A short, pudgy, Italian plumber named Mario has become one of the most well-known fictional characters in popular culture. For over three decades, the Mario games have been the flagship product of Nintendo and, while it is in essence a simple concept, they continue to reinvent the game with every new release of a console.
Nintendo has now surpassed themselves once again with the release of Super Mario Maker. This title is available on Wii U and 3DS, in both digital and physical versions. Super Mario Maker allows you to take Mario a step further by becoming the gameplay designer instead of simply the game player.
You can design all of your own levels, and customize every detail of them. Players can choose whether to be a creator themselves or to test out the levels that others have created, with the aim of getting the highest score or fastest completion time.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the creation of new levels, and many of the levels you will find developed by others might be really hard or amazingly cool. Creators can choose which theme they want their level to have, from the original Super Mario Brothers look to the most recent Wii U game look.
From there, players can change almost everything about the level that they want to – what blocks go where, what power ups go where, where enemies will pop up, what enemies will pop up, and so on.
Creators can even make special power ups based on other Nintendo characters that are not normally in Mario by using the Amiibos. You can browse the catalogue of user created levels, see the most played ones, see the most favourited ones, and even add a code required to play a specific level.
This feature comes in handy if, for example, you see a level being played in a video and want to play it yourself. You can enter the code that appears at the start of the level and be taken to a screen that you can play that level from.
The game comes with one hundred levels built into it already, if you prefer not to go straight into the levels that others have created. However, it is highly recommended that you check out the levels that others have made, because many are truly impressive.
By using the same mechanics and engine that regular Mario games use, creators have made puzzle games, entire songs from the sounds that characters make, remakes of other classic games, and even levels where you just have to stand still. Of course, the player can also make levels of their own to test, and you can publish those as well to let others see how creative you are.