I have received free product from Nintendo to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. My experience may differ from your own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Family game night is back and in the most FUN, throwback way! When I was a kid I loved playing Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo. I remember my friend Emily and I would play during snowy days off from school, trying to save that princess. We knew all the tricks!
Now my kids are loving Mario, too, and in a seriously cool new way. Super Mario Maker for Wii U is going to be a hot holiday toy this season (great gift idea, parents!) and we love it for a family game night that all four of us can truly enjoy. As a #NintendoPartner I was sent the game to test out and share with you and we can recommend it with two thumbs, way up!
There are a million different ways to play, but I’m going to try to keep it simple here and show you the basics of how it works and why both of my kids love it, and my husband and I love it too!
Who recognizes this screen? I was like WHOA, I know this game!!! So, the thing that makes Super Mario Maker different and awesome is that you can create your own levels of play, then play them, save them, share them, and play through levels other people have created, too. It’s completely wide open to your imagination. (This is amazing for kids that want to be game developers!)
To begin, you start playing through level 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. This is where my husband and I shine, people. The 1980s were our thing.
The Wii U gamepad lets you interact with the game in a whole new way. Not only is everything on the TV also on this gamepad screen, but there are many more buttons on the controller that let you manipulate your view and character actions in different ways. We’re still figuring them all out (which is part of the fun – something new every time you play!).
Once you get to the end of the course you’ll see it’s not finished and get this screen. This is where it gets fun!
Click the ‘Edit’ button on your gamepad and you can not only finish the course so you can play through, but add tons of fun elements to customize it any way you want!
My daughter added mushrooms and Goombas all over the place. They give you some guidance (you can see the shaded shapes on the screen) and ideas to get started, but it’s totally up to you how to set up your course.
While you’re positioning everything on the gamepad, your new level is mirrored on the TV.
My daughter said, “Is that my hand?!” No, dear. No chipped nail polish on that one. 😉
Once you spend some time getting a bunch of elements into your course, you’re ready to play! Click the ‘S’ button on the bottom of the screen (there’s a stylus in the back of the gamepad you can use for all of this) and go beat that level!
Action shot of Mario playing through this first level that we created! This is so much fun and it feels new because you can not only MAKE your own levels, but there are some really cool new features and creatures. But it also feels nostalgic and my husband and I are 14 again over here, trying to beat this game.
It’s so much fun in different ways for the entire family. Perfect for a family game night, especially during these upcoming winter months when it’s going to be dark soooo early (hold me) and too cold and snowy to be outside very much.
The cool part for us is that we’ve just scratched the surface! The more you play, the more options and tools are opened up to you. I love that they have it set up that way so you can really get comfortable with the basics before more is added. I think it would be overwhelming otherwise.
Need some inspiration for the levels you’re making? There are two other ways to play Super Mario Maker:
- First, 10 Mario Challenge. This is my FAVORITE! Play through 8 levels that Nintendo has selected for you. This is old school Mario, you guys. ’80s kids, this is our jam. My husband and I played after the kids went to bed last night and had so much fun!
- Second, there’s Course World, which is a series of courses that other players have created! So you get to try their levels and get some inspiration of your own to take back to the gamepad. Very fun!
Wii U – Let’s Watch! Super Mario Maker Overview!
I watched a bunch of videos to try to find the best one to share here that shows you in a simple way the best features of Super Mario Maker and what makes it both unique, and a throwback to my Nintendo game days. I think this one sums it up really well and gives a great feel for the game.
Be sure to watch for how the amiibo is used, too, to throw new characters with special skills and abilities into your game play!
We absolutely LOVE it! It’s so much fun and I can’t wait to explore more with the family. That’s the fun thing about Nintendo games: always something hidden that you discover as you go!
Order your family’s copy here. This game will only play on the Wii U which is SO much fun for families. We just got ours and I’ve already ordered two more Wii remotes and this Just Dance 4 game. Should arrive tomorrow! Yay!
You can learn more about Super Mario Maker on the Nintendo website. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Nintendo news. You’ll want to see what’s hot for the 2015 holiday season. Hint, hint: Super Mario Maker! 😉