Super Mario 3D World is a single or multiplayer puzzle platform game for Wii U starring the characters from the Mario universe.
Click a title to learn more about each topic.
Story & Themes
Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad are taking a walk when they come across a strange clear warp pipe. From it emerges a Sprixie, a fairy-like creature from the Sprixie Kingdom. She tells the four that Bowser has kidnapped several Sprixies. Bowser suddenly appears and catches the Sprixie in a bottle, vanishing through the clear warp pipe with a dastardly laugh. The four heroes jump after him, and are transported to the Sprixie Kingdom.
Super Mario 3D World can be played as a single-player or multi-player game. Extra players can join in or leave the game at any time. While there are some competitive aspects of gameplay, many of the tasks necessary to beating the game require teamwork and communication. Every player shares lives from a single pool, rather than having their own set number. This discourages players from hurting each other.
Each level of the game is represented as a tiny model world, accessible through a central, open-world area. Within levels, items like mushrooms and bells can transform the playable characters, giving them special abilities. Each playable character has slightly different handling, allowing them to accomplish some things that other players can't.
The game provides the player with the option of saving at the end of each level.
The game takes some skill to complete entirely, however, even young children can have fun exploring the many colorful worlds.
Violence Characters can "die" when they run out of lives. This usually involves the character saying "Ow!" or some other unhappy noise, and blinking out of existence. If they have any lives left, they will reappear. Otherwise, the screen will read "Too Bad!" and the player will have to exit the level and lose their progress.
Scary Imagery There are enemies in the game which can hurt your character, however they are all highly stylized and cartoonish, and would probably only frighten extremely young children.
Consumerism There are millions of Mario toys and accessories on the market, because it is the largest video game franchise in existence. So there is always the possibility that playing these games will encourage your kids to want these toys. However, the game does not directly promote their sales.
Discrimination Super Mario 3D World has two playable female characters, which is a pleasant change for Super Mario games. However, there is no representation across ethnicities or sexual orientation. Because most of the supporting characters in the game are not human, this has less of an overall impact than it might in a game starring human beings.
Super Mario 3D World takes advantage of the Nintendo Miiverse, allowing players to collect stamps which they can post to their profiles or allowing players to read other messages from players in the game community. These are highly regulated, though it is possible for something (like an inappropriate drawing) to slip through Nintendo's filters. Miiverse and online play can be restricted through the Wii U's parental controls.
- Why do you think that Bowser kidnapped the Sprixies?
- Do you like the Sprixies as characters? Why or why not?
- Do you like being able to play as a female character? Why or why not?