Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong:
North American box art
|Developer(s)||Nintendo Software Technology|
|Series||Mario vs. Donkey Kong|
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (マリオvs.ドンキーコング 突撃!ミニランド Mario vs. Donkī Kongu Totsugeki! Mini Rando) is a puzzle video game developed by Nintendo Software Technology and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. It was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010 and released in North America on November 14, 2010. It is the fourth game in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series.
In the game, Mario and Pauline are sponsoring the grand opening of the amusement park "Mini-Land," where Donkey Kong kidnaps Pauline and must be rescued by Mario and his team of miniature Mario toys. Instead of playing as Mario, players use a stylus to modify level architecture, allowing the mini Marios to exit the level or attack Donkey Kong. There is also a Construction Zone that allows players to build and share their own levels. In the game's opening, Mario and Pauline are sponsoring the grand opening of an amusement park named "Mini-Land". Donkey Kong is the 101st visitor to arrive to the amusement park, and is denied the gift given to the first hundred visitors: a "Mini-Pauline" toy. Infuriated, Donkey Kong kidnaps the real Pauline, prompting Mario to attempt to rescue her. Accompanied by Mini-Marios, Mario and the Mini Marios then battle with Donkey Kong at various locations throughout the amusement park, avoiding traps left by Donkey Kong. Obstacles include pits, with tools such as conveyor belts, springs, warp pipes, and cannons. Mario pursues Donkey Kong through eight themed worlds, including a jungle, a haunted house, and desert sands. After Donkey Kong has been defeated and Pauline rescued, Mario presents him with a Mini-Pauline toy, which satisfies the ape.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! is a platform game with a 2D level design. Similar to the old Lemmings games, the puzzle-based gameplay in Mini-Land Mayhem is built upon that of earlier 3 Mario vs. Donkey Kong titles, where players do not control Mario, but instead are tasked with guiding wind-up miniatures to level exits, in this case mechanical Mini-Mario toys. The game requires players to "build and rebuild levels on the fly," to allow the small miniature Marios to get from point A to point B. As the mini-Marios cannot be directly controlled, the player instead uses a stylus to manipulate their movements. Each level has one to three minis that must be moved, and it is necessary to rescue all the minis to win a level, and each exit closes several second after a mini enters. The level is lost if any minis are left stranded, or fall into dangerous spikes, enemies, traps, or pitfalls. Once a single mini has escaped a level, a timer comes on, and everyone else must be through the door within seconds or the level is failed. Unlike previous installments of the series, it is not possible to stop the miniatures or change their direction once they are activated.
There are eight themed "worlds" in the theme park, with eight levels each leading to boss battles. A zoomed-out map view on the upper screen helps players navigate worlds. Each world has a different type of object to interact with. The first world involves building walls and floors, using red girders to serve as bridges, walls, and ramps. Later players gain access to magnets, conveyor belts, and springs, as well as other building blocks for directing the robot army such as trampolines and repositioned platforms. Each world requires the player to use that world's specific tool to defeat Donkey Kong in the boss battle. For example, in one level, platforms can be built so the Mario minis can get to Donkey Kong to electrocute him or drop bombs on him. There are also items like hammers, which can hit Circus Kong and other gorilla robots out of the way.
There are multiple solutions to many of the levels, although there are rewards for creating the optimum route. There are over 200 levels, and players are awarded trophies and medals for speed runs and gathering collectibles. Overall, you can collect coins, M-tokens, and Mario Cards. There are also unlockable mini-games.
Once the Normal Mode of the game is beaten, there is an added Plus Mode in the game, where players can go through the stages again, but with the added difficulty of ushering minis through exits in specific orders. Afterwards, the Special and Expert Levels can be unlocked. Both Special and Expert Levels unlock ten more stages each. Trophies and medals for speed runs and gathering collectibles unlocks challenge modes. Trophies are required to unlock the Expert Levels.
The game originally allowed players to build their own levels, with the Construction Zone level editor. Players could then share levels with other players using an online connection via Nintendo WiFi Connection, with the game able to store up to 160 additional puzzles. It was similar to the editor available in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! but allowed the use of all the elements present in the game. After tools are unlocked in the single-player, those tools can be used in the multi-player world-building. However, online features were retired as of May 20, 2014.
Mini-Land Mayhem was developed by Nintendo Software Technology. It was released on November 14, 2010 for Nintendo DS. Music in the game was described as "a hopped-up circus sounding Mario soundtrack," with Mario classics tweaked to a carnival setting. Yukimi Shimura directed, Kensuke Tanabe produced, and Lawrence Schwedler composed.
Mini-Land Mayhem received "favorable" reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. New York Post gave it an A, saying: “This the most awesome, challenging, and addictive game that has ever graced my DSiXL's screen." New York Daily News said that you can't go wrong with Mini-Land Mayhem. The Guardian said the game is a "creamy, comforting slice of puzzle-platforming bliss," and gave high praise to the level design. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of all 4 eights, for a total of 32 out of 40.
The The Daily Telegraph expressed that although it was similar to Lemmings, the overall game boasted "surprising depth and thanks to continually clever level design and easy, intuitive controls, it's an absolute joy to play." IGN thought the game wasn't very hard, but did say it was "pure joy" to play, and adorable as well. Engadget liked that the game's interface was "simple and intuitive," with the game doing well at interpreting stylus movements. However, the review also said the Mini Marios did not handle cylindrical surfaces well, which was the "sole flaw" in the game. The review especially liked the Construction Zone, which is said was "shockingly" easy to get started on. Also, Eurogamer said that "tinkering with each stage's geometry is both mentally taxing and genuinely thrilling."
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