Let’s be honest, by now you and the kids probably own several versions of Minecraft across computers, consoles, and mobile devices. Do you need another one for the Wii U? If you’re a Super Mario fan, absolutely.
1. The retail version is now on store shelves and comes pre-loaded with the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack. Before this month, you could only purchase the Wii U version of Minecraft through the Nintendo eShop. But you can now find Minecraft: Wii U Edition in stores across the country.
2. The controls are a little different. The buttons are switched around, so if you and the kids are used to one console’s layout, be prepared for a few destroyed bricks until you get the hang of it. In tutorial mode, there’s a handy key at the bottom of the screen to help you keep track of what button does what.
3. Minecraft: Wii U Edition makes some use of the GamePad. You can use the GamePad for more than just a separate screen–you can also use the stylus to navigate the inventory, which is a nice feature particular to the Wii U. Other than that, though, there’s not much else you can do with it; you can’t place or destroy bricks with the touchscreen. The Pro controller is also supported.
4. The game also includes a new online Battle Mode feature. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working at the time of this post, but the Wii U Edition also includes a Battle Mode mini-game.
5. The Super Mario Mash-Up Pack is the real reason to pick up another version of Minecraft. Nintendo and Mojang enlisted the help of professional Minecraft builders to create an incredible Mushroom Kingdom unlike any other.
It takes just seconds to load and jump into the world, which is filled with Super Mario themed texture packs, mobs, background music from Super Mario 64, and jaw-dropping creations such as towering Mario statues and castles.
Working warp pipes, airships, and more are all yours to discover throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. My 7-year-old gasped in delight when she discovered just a few of the secrets of the Mario-themed world, from a minecart mini-roller coaster to Bowser’s Castle in the Nether. You’ll even find homages to Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World.
For a close look at the Mario-themed skins and server in action, there’s no better person than Minecraft expert Stampy Cat to walk you through it:
Minecraft: Wii U Edition is now available in stores and online for a suggested retail price of $29.99.
A promotional copy was provided for review purposes.
All images: Nintendo / Mojang