Wario's Woods is a puzzle game developed and published by Nintendo, released on both the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) video game consoles. It was first released in Japan on February 19, 1994 and was later released in North America on March 10, 1994 and in Europe in 1995. The SNES version was released exclusively in North America in December 1994. Wario's Woods was the last official licenced game released for the NES, and is also the only game in its library to have an official rating by the ESRB.
Wario's Woods is a falling block game where the objective is to clear the playing field of monsters by using bombs, arranging them into rows of matching colors. Unlike other puzzle games such as Tetris, where the player directly manipulates the game pieces, the player controls Toad, who moves around the playing field and arranges them after they have fallen.
The game was re-released multiple times, first as a broadcast on the Satellaview from April 23, 1995 to June 30, 2000, and as a Virtual Console title for the Wii in 2006 and for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2013.
The objective of Wario's Woods is to clear the playing field of monsters of varying colors by using bombs of matching color, which are dropped into the field from the top of the screen. In order to do so, the monsters and bombs must be rearranged by the player such that three or more objects of the same color are placed adjacent to one another in horizontal, vertical, or diagonal rows, with at least one object being a bomb (such rows are called a 'match'). For example, a match may consist of two red monsters and one red bomb, but may also consist of two red bombs and one red monster. When the play field is cleared of all the monsters, the player progresses to the next round, where the initial number of monsters increases. There are different monster types that can only be destroyed in specific ways, such as requiring two matches in quick succession or being placed into a diagonal match.
Unlike other action puzzle games such as Tetris or Puzzle League where the player directly manipulates the game pieces, either as they fall or via a cursor, the player directly controls the character Toad, who moves around inside the playing field atop the fallen objects. Toad can pick up individual objects or lift entire stacks and place them elsewhere in the playing field, but is unable to manipulate objects he cannot immediately reach. However, Toad can perform a variety of additional tricks, such as kicking objects across the play field and scurrying up the sides of stacks to retrieve specific objects. If the player cannot clear the playing field of its objects quickly enough, the play field will eventually fill to the brim and trap Toad, resulting in a Game Over.
During play there is a timer called the 'Time Gauge,' which switches between Bomb Time and Enemy Time each time it expires, causing the game rules to change. During Bomb Time, Birdo drops bombs into the playing field. During Enemy Time, Wario drops monsters into the playing field and lowers the ceiling, shrinking the available space and making it both harder to arrange objects and easier for the playing field to quickly fill up.
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