Available on Nintendo 3DS

One of the Wii U’s most popular games makes the jump to the Nintendo 3DS this fall with Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS. If you’re already a fan of the Wii U version, you know what to expect with the portable edition of the game. But a few tweaks have made an already almost endless entertaining game experience even better.

Super Mario Challenge

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS is almost identical to its Wii U counterpart, but with two notable omissions. There is no amiibo support to add costume-changing Mystery Mushrooms, and no way to upload a created level to Course World. Your creations can still be shared to others directly through the local wireless and StreetPass. If you and the kids aren’t interested in sharing your levels with the whole world to get ratings and comments on them, you will likely prefer picking up the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker. Levels can still be shared (and even collaborated on) within your family if you have more than one 3DS, so that ability isn’t completely gone, but it is limited.

The focus seems to be more on playing Super Mario games rather than creating them. All of the tools in the Wii U edition are still there for creation in the various game types, but they are now unlocked by playing through the Super Mario Challenge courses that are included in the game.

Super Mario Maker 3DS

Perhaps the most remarkable addition to the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker are the medals available for every Super Mario Challenge course. Not only do you have to make it to the flagpole at the end as usual, there are now achievement-like goals you can meet along the way.

If you’re a game completionist, these are irresistible, even though they earn you nothing more than a check mark on the course. Adding a bonus challenge–some medals require you to only move forward the entire level, or collect a certain number of coins –adds another compelling layer to just simply making your way through by jumping on goombas and hitting question blocks.

Creating your own levels is just as easy and intuitive as the Wii U. The portability and quick loading time of the 3DS make it easier to pick up and create than the Wii U version.

The graphics are surprisingly clear and colorful. You can be as crazy and creative with your Super Mario levels as you want.

Super Mario Maker 3DS

The Rating

The game is rated E for Everyone with no questionable content. Players are able to access community-created levels shared in the Course World, but those courses are monitored by Nintendo for any inappropriate content. Course creation is intuitive for kids and the tutorials are robust. But with a lot of reading required to get through them, older kids might learn to start creating levels faster than younger ones.


It’s the on-the-go course collections, like the Super Mario Challenge and 100 Mario Challenge, that really give the game a long life. If you’ve loved Super Mario Bros. since you were little, the almost endless stream of courses will feel like familiar fun that tests almost anyone’s Mario skills.

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.