A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the main game doesn't take advantage of the Nintendo DS's touch screen or its microphone, but the 18 Mini games do. Several of the levels are challenging, so parents might want to encourage their kids to carefully plan how to get through all the obstacles. Parents should also note that Mario's modus operandi is to stomp on most enemies, but sometimes he must use other tricks, including throwing fireballs.
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What's it about?
Mario, the world-famous Italian plumber who put Nintendo on the video gaming map, is back in mega-sized glory with NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Nintendo DS. There are three main play areas: the single-player game, Mini games (single or up to four players) and a two-person wireless Mario vs. Luigi hunt-for-stars race. In the single-player games, as in previous versions, Princess Peach, the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, has been kidnapped, and it's up to Mario to rescue her. Players run through grassy terrains, over tropical islands, inside volcanoes, on top of mountains, and much more, defeating a host of familiar bad guys, including Spinies, Koopas, Goombas, Hammer Brothers, Bowser Jr., and Bowser along the way.
Is it any good?
This newest version pays homage to its roots but extends the license in new, exciting ways. Our kid testers, both seasoned players and those new to the license, loved it. The game offers a variety of modes, a range of environments, and plenty of secrets to unlock.
Teen testers enjoyed the retro feel of the game and reveled in the unique play elements. New to this handheld version is a Mega Mushroom that makes Mario grow so big that he barely fits on the screen, and a Mini Mushroom that makes Mario so tiny and light that he can fit through pipes, walk on water, and do floating jumps. Players also liked exploring Mario's ability to jump off walls and his super bounce, which allows him to pound the ground from above to attack baddies or break through objects.
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