Super Mario Maker

Ever wondered what it’s like for the game designers at Nintendo to create a new level for Mario? Well with the release of Super Mario Maker for the Wii U, Nintendo are giving fans the ability to create their own levels and share them with others players via the online community.  Sound like a great idea for a video game?  Well it definitely is and I think Nintendo have struck gold here for a future classic.  Following in the footsteps of Minecraft’s creative tools, players are asked to let their imaginations run wild in making their own unique Super Mario courses.
Game Experience

Well this all depends on the levels you or others create, the possibilities are infinite!  So if you’re after a challenge chances are that you’ll be catered for, or if you’re feeling really brave there’s the 100 Mario challenge, which offers up 100 randomly created levels for you to master.  Might I add that there is a shorter version ’10 Mario challenge’, which is a specially created course by Nintendo and may be preferred by children or those older gamers who aren’t already Super Mario experts.

​You’ll find all these levels in the ‘Course World’ area of the game, which can be viewed either by newest levels uploaded, highest rated and even best rated creators.  So if you find a specific creator that you enjoy, you can add them to a custom ‘following’ list in order to keep up to date with any new creations.
​Creating your own levels is such a breeze with the Wii U gamepad and stylus.  It’s another one of those examples that shows Nintendo were not crazy when designing the console. Definitely a perfect fit!  You can base your level’s gameplay and visual style on 4 past Mario games, ‘Super Mario Bros.’ (NES), ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ (NES), ‘Super Mario World’ (SNES) and ‘New Super Mario Bros. U’ (Wii U).
​I’m really pleased to see that Nintendo has made the game compatible with amiibos.  When creating a level, simply swipe your character over the NFC reader part of the Wii U gamepad and hey presto… you can now play as that character in your custom level.  It’s worth noting though that using these characters is like using power ups, you have to place them somewhere in the level and collect them as you would a mushroom.
Who’s the game for?

I think this is going to appeal more to those full on Nintendo fanatics, who grew up playing 2D side scrolling platform games.  I say this as the game plays heavily on the nostalgic feelings associated with retro games, however, I hope I’m wrong and there is a huge young gamer audience out there who can appreciate this old school style.  Unfortunately it’s not something that my two girls enjoyed, but they aren’t at that age where they can take on the challenge of playing through a level with one life.

How much does it cost?

Well this depends on which version you want? The basic entry for £35.00 gives you the game plus a 96-page hardback booklet offering fun ideas to design a course.  The next deal is the game, the booklet and a special 30th Anniversary Super Mario amiibo, which adds a big mushroom power up to your course, all for approximately £50.00.  The final and most expensive way of playing the game, if you don’t already have a Wii U, is to purchase the Limited Edition Super Mario Maker Premium Pack, which for £250.00 gets you the premium 32GB Wii U console bundle, the game, booklet and amiibo.  You can also download the game from the Nintendo eShop for £34.99 and 1/2 GB of your hard driver space.


Super Mario Maker should now be seen as the killer social app for Nintendo’s home console.  In today’s modern world of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this is the perfect game to bring lots of players together in order to share and talk about levels they have designed or played.  From my own perspective, I’ve found a new appreciation for a type of game that has always been there since I was a child.  For those parents buying for their kids, you can be sure that if your kids are not playing the game, then it will be you saying, “just one more level”.