If you’ve been on the fence about picking up Nintendo’s Wii U, Super Mario 3D World is the reason to finally get one. Not only does Super Mario 3D World give you all the fun that Mario games typically offer, it has one of the best multiplayer experiences for families of almost any game I’ve played.
Super Mario 3D World opens the same way as any other Mario game, with Bowser and a kidnapping. But in a welcome twist, this time it’s not Princess Peach in Bowser’s clutches — and she’s ready to immediately run to the rescue. Bowser has set his sights on the Sprixie Kingdom, and Mario and the gang must travel to their colorful world to free its cute inhabitants.
Up to four players can take control of Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, and their abilities will feel familiar to anyone who spent hours glued to Super Mario Bros. 2. After struggling to play Skylanders Giants and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes with our four-year-old, Super Mario 3D World plays like a dream. Entering and leaving the game can be done at any time. There is no tethering or split screen; players who fall behind (i.e. the four-year-old) are lifted in a bubble to join the others quickly. If one player enters a pipe, the others immediately join them, rather than keeping anyone waiting inside for the others to eventually make their way there.
As for gameplay itself, it takes just a moment to adjust to the 3D world of the Sprixie Kingdom and then the fun begins. The game takes advantage of the touch screen and microphone on the Gamepad; players use it to find hidden Mystery Boxes, as well as interact with platforms and breakable objects.
Along with the typical Mario power-ups like mushrooms and fire flowers, Super Mario 3D World features the endlessly amusing cat suit. When Mario, Peach, and the rest pick up a Super Bell, they transform into an adorable, soft kitty with a powerful attack. New Double Cherry power-ups create doubles of Mario, and even the Tanooki suit makes a reappearance.
Super Mario 3D World is a stress-free and frustration-free family game experience, and flat out fun. The game is available now for the Wii U at a retail price of $59.99.
GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.