A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The cartoon adventure is about Mario facing off against origami adversaries, as he attempts to find and rescue friends, such as his brother Luigi and friend Princess Peach. It's lighthearted, yet emphasizes standing up for what you believe in and helping friends and family.
Positive Role Models
You play as Mario, who's brave, loyal and friendly. He doesn't ever kill enemies, but he will use a hammer to smack them, or use boots to stomp on them, in order to defeat them. Overall, Mario is a good role-model.
Ease of Play
Paper Mario: The Origami King is fairly easy to play using the Nintendo Switch controls, but some maneuvers taught earlier in the game, like using Mario's giant claw to reach for something high up, can be a little challenging because it relies on the sensors of the Nintendo Switch. But overall, there's a good balance between the difficulty and many save points.
Violence & Scariness
There's some animated cartoon violence, like Mario smashing enemies over the head with a giant mallet, or stomping on their heads -- sometimes with spiked boots -- during combat sequences. No one dies -- only disappears -- and there's no blood or gore. The characters are also made out of "paper" in this story. Sometimes you need to use your hammer to free folded up friends who need to be released.
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Products & Purchases
This game's based on the popular Mario franchise from Nintendo, which has produced toys, movies, TV shows, and more.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paper Mario: The Original King is an action-adventure game with light role-playing elements exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.It's also the latest in the Paper Mario series. There's some animated violence, as Mario can smash paper enemies with his mallet or engage in battle sequences that including stomping and striking, too. But the entire game is cartoon-like and not realistic in any way. There's no blood or gore or implied pain inflicted on enemies, who disappear after losing a skirmish. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content included in the game.
Is It Any Good?
This charming adventure is well worth the price of admission for its lengthy and gratifying gameplay, accessible controls, well-written dialogue, and high-quality presentation. Paper Mario: The Origami King offers many secret areas, collectible items, and other hallmarks of a triple-A Mario adventure. Along with the bright and colorful graphics, with Mario and others represented by paper thin characters, the first thing you'll notice is how good the game feels to play, Maneuvering your 1,000-Fold Arms ability relies on your Nintendo Switch's gyroscope, which takes a little getting used to, but its a welcome change to your regular arsenal of moves. Much of the strategy, though, is tied to the battle system, represented by a ring the enemies stand on, with you in the middle. You have a limited amount of time to manipulate the ring so that familiar enemies -- like Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Shy Guys -- are lined up in a desired fashion, so that you can take them down with as few moves as possible (or else they'll have a turn to damage you, too). You can rotate the rings with your limited moves, or push and pull them across the board, which is where the tactics come in. You can also add extra power to your movies -- such as stomping on baddies for spiked boots -- by properly timing an extra button press when above their heads and getting into the rhythm of the sequence.
Especially earlier on in the game, the battle portions can get repetitive and tedious, but the combat does evolve once you start adding new items and abilities. Mixed feelings about the combat aside, Paper Mario: The Origami King is super fun, and those who love exploring every nook and cranny in a game will be rewarded with paper treasures, hidden characters, weapons, upgrades, and more. The game's also very funny, and you'll want to read every interaction with a character or object (like a sign) because it's so well written. There are platforming challenges and some mini-games, too, for those who enjoy those traditional Mario gameplay elements. Paper Mario: The Original King isn't "paper thin" but it does have some tears thanks to some of the combat issues. That said, it's still a super fun ride for fans of the franchise and newcomers to the series alike.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.