Super Mario 3D World

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Super Mario 3D World Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Fantastic platform adventure is fun for the whole family.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 31 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about socializing, teamwork, puzzle solving, and strategy in this fun and colorful 3-D platform adventure game. Kids get to socialize with one another while playing in groups of up to four as they work out strategies for dealing with newly encountered enemies. They'll also need to frequently communicate with one another to figure out how best to approach timed collection challenges and puzzles. Super Mario 3D World is a good way to ensure time spent in front of the TV is both social and stimulating.

Positive Messages

This game fosters a sense of curiosity and adventure among players. It prompts them to explore their environment in an attempt to find secrets, recognize patterns, and solve simple contextual puzzles. It also promotes fun and safe social-gaming experiences for groups of local players.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mario and his pals are clearly the good guys here. All they want to do is help a group of cute Sprixie fairies captured by Bowser. What's more, the game allows players to take on the role of Peach, meaning girls (and boys) can finally play as a female character in a Mario adventure.

Ease of Play

As with most Mario games, the controls are quite simple -- though it may take a while to get a feel for the four characters, each of whom has his or her own defining abilities and idiosyncrasies.  

Violence & Scariness

Mild and cartoonish fighting involving fireballs, ramming attacks, cannon boxes, and jumping on enemies. All the foes that players encounter are deeply fantastical, ranging from stylized turtles to brown, googly-eyed blobs. Characters lose lives but respawn to start again.

Language
Consumerism

This game is part of Nintendo's extremely popular Mario franchise, which has spin-off toys, shows, and books.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Super Mario 3D World is a three-dimensional platform adventure game for up to four players. It contains mild, cartoonish violence of the sort found in most Mario games, with lots of fireballs and jumping on the heads of fantastical enemies. It promotes social gaming with both cooperative and competitive elements for groups of up to four players in the same room and has plenty of good imaginative play that will make kids interested in exploring and solving simple puzzles. What's more, one of the playable characters is Princess Peach, making this a rare Mario adventure game in which girls (and boys) can play as a female character. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byBoober November 3, 2019
Adult Written byFnafPlayer335 March 1, 2019

Sm3DW is the 2nd best Wii U game

This game has good graphics, friendly characters, & fun levels!
Kid, 12 years old March 6, 2020

parentoftwokids

BRUH if your kids cant handle bottled fairy's that your going to free anyways then its YOUR fault you didn't raise him right
Kid, 11 years old February 23, 2020

Good, but

Good, but is there a level after the space one?

What's it about?

SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD introduces players to a new kind of creature in Mario's ever-expanding universe: the Sprixie. Sprixies are essentially cute little fairies, and it seems they're in possession of something Mario's nemesis Bowser wants. That's why he kidnaps them at the beginning of the game. This spurs Mario, his brother Luigi, and his friends Princess Peach and Toad (yes, up to four friends can play the game, and each character has his or her own defining traits, such as Peach's ability to float) to head out on an adventure to save the Sprixie Princess, her people, and her kingdom.

A follow-up to 2011's delightful Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS, this game is presented in the same three-dimensional perspective with a fixed camera providing a raised view of the action. Mario and his pals travel through eight worlds themed with ice, lava, canyons, grasslands, and more. All are filled with plenty of secrets and surprises -- including new, clear travel pipes with multiple branching paths -- as well as lots of cool power-ups, including Super Bells that outfit the player's character in a cute cat suit that lets them crawl up walls and Double Cherries that clone Mario and his friends, and players are required to solve some puzzles. Also, of course, there are lots of memorable bosses (extra-strong baddies you need to defeat).

Is it any good?

Super Mario 3D World is yet another brilliant entry in Nintendo's long-running Mario franchise. The free-to-roam -- yet still short and linear -- worlds are a pleasure to explore, luring players to search for the countless secret areas, power-ups, coins, and stars scattered around them. Also, the new cat and clone power-ups -- which join classics including Fire Flowers, Mega Mushrooms, Boomerang Flowers, and the Super Leaf (which outfits Mario and his friends in Racoon suits) -- are fine additions that create a new dimension to gameplay. Equally enjoyable to play alone and in groups, in quick 10-minute bursts as well as afternoon-long marathons, Super Mario 3D World is the must-own Wii U game of 2013.

Also, here's a bonus you may not notice at first: If you've played New Super Luigi U, you can access a game called Luigi Bros. -- based on the original Mario Bros. from 1983 -- by tapping the Luigi button on the Start screen. If you haven't played New Super Luigi U, don't worry; the bonus game unlocks for everyone after you finish the main game. It’s a great way to cap yet another terrific Mario game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about exploration. What do you enjoy about going someplace new? Discovering things? Finding out what's around the next corner? Sharing what you've found and seen with friends?

  • Families also can discuss Princess Peach. It's great that kids can finally play as a female character in a Mario adventure, but what do you think of Nintendo's perpetually imperiled princess? Did you notice that this is one of the first games she's appeared in where she's not in need of rescue by Mario and Luigi?

Game details

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