Super Mario Bros. Wonder was released in Canada for the Nintendo Switch last Friday (October 20) and I’ve had the pleasure of playing it for the last week.
Investing more into side-scrolling Mario games is a great move for Nintendo, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder does not disappoint. It looks slick and the controls and action are extremely intuitive. It’s also hard to put it down once you start playing, which is always a sign of an excellent game.
Super Mario Wonder succeeds at getting the overall feeling of what makes a Mario game a Mario game, and the excitement of loading it up for the first time was similar to my experience when Super Mario Bros. 3 came out back in 1990.
On that note, there’s a lot going on in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Some of it is typical Mario stuff while a lot of it strays into new territory. And then there is the totally bizarre stuff that takes time getting used to.
Here are the main highlights of Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
The story of Super Mario Wonder
You’re still fighting Bowser, but you’re not in the Mushroom Kingdom and you’re not saving Princess Peach this time around. This iteration is about saving the Flower Kingdom and freeing the Poplins (similar to Toads). The Flower Kingdom is ruled by the caterpillar-like Prince Florian, who tags along to help you on your adventure.
There are seven different worlds in the Flower Kingdom and similar to the Mushroom Kingdom they all have a theme (water, desert, etc.). In order to enter the castles at the end of each one you need to collect a certain amount of Wonder Seeds to gain access. These are found by completing levels.
When you start the game you get to select who you want to play as. Along with Mario and Luigi, you can also be Peach, Daisy, Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, Toadette, Yoshi, Red Yoshi, Yellow Yoshi, Light-Blue Yoshi or Nabbit.
There’s no timer (or score)
One of biggest changes to Super Mario Bros. Wonder is that the levels no longer have a timer. This allows you to explore each one without limits, which is great if you’re a completest trying to find every coin or item throughout the game. There are still levels with forced side-scrolling (where you’ll die if you get left behind), but they are few and far between. Not as drastic as the timer, but there’s also no score like previous Mario games either.
Super Mario Wonder Power-ups
There are some new power ups in Super Mario Bros. Wonder you’ll need to get used to. You can still find Super Mushrooms and Fire Flowers, but there’s also Elephant Fruit (you become an elephant), Bubble Flower (you blow bubbles to trap and kill enemies) and Drill Mushroom (you can drill into things). Elephant is the most useful as you can splash around in water to find more coins and also spray water on certain flowers for extra items.
Along with new power-ups, there are a bunch of new enemies you’ll need to deal with on top of Goombas and Koopas. Armads, Bulrushes, Cloud Piranhas, Hoppos, Missile Megs, Mumsies, Skedaddlers and a whole lot more will pop up throughout the game. A lot of them are weird so don’t be surprised if you can’t figure them out on your first encounter.
Another new aspect of Super Mario Bros. Wonder are badges you can collect that give your character a special ability. These are earned through Badge Challenge levels or by buying them in a Poplin Shop. There’s a total of 24 badges in the game with some giving you abilities like “Wall-Climb Jump” or “Dolphin Kick”, while others allow you to collect more coins or bounce back out if you fall into a pit.
The Wonder Effect is triggered by collecting a Wonder Flower in a level. This is like an alternate realm of the level where crazy things can happen, like your character growing really tall or pipes coming alive. There is a Wonder Seed to be found during the Wonder Effect so you’ll want to attempt them all no matter how difficult or odd they appear.
There’s a talking flower
One of the failures of Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a talking flower that encourages you and gives you hints throughout levels. It’s fine at first, but after hearing it over and over again it’s enough to make you want to stop playing the game. Thankfully you can turn off the talking flower to get some peace. To do this, go into the game settings and select “Talking Flower Dialogue”. From here you can turn off the voice, the text or both.
There’s so much more that can be said about Super Mario Bros. Wonder but it’s best to just experience and discover it all on your own. It is a must-have game for any Mario fan and it will not disappoint.
Have you played Super Mario Bros. Wonder? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.