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5 Reasons We’re Totally Hooked On Super Mario Maker

The day has finally arrived: after 30 years of Koopa-stomping and princess-saving, you can now make, save, and share your own Super Mario Bros. levels. Even better news is you don’t have to be a seasoned game designer to pull it off, but making a stage from scratch does go to show how difficult innovative level design can be to pull off. So hats off for letting us players step up to plate and give something back to gaming’s foremost franchise.

If you own a Wii U—and you should own a Wii U—Super Mario Maker is an obvious purchase based on its premise alone, but there’s way more to this game than dragging things onto blank canvas with a stylus. Here are five reasons why we’re completely hooked on Mario Maker—and you will be too.

Build Mario levels


Yup, this one’s a no-brainer. But the most impressive feat is just how well building custom levels works with the Wii U GamePad. While this device hasn’t exactly been an essential enhancement for the Wii U’s top titles, here it finally proves its worth. Anyone who’s played Little Big Planet will be instantly amazed by how smoothly and intuitively building a stage can be with a simple stylus and a screen. Mario Maker also boasts a rewarding system that gives you more elements to use the more you play. It takes a few sessions to unlock some of the really good stuff, but it doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.

Break the rules


If you’ve enjoyed either NES Remix on Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, you know Nintendo isn’t afraid to play fast and loose with some of their most iconic franchises. While you can’t collect Triforce pieces and blast away Mother Brain just yet (who knows what promised DLC will bring?), you can play as tonnes of beloved Nintendo mascots by tapping your respective amiibo to the GamePad. If you don’t have any amiibo (for shame!), there are still plenty of weird and wonderful mushrooms that’ll turn you into a lanky Mario or even a springboard. It doesn’t stop there: you’d be amazed by the things you can make a Bill Blaster shoot, or how many baddies you can stack on a Goomba.

Create, play, and share levels from 4 Mario games


When Mario Marker was first announced, we were tickled by the idea of creating our very own 8-bit levels. But now you can even build, play, and share levels from the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U templates. The upshot is equal parts old-school and new-school radness.

Celebrate Mario’s history in 10 Mario Challenge


Anyone who grew up playing a tonne of Mario will be smitten with 10 Mario Challenge, which gives players 10 lives to complete eight sample course (out of 68 in total). While many of these levels seem like familiar throwbacks to the halcyon days of your youth, get ready for some very trippy puzzles and twists that serve as a perfect tribute to the series by tossing various elements in a blender with some rather insane results.

Get out there and play!


One of the most exciting things about Mario Maker is the endless variety of stages to sample and master. In a smart move, you can’t publish a stage you can’t complete, so there’s a level of quality control designers must adhere to, but everything else is fair game. Also be on the lookout for stats and feedback for each creation so you know what you’re getting into. Or just dive into 100 Mario Challenge and discover the magic of  entering some random dude’s level that will most definitely throw several dozen baffling surprises your way.

We’re just scratching the surface here, fellow paisanos. Let’s a-go make some levels!