PAX Prime: First Impressions—Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

This is what Nintendo really came to Prime to showcase. One look at the Nintendo booth—which was essentially a massive Super Mario Maker demo space—and it’s clear that this is the game Nintendo and players have been waiting for. So, what makes it so unique and special? Why should anyone care?

If you’re not into level design, it would be easy to dismiss Super Mario Maker outright as not for you. Why bother with a game that’s only about making levels if you don’t care about making levels? Well, here’s why: Because if you like playing Super Mario, this is the ultimate collection of Super Mario levels to play through. You don’t need to be designing the levels in order to have a blast playing through pre-loaded and user-generated content. It’s basically an endless supply of Super Mario gaming awesomeness!

That means there’s plenty here for both creator and consumer.


When you first dive into Super Mario Maker, you’re given a basic toolset whereby you begin to create your own levels. Your level-building tools are clearly marked and learning how to use them doesn’t begin with too large of a learning curve—and you’re not overwhelmed to begin, because once you begin using the first set of tools, you must wait until the following day for additional tools to arrive in the game. This means you’re easing into it, ramping up the difficulty over time and as you’ve had a chance to learn and experiment with the previous set of items.

Once you’ve built a level to your desired specifications, you’re then able to upload your level to the online Super Mario Maker community. We anticipate that shortly after release, there will be thousands (and then tens of thousands) of player-generated levels from all around the world to experience. It’s certainly not the kind of game you buy, play a few levels from, and then you’re done—Super Mario Maker is designed to bring the community a nearly endless supply of content and options, and Nintendo plans to release new tools and items over time as free DLC in the months after release.

Another fun aspect that was showcased at PAX is the design style. There are four different “styles” of Super Mario aesthetics to choose from, each based on a different Super Mario era of games. Amiibo integration is also extensive (as we’ve reported in our news posts over the past months) and when the game is released, the 8-bit Mario amiibo will arrive at the same time.


There will also be a feature on launch called the 100 Mario Challenge, where players receive 100 lives and a random selection of user-created levels. Naturally, your challenge is to complete those levels with only 100 lives. Think that’s too easy? Take on the 10 Mario Challenge instead!

Based on what we watched and played at PAX Prime, it certainly looks like Super Mario Maker is going to be a ton of fun. Really, that’s the word that comes to mind when demoing this title: Fun! With so many tools and a nearly endless supply of levels to play through, this is truly going to be the game to watch when it releases on September 11th this year for the 30th anniversary of the original Super Mario game.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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