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Super Mario 3D World

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

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 29 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.


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. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymoviewannabe April 6, 2014

This installment in the Mario series is amazing!!!!!!!!

I really love this video game. Collecting all the stamps and green stars CAN be really tricky, but it is fun. I usually like to make it fair for all playable ch... Continue reading
Adult Written byOprime3 December 26, 2013

The best in the series since 1991's Super Mario World

Super Mario 3D World is one of 2013's best games, and one of the best of the series. The stages are varied and fun. Within the first 4 levels, you will hav... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 23, 2013

Nice job, CSM!

CSM took the words right out of my mouth! They only got one thing wrong this time: the topic of the game is not princesses and fairies! I mean, when was the las... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old December 7, 2013


it a little bit cool but it's good

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

Themes & Topics

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