REVIEW | Super Mario Bros Wonder

REVIEW | Super Mario Bros Wonder

“Wonderfully executed!”

When a brand-new side scrolling Super Mario game arrives, the world pays attention! After skipping out on Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury because I was lacking the time, I was really looking forward to playing this. It was the perfect game to play one level per day just before going to bed and that’s just what I did (and the reason it took so long for the review to come out)

It’s been an amazing year for the Nintendo Switch and probably the most hours I’ve spent with the device since buying one. Nintendo released superb titles, one after the other, and Super Mario Bros Wonder is no exception and was even nominated several times at The Game Awards, taking home the trophy for Best Family Game. And that’s well-earned because my kids loved playing this with me!

ℹ️ Reviewed on Nintendo Switch | Review code provided by Nintendo, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!


This new power is elephantastic!

Things I liked!

  • New powers | There are three new upgrades you can find that each bring unique gameplay possibilities with them, you can turn into an elephant and use your trunk to smash enemies or water flowers, use the bubble power to defeat smaller enemies or even jump on the bubbles you created to reach greater heights or use the drill power to burrow yourself into the floor or ceiling and punish enemies that try to attack you from above.
  • Wonders | Most levels have a specific requirement that will make a Wonder Flower appear, after which the entire level transforms as well as your character. These are by far the biggest highlights of the game, but even though there are some stellar levels that require out-of-the-box thinking, the first is still the one that stole my heart:
  • Lots to collect | The purple coins you can collect across levels can be used to buy new badges, wonder seeds or 1UP mushrooms, motivating you to explore and find the three big ones hidden in each level. Getting all the wonder seeds usually requires triggering the hidden Wonder Flower and at the end of each level you can try to hit the very top of the flag pole. with these 3 main goals per level, you’ll probably need to replay a few of them to find everything.
  • Badges change the way you play | Before starting a level, you get to pick a badge to wear. This could be a passive ability like surviving one lethal fall, or an activated one like an extra high spin jump. If you want to collect everything in the game, you’ll need to master these badges and know which one to equip where.
  • Perfect length | Most friends of mine breezed through the game in 1 or 2 days, but I chose to spread it out over a few months and this made the game feel perfect in size. The short levels aren’t meant to be played one after the other in my opinion and with optional levels to unlock and things to collect, there is a good amount of replayability here.
  • Colourful | The game looks amazing on the Switch OLED and the colours *pop* from the screen. The device may be dated, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from most first-party titles. Super Mario Bros Wonder looks, well, WONDERful!
  • Up to 4-player co-op | While I played the majority of the game by myself, you can have up to 3 family members or friends join you in jumping around. My kids loved playing this with me and always loved playing as Nabbit or Yoshi because the take no damage (but also can’t use upgrades). Sidenote: other players are locked in to using the same badge as the main player, which I thought was a shame. There is an online multiplayer too, that even lets you revive other players, but I didn’t get a chance to test that out as my Nintendo Online subscription ran out.

Alright, who ate all the Skittles?

Neither good nor bad

  • The story | Bowser changes into a castle, collect the wonder flowers to reach him and show him who’s boss. Peach is playing alongside you now, so no need to save the princess. I wonder if there is still a type of person out there who expects more from a Mario title, I sure don’t.

I herd you like running with the bulls

Things I disliked!

  • I think the 1UP system should be sunsetted | This may seem like a weird complaint, but having mid-level checkpoints in games like this with tricky jumps is a blessing, one that’s soured by having to start the level over again when you lose all your lives.
  • Wall-Jump | Super Mario Bros Wonder may have the worst wall jump in the franchise’s history. I found it extremely hard to time correctly, and multiple (optional) levels require perfect execution.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 12 hours
How long to beat the story? 8-10 hours
How long to complete? 15-20 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends


90/100 ⭐ | Super Mario Bros Wonder is another great first-party Nintendo release in a stellar year full of massive hits. The new upgrades, wonders and badges bring plenty of new gameplay elements to keep players engaged, and it does so in a typically colourful jacket overall that is sure to please gamers of all ages.