Platform: Wii U
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 4
Release Date: 11th September 2015 (EU)
PEGI rating: 3
As the Mario franchise celebrates its 30th anniversary, Nintendo taps into the current trends in social network play and user-generated content, undoubtedly inspired by the vast amount of unauthorized ROM hacks circulating the web. Super Mario Maker finally provides the fans an entry-level access to make their own contributions to the Mario universe.
The nifty level editor is clearly the central feature here. Levels are built from sets of familiar game components, which are placed on a scene through intuitive controller gestures. The feel is simple and fun, but learning to make good levels takes time. The appearance of a level can be changed based on different environments within four Mario titles, ranging from the NES era to New Super Mario Bros. Mash-ups of these are not within the limits, though. The basic platformer game logic also cannot be extensively modified, so more adventurous genre experimentations are somewhat limited.
For just playing, there are 10 and 100 Mario challenges, providing sets of levels to be completed with a certain amount of lives. Completed pre-made levels are added to the level maker library for learning and inspiration. The online functionalities make it possible to download, share, and comment player-made levels, providing a steady stream of new playable content to come.
Due to it’s accessibility, Super Mario Maker gives both Mario fans and newcomers alike an engaging level-making experience. However, due to its creative limitations, those willing to extend their design choices further will have to seek other ways of making.