Create Your Own Mario Masterpiece With ‘Super Mario Maker’

Super Mario Maker Wii U Bundle © Nintendo
Super Mario Maker Wii U Bundle © Nintendo

You might not have known it, but you’ve been training for 30 years to design the most epic Super Mario level ever.

Or to beat it.

Super Mario Maker not only puts all of your game designer dreams to the test, it also challenges all of your Mario skills with a staggering amount of brilliant levels created by players around the world.

Make a Course

Don’t be daunted: The game comes with an idea book about 100 pages long to inspire your new Super Mario level-making career. It’s just that there are so many options that you might not know where to start. In fact, with this in mind, Nintendo limits the amount of available features for levels by day, a unique feature for a console game. To unlock more blocks, baddies, and more, you must spend at least 5 minutes creating each day to unlock the next set.

For a child playing, this is genius, as they need to learn to walk before they can run away with some making some truly mind-boggling Mario levels. For older players, it’s frustrating. The controls and UI are so intuitive with on-screen tips that you’ll want to start with everything at once.

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

Simply drag and drop blocks, bad guys, bricks, and more to get Mario from the start of the level to the flag goal at the end.

But the fun doesn’t stop with simple bricks and blocks. Along the way you can place:

  • Underwater and haunted house enemies (in any type of stage)
  • Cannons that shoot anything you want
  • Goombas and Koopas bigger than Mario
  • Custom sound effects recorded by the GamePad
  • Costumes for 8-bit Mario unlocked by amiibo
  • Bowser. Anywhere.

And many, many more items and creatures, all unleashed by your imagination.

Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you need someone to play it, right? To the Course World!

Play a Course

The creativity and ingenuity shown off in the shared Super Mario courses are remarkable. Because you have to beat your course yourself before it can be uploaded, there are no impossible challenges to be found online, but your Mario skills are going to seriously be put to the test.

© Nintendo

I thought my days of tossing the controller on the floor after jumping into a 8-bit Goomba were over, but Super Mario Maker courses from around the world have brought back those happy memories by making me do it all over again.

I’ve gasped in delight and frustration as levels based on Super Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U have put me to the test. I’ve found I much prefer playing to creating, and thanks to the Miiverse, there’s always a new incredible level to try.

Repeat

With Super Mario Maker, the fun literally never ends. You can always dream up, create, place, test, place again, test, just change one more thing… or play, play, and play an almost limitless library of Super Mario levels.

This is Nintendo’s answer to Minecraft, and it’s a worthy competitor. Super Mario Maker is a game that allows you to make practically anything you want in a world that’s been familiar to you for years. (30 years, in my case.) It feels both nostalgic and new, and, I have to say, sometimes completely crazy.

If you have fond memories of playing Super Mario yourself, pick up Super Mario Maker for the family. You’ll design, laugh, yell at the screen, and more as you make Mario memories together.

Super Mario Maker is available September 11, 2015 for a retail price of $59.99.

GeekMom received a promotional copy of the game for review purposes.

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, Forever Young Adult, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.