A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an action/adventure game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. The game is actually a compilation of New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, both of which were previously released for the Wii U. The game features many of the characters from previously released games in the long-running franchise, including Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Yoshi. While players may stomp on or toss fireballs at creatures and obstacles, the violence in either game is cartoonish and not graphic at all. Players should be aware that both games are challenging (with Luigi being the harder of the two), which can promote perseverance and teamwork but also potentially frustrate some gamers. There are two characters that can make some of the gameplay slightly easier for gamers who are younger or not as skilled. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found.
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What's it about?
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U DELUXE is actually a compilation of two older platform adventures from the long-running Mario franchise that originally debuted on the Wii U. The first game is New Super Mario Bros. U, which follows a standard story of Bowser invading Princess Peach's castle, tossing Mario and his friends across various kingdoms in his latest kidnapping attempt. It's up to Mario to face the hazards of each land, or grab up to three other friends to clear stages by tossing characters over hazards or propelling them to new heights to boost their jumps. The expansion, New Super Luigi U, adds a further challenge, with harder levels, smaller time limits, and more opponents on-screen to test your leaping and fireball throwing abilities. All total, there are 164 stages that you'll be able to fight through in this challenging collection. But if you're finding that things are too tricky, don't worry: Players can take on the role of two new characters. Toadette can grab a super crown as a power-up, which turns her into Peachette, letting her double-jump and float slowly in the air. You can also play the stealthy Nabbit, a villain who likes to steal items and is never injured if he contacts enemies. Players can also test their skills in the Boost Rush mode, where the game action speeds up as you collect coins; Challenges mode, where you're given new themed tests to complete; and Coin Battle mode, where two to four players compete to grab the most coins. Finally, the game comes with hints and videos to help you through a stage, and even a Super Guide to help you complete a course if you're stuck.
Is it any good?
This collection of fast-paced adventures has great gameplay for everyone, whether you're new to the franchise or an experienced gamer looking for a serious test of your platforming skills. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe gathers together the fun and vibrant levels of New Super Mario Bros. U with the faster, more challenging stages of New Super Luigi U, providing players with 164 stages to explore and conquer across the Mushroom Kingdom. Up to four players can join together and try to beat these stages by tossing each other across chasms or acting as footholds to propel characters to higher areas. Having that many players on-screen along with the various enemies can lead to some chaotic gameplay, because you sometimes forget who's friend and who's foe. Sometimes when you're trying to make a jump, the extra characters could cause you to make a mistake to avoid a perceived threat. Plus, you're going to face a challenge in both of these games; Super Luigi U in particular delights in being harder, with more enemies, shorter time limits, and split-second jumps on some stages that are very tricky. For some players, this could be extremely frustrating.
Fortunately, this boxed set makes the gameplay more accessible by introducing two new characters, Toadette and Nabbit, which helps ease some of the difficulty. Thanks to the crown power-up that Toadette can grab, she can float over many obstacles, while Nabbit takes no damage from any enemies (because villains don't hurt each other). While playing with these two characters eliminates stages from truly being cleared, they also make it much easier for families to jump in and play together. Gamers with more experience can stick with the more challenging characters, and younger players or newcomers can take the easier ones. What's more, there's even a guide if you die on a level multiple times, walking you through the trickier sections, which can be useful if a stage just doesn't make sense or you're having trouble. On top of that, the game packs lots of videos to help you find Star Coins, speed through levels, or clear challenges if you need an additional hand. All of these helping hands make it much easier for you to dive into these stages. There's a lot of fun packed into the New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe package -- one that's great for gamers of all ages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cooperation. Do you prefer games in which you cooperate with other players or compete against them? Or do you like to play games alone? Do you believe that cooperating with others can make facing tough challenges a little easier?
What is it about Mario games that makes them so engaging? What's your favorite Mario game and why?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo of America
- Release date: January 11, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
- Last updated: December 2, 2019
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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.