It's a great week for platformers. Not only has Sonic Superstars just come out on all platforms, but Nintendo has now released Super Mario Bros. Wonder on the Switch. Wonder is the first 2.5D Mario game released without the word "New" in the title, a move meant to show that this is more of a mainline Mario game than a spinoff. It still supports 4-player local co-op, however, so there's plenty of family-friendly fun to be had.
The game begins with Mario and friends arriving in the Flower Kingdom, a neighbor of the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser soon arrives and steals the Wonder Flower, transforming the Flower Kingdom into his own dark realm. Only Mario and his team can stop Bowser's forces and restore the Flower Kingdom!
A few of Super Mario Bros. Wonder's features:
- When you touch a Wonder Flower in a course, a Wonder effect will trigger, causing dramatic changes.
- New power-ups: the Elephant Fruit, which allows Mario and some of his friends to transform into Elephant form. The Drill form makes dealing with spiky or hard-headed enemies a breeze. And the Bubble form lets you blow bubbles to bounce on or to defeat enemies.
- As the adventure progresses, players will be able to earn a variety of different in-game badges, each with its own special abilities.
- Up to four people can play in local co-op on one Nintendo Switch system. Defeated players will float around the course as ghosts, but if another player reaches them before time runs out, they’ll jump right back into action, and the group won’t lose any lives.
- While playing online, players can get together with friends in a shared room. There they can see which courses their friends are playing, play the same course together or even turn most courses into a friendly race.
- When playing solo online, players from around the world will appear as live player shadows in courses and on the world map in real time. Players can come back to life by bumping into a live player shadow. They can also assist fellow online players by placing a standee that can revive ghosts.
Players can select from a whopping 12 playable characters, making for lots of choice and variety when playing in local co-op. Mario platformers are always special, and this one looks wonderful indeed.