Super Mario Maker 2 Review

Cat Mario creation

I’ll be honest: I haven’t really been keeping up with the latest events in the Mushroom Kingdom, so I didn’t understand the plot of Super Mario Maker 2. Since it has a “2” in the title, does that mean it’s a sequel? What was Super Mario Maker 1 about then? And overall, at what point did the Maker universe branch off from the Super Mario Bros. storyline? And what happened to the Mario brothers?! Oh, so many questions, my head is spinning. And it’s a children’s game, too…

In short, I decided to turn to internet experts with years of experience for clarification. And guess what? It’s not a sequel at all! Super Mario Maker 2 is a true prequel, telling the story of events 30 years before Super Mario Maker 1. It’s still far from the post-apocalyptic world where Bowser dropped mushroom bombs on Princess Peach’s fortress. Now, the focus of the story is on Mario and Luigi’s parents, poor college students trying to survive in a city plagued by xenophobia and hunger. Will they have spaghetti or ramen today? It all depends on you.

I haven’t actually seen this in the game yet, though. I guess they’re slowly building up to the most delicious part. I’ve only reached the scene where the mushroom construction workers accidentally blow up a newly built castle and immediately start rebuilding it – of course, with the financial support of Mario, who skillfully pockets other people’s coins. Oh, buddy, your ancestors would be proud of you!


Mario’s current adventures are not much different from the previous ones. All the jumping mechanics, green pipes, flowers, and other enemies have migrated here, and they come from several generations of the Super Mario series. One level allows you to reminisce about your youth by running through the eight-bit spaces of the original game, another delights with assets from the third part, and the next one dramatically increases the volume and depicts ultra-modern landscapes from 3D World. There is no unified theme for the visited worlds as such: the stages change in a chaotic order, but along with them, the rules of passage also change, which greatly diversifies the process.

The key feature of the story mode in Super Mario Maker 2 is the ability to “finish” levels on your own. In a difficult moment, Luigi will offer to use his toolkit and, for example, give yourself a life-saving mushroom or place a couple of blocks to reach that platform over there. It is not possible to significantly change or break the intended design of the level in this way, but it greatly helps to understand what is what here and prepare for the main aspect of the game.

Challenging Bullet Bill level

It’s no secret that Super Mario Maker 1 on the Wii U was Nintendo’s answer to players who wanted to create their own Mario levels. It offered a wide range of tools that allowed enthusiasts of all ages to create their desired levels. The only problem was the high concentration of boring levels. Having to sift through user libraries quickly became tiresome due to the fact that for every interesting level, there were twenty dull ones.

Fortunately, the Super Mario Maker 2 editor is everything we loved about the Wii U version, but even better and more fun. The second installment offers a much larger arsenal of blocks, bonuses, enemies, interactive elements, and customizable completion conditions, allowing for endless creativity. Now, it’s easy to create not only quality platformer levels but also challenging puzzles.

Super Mario Maker 2 introduces various locations and settings from Mario Bros, Mario Bros 3, New Mario Bros U, Super Mario World, and 2D gameplay from Super Mario 3D World. The search menu for other levels is equipped with necessary options, such as proper level filtering based on the completion percentage by other players, making it easier to find what you really want to play, whether it’s puzzles or levels from Super Mario 3D World.

The controls are smooth and convenient, as expected. Of course, the combination of the Wii U tablet and stylus still holds the advantage, but the portable mode of the Switch is not far behind in terms of comfort, responding flawlessly to both finger touches and stylus input if you happen to have the collector’s edition of the game. However, in TV mode, which lacks tactile controls, level building is not as enjoyable. The Joy-Cons still lack precision, and the editor windows lack ergonomics.

Creative level design

Nevertheless, Super Mario Maker 2 is simply wonderful. It is definitely worth playing for those who love to create and appreciate the creativity of others. Even if you don’t make levels yourself, there is enough user-generated content here to last for years. The main thing is not to forget to buy a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, without which you won’t be able to fully immerse yourself in the cool and fun world of Mario creativity. Good luck!

Super Mario Maker 2
Action, Co-op
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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