Super Mario 3D World

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Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World box art.jpg
Packaging artwork released in all territories.
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Tokyo[1]
1-UP Studio[2]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Koichi Hayashida[3]
Kenta Motokura[4]
Producer(s) Yoshiaki Koizumi
Composer(s) Mahito Yokota
Toru Minegishi[5]
Koji Kondo[6]
Series Super Mario
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Super Mario 3D World (Japanese: スーパーマリオ3Dワールド Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Surī Dī Wārudo?) is a platform game in the Super Mario series developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo for the Wii U video game console. Released on November 22, 2013 in North America, it is the sixth original 3D platformer in the Super Mario series and a follow-up to 2011's Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land. The game received critical acclaim, with its level design, multiplayer, visuals, and music all receiving high praise.


E3 2013 screenshot of Super Mario 3D World depicting Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad, who are controlled by players, running through one of the game's levels.

The game follows a similar play style to Super Mario 3D Land, which combines the free-roaming gameplay of 3D Mario titles with the mechanics of 2D side-scrolling platforming games in the series, going so far as to include a flagpole and timer on every level.[11] Four different playable characters are initially available in Super Mario 3D World: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. Additionally, Rosalina is an unlockable fifth playable character. Similar to their appearances in Super Mario Bros. 2,[12] each of the characters possesses unique abilities and controls differently: Mario has balanced running speed and jump height; Luigi jumps higher and falls slower, but has lower traction; Peach can jump and float through the air for a short period of time, but does not run as fast; Toad runs the fastest, but cannot jump as high and falls faster; and Rosalina can use the spin attack move as seen in the Super Mario Galaxy titles, but has the slowest running speed. The player can select any of the five characters to use before beginning a level, and up to four players may explore the same level simultaneously with each character, sharing from a pool of extra lives. Like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U, players are able to pick up and carry each other to help them across certain areas.[13] Levels are accessed via a map overworld, which players can freely explore to find hidden secrets or access bonus areas to earn more items or coins. Each level contains 3 hidden Green Stars, which are required to access certain levels, and each main level also contains a hidden Stamp, which can be used in handwritten posts to Miiverse within the game's community. Players can also view messages left by other players, both on the map overworld and after clearing a level, and can download Mii Ghosts to appear in levels.[14] Additional Green Stars can be earned in Captain Toad levels, where players control Captain Toad, who cannot jump, as he navigates puzzle-like stages using the GamePad's functionality, and Mystery Houses, where players must clear a series of challenges with short time limits.[15][16]

Along with several returning items from previous games, such as the Super Leaf, Mega Mushroom, Propeller Box and Boomerang Flower, several new items are introduced. The Super Bell gives players a Cat Suit, allowing them to run faster, perform unique attacks and climb up walls to reach new areas. A variation of the Super Bell, the Lucky Bell, allows the player to temporarily transform their character into a lucky cat statue that awards coins under certain conditions.[17] Double Cherries make a clone of the player, allowing for more effective attacks. The more Double Cherries the player grabs, the more clones that appear. Players can also wear Cannon Boxes, which fire shots at enemies, Light Blocks, which can defeat ghosts, and Goomba masks, which let them blend in with enemy Goombas. Players are also able to pick up various objects, such as bombs, baseballs and Piranha Plants, which can be used to defeat enemies or solve puzzles, and ride around in a Skating Shoe or on an aquatic dinosaur named Plessie.[18]

The game features functionality with the Wii U GamePad, allowing players to rub the touchscreen or blow into the microphone to reveal hidden blocks or items, hinder enemies, and activate mechanisms, and also supports Off-TV Play.[19][20][21][22] The game is also compatible with the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Wii U Pro Controller.[23] An unlockable Luigi-themed version of Mario Bros., titled Luigi Bros., can be accessed either by clearing the game, or by having save data from New Super Luigi U.[24]


The game begins with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad exploring the Mushroom Kingdom, where they came across a clear pipe that is tilted. After Mario and Luigi fix the pipe, Sprixie, a curious green fairy-like creature, jumps out the pipe and tells Mario and his friends that Bowser has kidnapped her fellow Sprixies. Just then, Bowser arrives and captures the Sprixie before escaping through the pipe, prompting Mario and his friends to enter the pipe in order to pursue him. They then find themselves in a land known as "The Sprixie Kingdom", and Mario and his friends set off to find the Sprixies.

