Super Mario Maker – Come for the building, stay for the crazy


If the idea of making your own side-scrolling levels of Mario fills you with joy, then Super Mario Maker is going to be a mushroom-munching hit in your household. However, if you’re more of a player than a creator Mario Maker is still well worth a look.

Building your own levels with Super Mario Maker is easy. You pick what you want to place, whether it’s a simple block or plumber-chomping plant, and then use the touchscreen on the Wii U controller to put it into the level as many times as you like.

At first, the number of building tools you have available is limited. More items become available as you build and share, offering an incentive to keep creating and allowing you to really go to town as your building abilities and tools increase.

If you want to change your goomba into a flying goomba, just place wings on it. Want up the ante and make it a giant flying goomba? Dropping a mushroom on one will beef-up its size.

Graphically you can decide how you want everything to look from the 8-bit blocky style of the very first Mario right up to the 3D-rendered smooth cartoon styling of his latest incarnations just by clicking a button. You can keep the original game audio if you wish, but if pumping EDM and disco lights are more your cup of tea, you can add that too.

Regular costume upgrades of Fireball Mario and Leaf Mario are available, as is the option to change Mario completely into a multitude of other Nintendo and third-party characters, including Kirby, Donkey Kong and a wealth of other much-loved and much-maligned characters. You can also jump in and out of gameplay mode when building to check how well your creation actually plays before sharing it online.

You don’t need to do any building to get a load of fun out of Mario Maker though – the challenge modes are as bonkers as they are fun. Nintendo has set up its own 10 Mario Challenges that consist of eight short levels that you must to complete in 10 lives to get to the next set of challenges. The levels aren’t like normal Mario levels though, but rather Mario on crack. Some are filled with giant goombas or consist of flying clown faces that continually shoot fireballs at you. And this is the saner of the two challenge modes.

The 100 Mario Challenge gives you 100 lives to get through either 8 or 16 levels that have been created by other users. I played for hours and while some of the levels were a little lacklustre, the majority were brilliant. A pipe maze with huge enemies and disco lights, and an invincibility challenge where running is the only option for survival as fish plummet from the sky are just a couple of the levels I came across.

Most levels are short and nearly all are wildly inventive. There is a voting system just in case you come across a real stinker of a level, but most I came across were a mix of a decent challenge with a healthy dollop of crazy mixed in. It’s incredibly addictive and fun to watch even when not playing just to see what someone has created.

Whether you’re a gamer, creator or a bit of both, Super Mario Maker should be considered a must if you own a Wii U. Come for the building, stay for the crazy.

Wii U
£33.99 (3+)