Let’s dive straight into the meaty bit! Super Mario Maker does exactly what it says on the tin… or er box! When you first go into creation mode the game will hold your hand a little and introduce you to the various tools and how you can use them. The method Nintendo have used to do so is smart and echoes real, actual game development. You are given tools, and then encouraged to play around with them and then, most importantly, test your creation!
There are plenty of items, blocks, enemies and other things to play around with in Super Mario Maker but they are not made immediately available to you. I am assuming this is to avoid overloading the player with a bunch of crazy stuff, so crazy that they have no idea what to do with it. You will steadily unlock more and more blocks over time, or you can cheat and do it the quick way.
The tools are impressive and adaptable, you can even choose which Super Mario era you want your level to be! I spend most my time on Super Mario Maker within creation mode. My only real frustration with the creation tool is that creators are unable to place down checkpoints, an issue which has been brought up rather loudly within the Super Mario Maker community. I am hoping that the level creation tool acts as encouragement to children considering game development too. It’s an incredible game for creativity and I think any parent would have a blast watching their tots build levels!
As well as building your own deliciously cruel or cute and simple levels, Super Mario Maker offers the player a couple of ways of playing through the levels other people have made. Players can either browse levels in “Course World” or they can take on the “100 Mario Challenge”. In the 100 Mario Challenge you are given 100 lives to get through a number of Super Mario Maker courses made by the community. You can choose your difficulty, Easy, Normal or Hard.
Playing through Super Mario Maker levels that have been created by the community is a lot like playing any other Super Mario game, I mean at it’s core, it’s Mario! The real beauty of it however, is that you will find yourself smiling and laughing at the levels people have made. Some people really have a knack for designing levels and I sometimes wonder if people may end up landing jobs via the phenomenal things they create in the game. Of course there is always another side of the coin. A lot of the levels are terrible. I’m not trying to be mean, but come on seriously, you can do better than placing 1000 enemies and calling it a level. Please don’t upload that.
Essentially Super Mario Maker offers you an unlimited Super Mario experience. New levels are being created every minute of every day. If you are a Super Mario fan, you will never get bored.
In Super Mario Maker you can scan in your Amiibo. Doing so allows you to insert a cute little pixel version of the character that can be used in levels. This was a great addition and I am not sure I would have liked the game as much without it! It inspired me to create levels themed on specific universes of characters I had access to, and I have seen others do the same.
If you don’t collect Amiibo though, don’t fret! Every time you complete a 100 Mario Challenge, you will be awarded with a pixel character. Super Mario Maker shows off how Amiibo can truly add to the fun of a game and serve as more than just pretty figures that sit on a shelf.