After being defeated by Mario, Wario sets off to find another castle. While on his search he discovers, the pirate filled, Kitchen Island. Wario decides to pay Kitchen Island a little visit, and by visit I mean steal their golden Princess Toadstool statue, and all the pirates loot. Wario figures that with the statue and all of the pirates loot in hand, he will have enough cash to build a castle bigger then Mario's.
Although the game is a spin-off of Super Mario Land series, the game plays differently. The first major difference is the way that Wario attacks his enemies. Wario's main attack it his elbow. He uses it to smash his way through enemies. When Wario jumps on top of an enemy it doesn't kill them like in the Mario Land series, instead it just knocks them on their back for a few seconds. This gives you the chance to either run away, pick them up and throw them, or kill them with your elbow. Similarly to Mario Land, you collect all your additional power-ups by smashing blocks. Unlike Mario however, you get your powers by putting on hats found in special pots.
Normal Wario: This is how Wario starts out in the game, and also starts out when starting a new level. Wario wears a safari hat, and is able to use his elbow attack to kill enemies, and break blocks.
Bull Wario: When Wario finds a bull pot, he puts on a Viking Helmet that transforms him into Bull Wario. As Bull Wario, Wario's elbow attack is stronger, he can stick to ceilings using the spikes on his hat, and he can ground pound.
Dragon Wario: When Wario finds a dragon pot, he puts on a Dragon Helmet that transforms him into Dragon Wario. As Dragon Wario, Wario's elbow attack is gone, and instead is replaced with the ability to momentarily breathe fire from the helmet.
Jet Wario: When Wario finds a jet pot, he puts on a Bird Helmet that transforms him into Jet Wario. As Jet Wario, Wario's elbow attack is extremely powerful. When on the ground it lasts longer then usual, but when in the air or going off ledges, it grants you the power to fly in the air for a short amount of time.
Tiny Wario: When Wario gets hit by an enemy he shrinks into Tiny Wario. Tiny Wario is similar to Mario when he's at his smallest state. Tiny Wario cannot attack, and is more vulnerable. Tiny Wario can be reverted back to any of his other forms by collecting a pot, or by finding his safari hat.
The graphic in this game are pretty good. They share the same style sprites that Super Mario Land 2 does. The shading is very good, the characters are detailed, and the surroundings and backgrounds are full of different objects and detail.
The music sounds a lot like Super Mario Land 2 as well, only it's a little bit darker toned. The music isn't as high tempo as the Mario Land series. It's slower and deeper toned. The music is still pretty catchy, and produced nicely. Some of the sound effects in the game were reused from Super Mario Land 2, but the majority of the sounds are new, made specifically for this game.
Wario Land is a fantastic GameBoy game. It's one of my personal favorites, and it's the one that started the on going Wario Land series. If you liked the Mario Land series, I highly recommend giving this game a try. If you've played the more recent Wario Land games, and would like to see where it all started, I highly recommend playing this game.