Super Mario Maker: development, gameplay, and review

Super Mario Maker is a 2D platformer as well as a “Game Creation System” (GCS), which refers to an engine that consists of a particular set of tools meant to design levels and games.

Nintendo released Super Mario Maker for the Wii U in 2015, and the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.

Development

Back in the ’90s, long before thinking of developing such a game, Nintendo explored the idea of a video game editor.

They had details about hardware that enabled players to pause while playing and make several edits before resuming the game, as well as saving and sharing those custom functional designs.

Super Mario Maker was originally a tool conceived by the company’s development team until they realized how this too could potentially become another successful game in the Mario line-up.

The development team pitched the idea to Takashi Tezuka, a video game designer, and executive officer of Nintendo. He claimed the inspiration came from the wish of bringing back the fun of Mario Paint for people to enjoy.

Mario Paint was a game and a drawing utility that allowed the user to create custom stamps, pictures, and animations.

The responsibility for the game’s direction was on Yosuke Oshino, who had experience with programming other Nintendo titles such as Pikmin, Pikmin 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. While Koji Kondo composed and arranged the soundtrack.

The result was a summary of 30 years of Nintendo history, more specifically the legacy of Mario, in the form of a breakout title.

Gameplay

Super Mario Maker focuses on 4 classic titles from the franchise, the original Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

Players can use assets, mechanics, and visual styles of these games as the foundations of the levels they design.

While the game limits some of these elements to a specific game style, players can add other assets to game designs that never had them in their original versions.

For example, players can add the Boos of Super Mario Bros. 3 to a level designed with the original Super Mario Bros. as a base.

Gamers can manipulate the iconic elements of the Mario franchise such as goombas, warp pipes, and power-ups, to change their behavior in multiple and unique ways.

Super Mario Maker also allows someone to enlarge foes by giving them power-ups like the Super Mushroom. They can enhance enemies with the ability to fly, and even combine different traits and attributes to create a memorable challenge.

Each time players beat a stage of their design, the game allows them to publish that level online. There, players from all around the world can browse and play many of these custom stages, or take the 100 Mario Challenge.

That challenge consists of a play through a set of randomly selected custom levels with 100 lives.

Each custom stage gets ranked according to its difficulty as Easy, Normal, Expert or Super Expert.

Review

Super Mario Maker flows well when it comes to user interface experience. Everything is straightforward; players can easily navigate their way through menus, and the pieces of nostalgia in the game are not overwhelming for newcomers.

It has many nods to Super Mario Paint to the point of featuring the classic fly game which may pops up while the player is making a stage or when gamers go idle for too long.

Super Mario Maker allows players to become developers as they customize the levels of their dreams or their nightmares.

It honors and remembers the rules and boundaries of the featured Mario titles.

For example, in Super Mario World, Mario can spin jump and throw items. Super Mario Bros. 3 has the p-meter, and New Super Mario Bros. U has the wall jumping and even the jump spin glide.

While players build their levels they can choose the various backgrounds of the different Mario games equipped with the music many fans grew to know and love.

The meat and potatoes come down to building and playing levels. However, there’s a waiting mechanic that becomes something like a time constraint.

Each and everyday gamers play Super Mario Maker they will unlock more content to use to make levels. The game starts with the basics, making players recreate the Mario 1-1 stage, and learn how to place enemies.

A new day will need you to test a new asset, and when players fulfill the prerequisite they unlock the next queue for the following day telling gamers what asset to expect.

This method creates interest for a player to become an expert in designing levels. The first few assets are pretty simple, but they get more complex as a player gets closer to the end.

As players start making their way to the bottom of the barrel of unlocked assets, the game will introduce sound assets. The more you build, the more you’ll want to play.

The social elements of the online experience are amazing, you can follow your favorite level creators, play the current featured level, getting feedback on the stages you created, and much more.

When you’re playing online, you’ll see red x’s for every other player that lost one life to the hazard that killed you.

This game provides hours of fun and excitement. We fully recommend Super Mario Maker.