Later, after rescuing the final Sprixie, Mario and his friends are encountered by Bowser, who re-captures all seven Sprixies, and retreats to his official castle. Mario and his friends arrive at Bowser's castle, where they engage in a final battle against "Meowser", a cat-like Bowser. Mario and his friends pursue Bowser to a skyscraper, where he is defeated when Mario hits an enormous POW block Bowser is standing on, causing him to be thrown into the sky. The game ends when the Sprixies thank Mario and his friends for saving them and wave good-bye as they fly through the pipe back to the Mushroom Kingdom. During the credits, it is then revealed that Bowser is imprisoned in a bottle as punishment for capturing the Sprixies.


In a January 2013 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that a new 3D Mario game was being produced by the development team behind Super Mario Galaxy.[25][26] The game's official title was announced during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2013, along with its tentative release date of November 2013.[8]

According to Koichi Hayashida, Peach was originally not going to be a playable character. Yoshiaki Koizumi suggested for Peach to be playable, which would then be agreed upon. Koizumi reasoned, "I think she adds a lot to the sense of competition when you get in multiplayer ... You can have different people choosing different characters based on their personality or whoever they like."[27]

Similarly, Rosalina was later added as a playable character. Kenta Motokura said, "I was thinking about what would be pleasing after the ending and wanted to bring in another female character in addition to Princess Peach. Rosalina has a following among the Super Mario Galaxy fanbase, and she's appeared in Mario Kart recently, so I think she's well known."[28]

The game's soundtrack was performed by the Mario 3D World Big Band and was composed by Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo, and Yasuaki Iwata. An official soundtrack was released for Club Nintendo members in Japan, Australia and Europe, featuring 77 songs across two CDs.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 93%[29]
Metacritic 93/100[30]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 10/10[31]
Edge 9/10[32]
Eurogamer 10/10[33]
Famitsu 38/40[34]
Game Informer 9.25/10[35]
GameSpot 9/10[36]
GamesRadar 4.55 stars[37]
IGN 9.6/10[38]
Joystiq 5/5 stars[39]
Nintendo World Report 10/10[40]
GamingSoul 9.5/10[41]

Super Mario 3D World received critical acclaim, gaining scores of 92.77% and 93/100 on aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively.[29][30] The title also won many awards from media outlets, including Game of The Year (GOTY) from Eurogamer, Digital Spy, and MSN UK.

Famitsu gave the game a score of 38/40.[34] IGN's Jose Otero gave 3D World a 9.6/10, praising the visual design's "youthful energy," the "interesting risks" taken with the level designs, the "maddening challenge" offered by later worlds, and the "genuinely funny and memorable co-op": "I reveled in the sheer brilliance of how much energy and gameplay mileage Nintendo has packed into every world." Otero's only complaint was that "the camera becomes a slight obstacle in four-player multiplayer".[38] GameTrailers gave the game a score of 9.5, praising its gameplay and presentation, while criticising camera issues and some odd control choices.[42] GamesRadar gave the game a score of 4.5/5, praising improved multiplayer and some brilliant moments, whilst lamenting that the latter can make some other levels seem dull by comparison.[37] Luke Plunkett of Kotaku called the game "a terrific Mario game... just not a very good Wii U game", praising the game itself, but lamenting that it doesn't do much to show off the Wii U's capabilities.[43] Patrick Klepek at Giant Bomb, saying "World continues to make the case that it's possible to reinvent a classic over and over again".[44]

Anime News Network gave the game an A grade, calling it "fun, imaginative, and filled with little surprises and delights." [45] Edge rated the game 9/10, calling it "Wii U's best game to date," and "the most next-gen game that 2013 has yet produced," while conceding that Mario is the most fun character to play as ("his cohorts' abilities aren't anything special").[32] Destructoid's Chris Carter awarded the game a 10/10, praising the power-ups (especially the catsuit, which "open[s] up [doors] platforming-wise that weren't there before," and the double cherry, which "Nintendo really outdid themselves in terms of the technical mechanics" to make possible), the "incredibly sharp" graphics, and "one of the best OSTs I've ever heard". Carter wrote that "the only downfall of the design is the selection of boss fights," as Nintendo "had achieved a level of platforming design that's close to perfection".[31] Joystiq's Richard Mitchell gave the game 5/5 stars, praising the "astounding" visual craftsmanship, "excellent soundtrack," and "artful, purposeful design" which "communicates goals with complete clarity".[39] GameZone's Mike Splechta gave it a 9.5/10, stating "With multiple characters to play as (harking back to Super Mario Bros. 2) and an unlockable fifth, a fantastic and unobtrusive multiplayer component and enough new power-ups to make even Mario's head spin, you're bound to have a highly enjoyable time with one of the best 3D platformers released thus far."[46]

