Parents' Guide to

Paper Mario: The Origami King

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Highly enjoyable adventure folds up fun for all players.

Game Nintendo Switch 2020
Paper Mario: The Origami King Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 12+

Good game but...

I was surprised by the spiritual elements of the game. Since when does a Mario game talk about deities and idols? I would definitely use caution with that aspect of the game, I felt like it was a sneaky/cheeky way of normalizing idolatry. I also agree with the other review here that the character having to sacrifice himself to save another character, while noble, could be very upsetting to young kids. Not trying to spoil the ending but a similar situation takes place at the end of the game as well. I enjoyed the puzzle aspect of the game and finding all of the trophies and treasures was definitely a challenge, so for the game itself I give it 3 stars, but it lost 2 because of the spiritualism and sad parts, because who wants to play a game that's sad???

This title has:

Easy to play/use
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 8+

Surprisingly mature themes

I won't retread ground by other reviews, but one very surprising thing was that a character literally sacrifices themselves (to the death) for another character. I was playing with my 4yo in the room and we were both pretty upset (at the character's loss, not Nintendo specifically). One other thing to note for young children (if everything else is fine with you) is that it is a reading heavy game, so a reader chaperone will be needed at some point.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (16 ):

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.

Game Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate