What is Super Mario Maker 3DS?
Super Mario Maker 3DS is a game of two parts. On the one hand, you have a collection of 100 brand new, Nintendo-made, 2D platforming Mario courses to play through - and on the other, you have a fully featured level editor, which you can use to make your very own stages.
How do you play Super Mario Maker 3DS?
Whether you're a budding game designer who wants to learn the ins and outs of making their own levels, or a Mario fan who simply fancies having access to a near unlimited supply of Mario levels in your pocket, Super Mario Maker 3DS caters to all comers.
When you boot up the game, you'll be asked to choose from two options - Create, or Play. If you choose Create, you'll can either get stuck in straight away, or choose to work your way through a collection of 20 tutorials, which show you everything you could ever hope to know about how to make your very own Mario levels, from the basics of using the editor, to game design 101. The tutorials even explain the psychology of certain items and objects, and how to guide the player through a level they'll find fun. Putting together a level is as easy as tapping the item you want in a handy list, before dragging it to the desired spot in your level using the 3DS' Touch Screen.
Choosing Play, meanwhile, gives you access to Mario Maker 3DS's collection of levels. In Super Mario Challenge, you'll have to make your way through 100 Nintendo designed levels, split across 18 worlds to rescue Princess Peach! If you fancy taking on the best the community has to offer, heading into Course World (while connected to the internet) will let you download a range of recommended courses from players around the world, which you can save to play offline later. You can also choose to take on the 100 Mario Challenge, which gives you 100 lives to play through a random selection of community created levels - and you'll get down that stash of lives quicker than you'd think!
How easy is Super Mario Maker 3DS to pick up and play?
With a hefty collection of tutorials on offer, and a simple control scheme, picking up the basics of making your very own Mario level is easier than you might imagine. Almost anyone will be able to sit down, and put their very own basic level together in all of a few minutes. However, there's a lot of depth to Mario Maker, and those who like to experiment will be rewarded, as they'll discover the more intricate techniques the game offers, and create the best levels.
In fact, it's the rest of the game that provides most of the challenge here. The Nintendo-created levels found within range from easy to nail bitingly hard, although even the levels the level creation tutorial asks you to play through can provide quite a challenge. It's the levels made by the community that tend to be the most challenging, though, as they often force you to think about things differently. Often designed to use items, or building blocks in a way you wouldn't otherwise expect, you'll have to forget everything you thought you knew about how a Mario game plays if you want to make it to the end of some of these levels, as they provide one heck of a challenge.
- The Super Mario Maker 3DS cartridge will be linked to the first 3DS console you use it in, and can only easily be used with one 3DS console at a time. When you first load up the game, it creates a save on the cartridge, and some extra data on the system, linking these two saves together. As such, you can't then use the cartridge in another 3DS without having to delete your save data, which will see you lose all your levels.
- Downloading user created levels, and the 100 Mario Challenge mode both require an internet connection.
Super Mario Maker 3DS in and of itself contains nothing in the way of mature content - there's no swearing, violence or sex to speak of.
However, it's also a game that allows you to download user generated levels from players all around the world, and as there's no approvals procedure these levels have to pass first before they're put up for download, you can't completely guarantee there won't be anything objectionable inside. If you're downloading levels other players have created, it's possible - albeit perhaps not likely - that you may come across things which have slipped through the net - a rude word in a level title, or perhaps a level in which either a rude word spelt out, or an obscene picture has been made using blocks.
If anyone does create a level like this, players will usually quickly report it to Nintendo, who are swift to remove it, but there's always the chance something will slip through the net. 99.99% of downloadable levels are going to be absolutely fine, but there's always the chance someone might upload something designed to troll.