Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review

Friday, November 10th, 2023 4:04 pm

A delightful, wonderful experience.

Nintendo recently released Super Mario Bros. Wonder on Nintendo Switch. We had the chance to check it out.

What is Super Mario Bros. Wonder? What’s this game about?

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a side-scrolling platformer that sees Mario and his friends travel to the Flower Kingdom after receiving an invitation from the adorable Prince Florian. Shortly after arriving, Bowser steals the kingdom’s Wonder Flower and Flower Castle, leaving Mario and his friends to defeat Bowser and save the kingdom.

How do you play this game?

Super Mario Bros. Wonder allows players to complete levels across multiple themed worlds. Each level has a variety of platforms to jump on and over, obstacles to avoid, enemies to defeat (or avoid), gold Coins and Flower Coins to collect, and even secrets to discover. Players can also encounter talking flowers in the game’s levels, which add lots of extra charm and humor to the experience.

The game features 12 playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, Toadette, Yoshi, Red Yoshi, Yellow Yoshi, Light-Blue Yoshi, and Nabbit.

The Yoshis and Nabbit are special characters who won’t transform when collecting power-ups, but also can’t take damage, making them great options for younger or more inexperienced players who would prefer having some extra help while playing.

While a single player can complete Super Mario Bros. Wonder on their own, up to four people in the same room can also play the game together on a single Switch system. Players can also play with their friends and family online, though players will need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to access the game’s online features.

Source: Nintendo

Each level in Super Mario Bros. Wonder features at least one Wonder Seed to collect. Players are required to collect a certain number of Wonder Seeds in each world before they can move onto the next. Players will receive a Wonder Seed at the end of each level, and they can also find additional Wonder Seeds as they make their way through certain levels. 

Specifically, players can find a Wonder Flower in the middle of many levels. When they touch the Wonder Flower, a “Wonder Effect” will be triggered, which will change the environment and/or the player’s character in a unique way. For instance, in one level, the Wonder Flower causes singing Piranha Plants to appear in the environment, while in another level, the Wonder Flower causes Super Stars to fall from the sky that give players temporary invincibility.

Players can also collect power-ups to transform their characters and give themselves an advantage while completing the game’s levels. In addition to familiar power-ups like the Fire Flower, which gives players the ability to toss fireballs, players can also collect new power-ups with fun effects.

For instance, the Elephant Fruit transforms Mario and his friends into adorable elephants who can swing their trunks to damage enemies, while the Drill Mushroom allows players to drill themselves into the floor or ceilings (this may be helpful when looking for hidden items or areas).

Source: Nintendo

In addition to collecting power-ups, players can collect a variety of Badges that give them access to special abilities in future levels. For instance, one Badge will allow players to jump higher than normal, while another Badge will allow players to activate temporary speed bursts while swimming underwater. There are lots of Badges to collect, and players have the option to take a different Badge with them into each level.

Some Badges are given to players for free when they begin certain levels, and more can be purchased at shops around the in-game world using Flower Coins.

Each of the game’s levels has a difficulty rating that players can view before entering it. While players are required to complete certain levels in order to progress through the game’s story, some levels are optional. This means if players find a particularly difficult level, they may have the option to skip it and come back to it later, if at all.

If players take damage during a level by running into an obstacle or enemy, they’ll lose their active power-up. If they take damage again, they’ll lose their height and will turn into a smaller version of their character. If they take damage a third time, they’ll “die” and will lose a life. When players lose a life, they’ll have to restart the level from the beginning, or from the nearest checkpoint they may have activated.

Players can collect extra lives by finding special 1-Up Mushrooms as they play, purchasing 1-Up Mushrooms in the game’s shops, or collecting gold Coins. Each time players collect 100 gold Coins, they’ll receive an extra life.

Source: Nintendo

Players can also help one another complete stages, even if they’re playing the game as a single player.

If players choose to play Super Mario Bros. Wonder while connected to the internet, they’ll have the chance to view “Standees,” or character cutouts that have been left behind in levels by other players. If players are near an active Standee when they “die” in a level, they’ll temporarily turn into a ghost instead of failing the level, giving them a few seconds to freely move around the environment. If players can touch another player’s Standee before time runs out, they’ll be revived and can continue playing.

In addition, players may see “Live Player Shadows” as they play the game online. These shadows are other real players who are playing the game at the same time. While a player can see Live Player Shadows complete actions like jumping, the actions they take won’t affect the player’s own game. For instance, if a Live Player Shadow defeats an enemy in their game, the enemy will remain alive in the original player’s game.

Similar to touching Standees, when players turn into a ghost, they’ll have a few seconds to touch a Live Player Shadow to be revived. Players can also share power-ups and greetings (like a smiley face icon) with other players, even though they’re not technically playing the game together.

While the game’s multiplayer features are lots of fun (both in terms of playing with another real person in the same room and these Live Player Shadow features), it’s worth pointing out that players aren’t required to play the game online and they can complete the entire experience on their own if they’d like.

Live Player Shadows in Super Mario Bros. Wonder; Source: Nintendo

Is this game fun to play?

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a terrific game. The game’s colorful environments, Wonder Flower effects, talking flowers, and more combine to create a delightful experience that made us laugh on multiple occasions.

Since some of the game’s levels are pretty challenging, it’s great that players can help one another when they become “ghosts.” In our experience, players have also placed Standees in some really helpful locations, both to bring other players’ attention to potentially special areas and to help others revive themselves if they turn into a ghost in a tricky section in a level.

That being said, while we greatly appreciate and enjoy the game’s multiplayer and Live Player Shadow features, Live Player Shadows can sometimes be distracting since they add so much extra movement and action to the screen. We found this to be especially true when going online for the first time, until we got used to seeing other players on the screen with us.

In addition, we occasionally experienced some slight lag while playing, but this went away quickly each time.

Even with those slight complaints, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is still an amazing experience and is definitely fun to play.

Source: Nintendo

What’s the final verdict?

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a wonderful game, and we highly recommend adding this one to your collection.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is now available on Nintendo Switch for $59.99. The game is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

Disclosure: Nintendo gave SuperParent a code for Super Mario Bros. Wonder for coverage purposes.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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