A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Bright, cheerful visuals create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Local multiplayer encourages friendly, cooperative social gaming experiences, and puzzles promote creative thinking. Messages of friendship, helping others, exploration, and curiosity.
Positive Role Models
Mario and his pals just want to do right by their friends -- and, in the case of Bowser's Fury, even some of their enemies. They participate in a bit of cartoonish combat, but most of the journey is joyful exploration and discovery mixed with lots of little brainteasers -- the sorts of activities that inspire curiosity.
Ease of Play
Simple instructions appear as needed within the game, and guides can be accessed at any time in the menu. Younger players can play with more experienced players for a little help, and Bowser Jr. can be controlled by the computer to provide a customizable level of assistance.
Violence & Scariness
Mario and friends hop on, swipe at, shoot fireballs at, and throw boomerangs at fantasy cartoon creatures, who simply fall over and disappear when defeated.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is an action/adventure game for the Nintendo Switch. This is a re-release of a Wii U game from 2013 with lots of added content. As in the original game, players spend their time running around brightly colored environments dressed in various power-bestowing outfits (such as a cat suit), making their way to each level's end while solving puzzles and occasionally hopping on or shooting a fireball toward the cartoonish enemies that try to block their progress. The violence is pretty tame, with fantasy creatures like goombas and koopa troopas simply disappearing once defeated. Cooperative local multiplayer makes for a rich and rewarding social gaming experience for up to four friends, and the upbeat vibe and push to explore the world and help other characters foster a sense of curiosity and discovery. Keep in mind, though, that Mario is a juggernaut game property, and once players get a taste for him in this game, they're bound to want some of his other games and related fan merchandise. This includes amiibo, which are used to unlock special bonus items during play. New amiibo specifically themed to this game will be available for purchase during its release.
Is It Any Good?
It's no secret that the Wii U never really caught on with gamers like other Nintendo consoles, despite being home to a number of great games like this one. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury -- an exemplary entry in the Mario catalog -- on Switch is a welcome treat. Its 3D worlds are inspired, loaded with seemingly endless secrets and items to collect, from stamps to power-ups that you can store for later use if your hero already has one. And the cat suit makes for wonderfully memorable play scenarios as players try to make Mario scramble up walls to reveal hidden areas and attack enemies head-on. It looks and plays a little better, thanks to some of the tweaks Nintendo made for this port, but the reason it remains such a great game eight years after it originally launched is because of its timeless controls and classic design, which in many ways hearken back to previous Mario platformers and seem almost never to age. The ability to play with others -- locally or online -- and choose from a variety of characters just adds to the fun.
The original game alone should be enough to convince plenty of families to pick this one up, but the addition of what essentially feels like a second game in Bowser's Fury -- which you can choose to start playing right out of the box from the main menu -- is a terrific bonus. It's smaller than the adventure it's been bundled with but provides players with an open world to explore, which isn't something Mario fans have had before. The free-to-roam design means this game doesn't feel as tightly choreographed as other Mario adventures, and the constant threat of a raging Bowser showing up to make chaos rain from the skies for several minutes can be a little intimidating (though you'll have opportunity to make Mario grow to enormous size to combat him). But Bowser's Fury provides plenty of opportunity to further hone your Mario platforming skills. And the lovely feline-themed world in which it's set, where everything from the trees and shrubs Mario passes to the badges he collects are bestowed with cat-like cuteness, will be a treat for cat lovers. It's an excellent finish for what's already a terrific game, and just the sort of incentive that should prove alluring to anyone who loved the original but is sitting on the fence for this remaster. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury should find a warm welcome from players of all ages on Nintendo Switch.
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.