You can trust Nintendo to keep the Super Mario game franchise going and bringing joy to millions of Nintendo gamers in the process. Super Mario Maker is no exception to this.

Super Mario Maker builds on the popular Super Mario Bros. video game, which itself has spawned versions like Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3, and New Super Mario Bros. U which have been fully incorporated into Super Mario Maker.

Intro screen for Super Mario Maker

With Super Mario Maker, you can create custom levels using various Mario elements but you can’t create an impossibly hard level that even you cannot complete as it won’t be published on the Online Course World. There are currently some six million courses that have already been uploaded but there is a limit to the number of courses that can be uploaded for users and only after receiving stars from other users can you upload more courses. This actually brings in an element of discipline to course designers – too hard that only you can clear it, and you get no stars. Making the course too easy to complete might not earn you stars either from a community that grew up on Super Mario and enjoyed playing it for years, experiencing all levels of difficulty. When creating a custom level in Super Mario Maker the challenge is to build a level that is not overly hard, but also not too easy. It has to be just right, the way Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario and his team at Nintendo have been doing for decades.

Action packed level

Lakitus (the little turtle in the cloud) has long been throwing spiny eggs on Mario and Luigi as they progress their way through, but in Super Mario Maker, they can be programmed to throw any object. You can also use cannons and shells as protective helmets. Enemies can now be enlarged by giving them mushrooms which in the past was only restricted to Mario/Luigi, and several enemies that were land-based can now fly. This gives you plenty to play with and get your creative juices flowing.

There is also a Mystery Mushroom available which can change Mario’s appearance into one of the 100 costumes available. To unlock a costume, you need to complete a game from the 100 Mario Challenge, which is a random set of 100 user-uploaded courses. There is a Big Mushroom which makes Mario large while the appearance of his enemies undergoes change. In short, the sky is the limit when it comes to experimentation. The level of creativity that users have introduced in Super Mario Maker has amazed traditional Super Mario game developers. Super Mario Maker, by the way, had its origins as a game development tool for the Super Mario team at Nintendo, but its potential as a game by itself was noted and it was released accordingly.

Mystery Mushroom unlockable costumes

If you are someone who just enjoys playing Mario by the original Nintendo team and don’t like creating game courses or playing wacky, outrageous courses built by other players, there is the 10 Mario Challenge, which is a set of ten courses that comes bundled along with the game. The elements of these ten courses can also be broken down and reconstructed or modified if you wanted someplace to begin your course design journey. To ensure that you are not overwhelmed by the plethora of options, the 60-odd options with which you can design everything from tiles to enemies, are unlocked gradually over the course of nine days.

Just like any other Mario game, the goal is to defeat the forces of Bowser (or King Koopa as he is known in some countries) and rescue the princess. While in the traditional Super Mario games, you could only encounter Bowser at the end, in Super Mario Maker, he can be placed in any course. Characters can also be stacked on top of each other, and so if you want, you can also face off against a flying Bowser Jr. atop the menacing Bowser.

Bowser being stacked many times

Basically, everything in the game is editable in some way, including sound which can be done with the Sound Frog. Sound effects can be created to accompany certain visual effects. You can add microphone-recorded sounds to various elements in the course, but these are unfortunately removed when you upload it to the Online Course World as you probably don’t want to play a level where someone is constantly screaming in the microphone or yelling vulgar words when your kids are playing a game.

A seemingly impossible level in Super Mario Maker

Overall Super Mario Maker is a great game for both adults and kids. The levels can sometimes be a bit challenging but real Mario fans will love this type of difficulty. The custom designing of levels makes gameplay endless as people will always be uploading new and refreshing levels for you to challenge yourself with. Nintendo could not have given Mario a better 30th anniversary present with Super Mario Maker.

Super Mario Maker 8.8/10 rating by IGCritic


  • Nostalgic
  • Easy to use
  • Unlockables


  • Takes too long to unlock everything
  • People can make some bad levels