Eurogamer's Christian Donlan gave the game a 10/10, describing 3D World as "an endless freewheeling treat of a game" with an "ad-libbed drive to...explore how many different situations [Mario] can be squashed into," and noting that this inventiveness carries over to the "lavish and quick-changing" soundtrack: "This is pastiche at its most skillful, its most panoramic."[33] Cheat Code Central's Jenni Lada gave the game a 5/5, calling it "the closest we will ever come to a perfect Mario game, one that is a culmination of every right decision ever made in the series."[47] Nintendo World Report stated that it's a Mario game that one would want to continue playing once the game is beaten and may be the killer app of the Wii U, saying "Thankfully 3D World isn’t just a refinement of the Mario formula, it’s a powerful re-imagining. It’s an explosive cavalcade of color and excitement as well as a well thought out evolution of Mario."[40] The Escapist was slightly more critical of it, saying "Buy it if you love that little plumber, and enjoy the new toys, but don't expect your mind to be blown." It gave a score of four stars.[48]


In Japan, the game's first week sales in three days at retail, totaled to 99,588 copies sold (not including eShop digital sales) [49] and 57% of its initial shipment.[50] The sales were considered low at first, but like many other Nintendo games, Super Mario 3D World kept having strong sales during the following weeks. By January 5, the game had sold about 400,000 units in Japan and was still on the weekly top 10 charts.[51]

In the UK, the game debuted at number 14, behind its competitor, Knack, which debuted at number 13.[52] During its first eight days on the market, Super Mario 3D World sold 215,000 units in the US according to the NPD Group, debuting out of the Top 10.[53]

By the end of June 2015, the game had sold 4.30 million units worldwide, making it the Wii U's fourth best-selling game.[54]


List of pre-release awards and nominations
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
Destructoid's Best of E3 Best Wii U Game Nominated
Best Platformer Nominated
EGM Best of E3 Best Wii U Game Won
GameTrailers Best of E3 Best Wii U Exclusive Nominated
Giant Bomb Best of E3 Best Wii U Exclusive Nominated
IGN's Best of E3 Best Overall Game Nominated
Best Wii U Game Nominated
Best Platforming Game Nominated
The Nerdist Best of E3 Best Platformer Won
List of post-release awards and nominations
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2013 Cheat Code Central 7th Annual Cody Awards Best Nintendo Game Won
Digital Spy Game of the Year Won
Eurogamer Game of the Year Won
GameRevolution Game of the Year Nominated
Publisher of the Year (Nintendo) Won
Best Wii U Exclusive Won
GameSpot's Game of the Year Wii U Game of the Year Nominated [55]
GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2013 Game of the Year Nominated
Best Nintendo Game Won
IGN's Best of 2013 Game of the Year Nominated
Best Overall Music Nominated
Best Overall Platformer Won
Wii U Game of the Year Won
Wii U Best Music Won
Wii U Graphics Won
Wii U Platformer Won
Spike VGX Game of the Year Nominated
Best Nintendo Game Won
2014 BAFTA Video Games Awards Best Game Nominated
Best Family Game Nominated
Best Multiplayer Game Nominated
Best Original Music Nominated
Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year Nominated
Best Design Nominated
32nd Golden Joystick Award Best Audio Pending
Game of the Year Pending
SXSW Gaming Awards Game of the Year Nominated
Excellence in Gameplay Nominated
Excellence in Animation Nominated
Excellence in Technical Achievement Nominated
Best Multiplayer Game Won


Based on and expanding upon the game's The Adventures of Captain Toad puzzle-based levels, a separate game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, was released for the Wii U on November 13, 2014 in Japan, December 5, 2014 in North America, and in January 2015 in PAL regions.


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