Available on: Wii U

The colors are mysteriously disappearing from the usually vivid Prism Island, and it’s up to everyone’s favorite plumber to find out why! With the help of his new friend Huey, the Toads and of course Princess Peach, Mario must use his Paint Hammer to restore the color on the island in the latest release in the Paper Mario series.Along the way he’ll find and collect special Battle Cards to use against Goombas, Koopas, Shy Guys, and more in a unique combat system that makes great use of the Wii U Gamepad.

The Gameplay

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a little bit of RPG and a whole lot of the Mario games you know and love. On his quest to find the Big Paint Stars to restore all of the missing color, Mario jumps, breaks bricks, swings his new Paint Hammer, and fights some familiar faces.

He also talks to the island’s inhabitants, solves puzzles, and uncovers the story with his new friend, the paint can Huey.

As is the norm in Paper Mario games, the text is filled with humor and puns, and characters are expressive and filled with personality.

color splash

The one-of-a-kind battle system gives Mario a wealth of abilities and allies in his hand–his card hand, that is. Along the way, Mario picks up cards that give him typical power-ups like fire flowers and mushrooms, but other cards also summon allies and put some tactics to work.

Blank cards are painted for full power. Keeping an eye on the paint gauge when choosing cards adds even more strategy to combat. Use the GamePad to “flick” the selected cards into play.

The most entertaining cards are Thing cards, which can not only solve puzzles, but call forth incredibly powerful and entertaining allies to decimate enemies. (The Lucky Cat, for example, is an incredibly colorful and dizzying display that enemies don’t stand a chance against.)

The Rating

Paper Mario: Color Splash is rated E with a descriptor for Mild Cartoon Violence. There are few games as good as Paper Mario: Color Splash at being perfect for the entire family.

The text is witty and entertaining, the characters practically leap off the screen, and Huey is a great companion. While there are puzzles in the game, none are frustrating or insurmountable, even for young players—just a tap of a button and Huey appears to give you a clue.

color splash

While there’s a learning curve to the card system, it’s not overly complicated and kids should pick it up in no time. Controls when walking around the world are also easy to pick up, although it may take quite a few swings of the Paint Hammer to fill up the colorless spots just right.


Paper Mario: Color Splash is one of the best titles now available for the Wii U. Not only is the story engaging and the gameplay just plain fun, the creative paper aesthetic of the characters and backgrounds are almost mind-boggling.

If your family enjoys Super Mario games or you’re looking for a light RPG-style game to pick up and play with the kids, grab Paper Mario: Color Splash. But be forewarned: My daughter and I literally fought over whose turn it was to play.

This article was written by

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in the Seattle area. She can often be found covered in paint and glue making crafts for her blog thestartbutton.net.