Toronto Thumbs has not been updated since the end of March, but people still have questions about gift ideas – especially around the holidays. For those of you who have a Wii U, it’s a safe bet to say that Super Mario Maker should be on your Christmas gift list (unless you already own it). The kiddo and I hadn’t played it until only recently, which is funny, considering she was on the Super Mario Maker float during the 2015 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto (and yes, I marched with the float while wearing a fish costume). However, Nintendo saw fit to send us a copy to play with, and I can say without hesitation that it is a great deal of fun for those who love video games – specifically Mario-based ones.
The control scheme is extremely intuitive (it’s a touch-pad, after all), making the game easy to get into and quite addictive for adults; it’s also simple enough for children to get cracking on designing their own levels right from the get-go. It didn’t take long for my daughter (currently 8 years old) to get into the swing of things. In fact, it was a great way to teach her about good level design (ie: don’t make coins impossible to get; Mario has to be able to actually be able to overcome obstacles to make it to the goal pole), and it was rewarding for her to be able to enjoy the fruits of her labour.
Aside from being able to play through your creations, you can also upload them and download levels that others have made. There is honestly no shortage of fantastic fun to be had. Additionally, there are a lot of unlockables (especially if you have amiibo lying around).
Reviews for the game are mostly positive, and written by better people than me (Jonathan Ore at CBC, for instance), so be sure to click and read if you’re still unsure – but at the end of the day, this title is great fun for the whole family.
For those of you who are looking for other gift ideas in the same vein, keep in mind that Minecraft will be available for the Wii U on December 17th. Also: Splatoon!