires you to vigorously (and not-so-vigorously) rotate your handheld left and right to complete the nonsensical barrage of lightning-speed tasks. Occasionally, you'll also find the A Button brought into the action to spice things up that little bit further.


It all sounds basic and uninspiring but - as ever with the series - it's the sheer diversity and unpredictable nature of the microgames that keep things fresh from the moment you pick up your GBA to the time you set it down with gnarled wrists hours later. If picking noses, washing plates and shaving the hairs off your chinny-chin chin nudges your funny-button, then you'll be right at home here.

It's not always obvious what's required from you or your wrists at times, but that's what makes the whole WarioWare formula so hellishly addictive. If you're not on the ball, all you're likely to get as a result of your efforts is the GBA equivalent of a slap in the face. It takes cunning, guile and razor-sharp reactions to evaluate and act on the information the game throws up in five-second bursts, but once you're in the zone, you'll feel like the Wrist Master himself.

Even more encouragingly, unlike Touched! - which provided little in the way of incentive to return to its systematic prodding (with merely a handful of uninspired diversions unlocked as you progressed) - Twisted! comes bundled with such an insane roster of pointless and not-so-pointless diversions (unlocked as you delve deeper into its insane heart), you'll actually relish earning better scores and testing your speed, precision and dexterity to frightening extremes.

As ever with the series, the sheer off-the-wall, oddball nature of Warioware isn't likely to appeal to everyone. However, Nintendo's wise decision to put a (literal) spin on its most bonkers franchise has resulted in one of the most playable, addictive offerings you're going to find on the GBA - or anywhere else for that matter. Even if you found Touched!'s simplistic stylus-focused tasks tedious and uninspired, it's looking like Mario's arch-nemesis has another hit on his hands. Just one word of warning - your wrists are going to hate you for the rest of your life.