Despite all the adventures for money Wario ends up going on, he never seems to have any at the start of his new games; maybe he spends it all on stupid stuff like platinum skulls and Apple products.Whatever the case, Wario is skint once more and this time he creates a device to suck himself into his TV, ready to steal all the cash from a thief show. If he can create gadgets like that, why doesn’t he just sell them? Wah!
Master Of Disguise is a 2D puzzle platformer much like the Wario Land series of old, but the gimmick this time is the ability to transform into seven disguises on the fly. One minute you can be hurtling down corridors as thief Wario, the next you may have to change into Captain Wario to steer over fast flowing water. The abilities are distinctive enough to make the seven powers share equal importance through the levels, but having to use touch screen controls to activate them can cause problems. Drawing a circle to transform into Cosmic Wario then turning into Artist Wario instead is particularly annoying during levels, rage inducing during bosses. Button selection would be more responsive, but the developers behind this one wanted to force in DS functions in every corner. You have to blow with the mic to make Wicked Wario fly. The team were clearly sick twisted individuals, much like Wario himself.
Touch controlled mini games also force their way into the action by being linked to chests. Every time you make it to a chest, which tends to be every few minutes, a 30 second mini game will play and they consist of cockroach stomping, tracing, colouring in and more pointless irrelevant tasks. At first they aren’t too bad as they provide a nice change of pace from the platforming and disguise swapping, but by the half way point you will never want to see another cockroach again. Not that you’d want to see one in the first place anyway.
It’s a shame Master Of Disguise is bogged down by poor touch screen implementation as the puzzling itself is fairly solid. It’s satisfying when you figure out which disguise to use for each puzzle and the visuals are rather pleasant, even if Wario himself is not. The levels are huge with plenty of back tracking to enjoy, and not the padding kind. Through museums, lava caves and icy mountains Wario has a lot to rob, but his biggest challenge will be getting into all the right outfit. He is a pretty big guy.