It has been quite a while since we’ve received an original 2D-style Super Mario game. It was 2012 since the release of the New Super Mario Bros. U for the ill-fated Wii U console. The Switch received an enhanced port of this game in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe in 2018, but it wasn’t an entirely new and original game.
Here we are in 2023, and a new 2D-style Super Mario game has been released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch console. Nintendo has released Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and it’s arguably one of the best games to be released in 2023!
One of the best parts about Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the fact that the game has multiple different playable characters. Here in this game, you can control Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, Toadette, Nabbit, and even Yoshi the dinosaur.
Not to mention, this isn’t just a single-player experience either. Up to four players can play on one console, and online multiplayer is also available for those who pay for Nintendo’s online services.
Another interesting thing about Super Mario Bros. Wonder is that it features a more unique storyline this time around. Instead of Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach and keeping her in her castle, this time, she’s actually one of the heroes.
In this game, Bowser has literally become a castle, and his evil aura imprisons all of the inhabitants of the Flower Kingdom. Mario and the seven other playable characters will need to free the citizens and collect six Royal Seeds. After collecting all of the Royal Seeds, they can finally confront Castle Bowser in hopes of restoring the Flower Kingdom to its original glory.
The one thing I like most about Super Mario Bros. Wonder is that every level feels different and offers a lot of variety for players. The first types of levels you will encounter are traditional stages where you need to reach the end by travelling to the right side of the screen. You usually have a checkpoint in the middle to help you if you die midway through your run.
There are other sorts of levels that you can experience in Super Mario Bros. Wonder as well. One of my favourites is the KO levels, where you need to defeat all of the enemies in one go. There are no checkpoints in these levels because you have to defeat all enemies using only one life!
A challenging type of level in this game is where you have to find all of the hidden Wonder Tokens located throughout the map. The thing that makes these types of levels challenging is that the Wonder Tokens are invisible. You have to find out how to get to them and even solve some puzzles before you can reach them.
Another thing that makes Super Mario Bros. Wonder so fun to play is the several new abilities that Mario and the gang can use. Probably the best new ability in the game is that the characters can turn into elephants. The elephant ability is very useful because they can use their trunks to attack enemies.
Other abilities include Mario throwing fireballs, turning enemies into bubbles, and even a power-up that allows you to drill underground. There are a few others that I haven’t listed, but these abilities vary up the gameplay to stop the levels feeling repetitive or boring.
Aside from the aforementioned abilities, Mario and his friends can also equip badges before each level that give you even more new skills. Some of the badges include a gliding parachute, being able to scale vertical walls, and a lot more. Only one badge can be equipped at one time, so you need to choose which one is best for the type of level that you are doing.
The level design is also not linear because there are hidden paths that you can take that transport you to secret locations. Some of the alternate routes you take are mandatory if you need to collect a hidden Wonder Seed. Wonder Seeds are vital to collect because you need a certain number of them before you can unlock the next area.
Graphically, Super Mario Bros. Wonder looks great both via handheld mode and on a big TV. As expected, the game was nice and colourful, and I did not run into any technical issues or bugs. The frame rate is stable, and the game runs smoothly, no matter how many characters are on the screen.
There’s not much I can say when it comes to any flaws with this game. I mean, some people may find the boss battles to be a bit easy, but that’s about it. Also, some of the challenge levels can be hard, although you can always look at a guide on YouTube to know how to complete them.
Despite having no major flaws, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is easily one of the best games I have played in 2023. The game looks great, and the gameplay is challenging but addictive. Switch owners should pick this up as soon as they can!