Super Mario Maker 3DS review


This conversion of Super Mario Maker from Wii U to 3DS comes with its plusses and minuses. On the positive side of things, it’s more or less the same fantastic platforming experience with a massive suite of creative tools that puts the power of Mario design in your hands. On the negative side, it’s not as content complete as the original game and it lacks a pretty significant piece of functionality: the ability to share levels online.

Now, that last bit seems like a big deal. You can share locally with Street Pass, but you’re unable to upload your levels for others to easily find using a Course ID. You can’t tag levels based on content or theme so others can get at them. And by extension you can’t go looking for them either. That’s a shame, but it’s not game-breaking. We say that because while the ability to share such content would be fantastic (as it was on Wii U), it is only a portion of what makes Super Mario Maker enjoyable.

Super Mario Maker 3DS review

Almost by way of compensation, you get the chance to take on the Super Mario Challenge mode, featuring 18 worlds, each with between four and eight stages, created by Nintendo developers and each with their own ingenious little twist. Some of the level design in these stages is really fantastic, teaching you about the toolset while also telling little stories and playing with the format.

You can really see how Mario Maker has inspired this development team just as much as it has those who play it. What’s more, all of these stages offer medals to unlock based on specific objectives (one of which is hidden until you complete the first) and all of them can be edited by you so you can see how it was put together in-game.

Which brings us to the creation suite, which is once again robust, although not quite as expansive as the Wii U version. Big Mushrooms that supersize Mario into a level-destroying monster are gone as are, more disappointingly, Mystery Mushrooms that allowed you to use amiibo to turn Mario into other characters.

Super Mario Maker 3DS review

This was one of the original game’s more fun features, giving some great value to amiibo collectors and sparking all sorts of fun levels inspired by the toys we had on our shelves. It also means that while Wii U-created levels are made available on 3DS through the Mario 100 and Recommended Levels tabs of the game, any with the Big Mushroom or Mystery Mushroom in them are not compatible.

The final package then is mixed, but the bottom line has to be that Super Mario Maker is still an insanely fun game. It’s one of the best 2D Mario experiences out there and plays great on 3DS. It’s not as complete as we might have liked, but it’s certainly not bad.

Missing features, but not missing class