WarioWare, sometimes WarioWare, Inc. and known as Made in Wario (メイド イン ワリオ Meido in Wario) in Japan, is a video game series of party games published by Nintendo and mostly co-developed by Nintendo SPD Group No. 1 and Intelligent Systems. It is focused on very short and simple minigames, more specifically microgames. It was introduced in 2003 and is a spin-off of both Mario Artist: Polygon Studio and a series within the Wario franchise. The concept of WarioWare was first used in the named Mario Artist title. The plot of the WarioWare series centers around its main character, Wario, and his friends who work for his "company", WarioWare, Inc., and develop the microgames.
WarioWare or spin-off games have been published for every Nintendo system after 2003 except the Nintendo 3DS, and their style varies from system to system, depending on its features (e.g. for Nintendo DS, the games are based on touching the touch screen and blowing into the microphone). Each game consists of microgames (really tiny and simple games like popping balloons or spinning a coin) that are often crazy (like picking a nose). The games might seem simple, but as the player's level goes up, they become more and more challenging. This concept was first used in Mario Artist: Polygon Studio in the so-called Sound Bomber mode, but only with a very small number of microgames. Beneath the microgame stages, all WarioWare titles offer unlockable extra modes and "full" minigames.
Story-wise, the games center on Wario, his company WarioWare, Inc., and his friends in Diamond City who develop microgames for his company, though greedy Wario usually refuses to pay his friends, despite the high success of the games. WarioWare introduced several new characters, who have made small appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series and a surprise guest appearance in Rhythm Heaven Megamix. Most games of the series include short stories in the form of cut scenes dedicated to each of the developers, telling about adventures or the everyday life of them. These cut scenes are split into two parts, the first one can be seen before the developer's respective microgame stage, while the latter part with the ending appears after the player beat the stage.
Other recurring characters
The original WarioWare was developed by Nintendo R&D1, the department that created Wario and developed the Wario Land series. Starting with Mega Party Games, the games were developed with assistance from long-time collaborator Intelligent Systems. Following R&D1's dissolution, the series would be taken over by its successor, Nintendo SPD1.
The original WarioWare was developed by several new Nintendo staff who had previously worked on Wario Land 4, and it shared its director (Hirofumi Matsuoka), who would leave Nintendo following the completion of the game. Goro Abe, a programmer and designer on the original game, would be promoted to Director position for Mega Party Games and assume this role for all subsequent games with the exception of Snapped!. Artist Ko Takeuchi designed the series' cast and Wario's biker costume with supervision from Wario's original creator, Hiroji Kiyotake. R&D1 veteran and manager Yoshio Sakamoto acted as a producer starting with Twisted!.
WarioWare share several developers with the Rhythm Heaven series. The two series have similar structure, aesthetics, and sense of humor.