What is Super Mario Odyssey?
Set out on a globe trotting adventure with Mario and his new friend Cappy in this amazing 3D platformer. When the dastardly Bowser not only kidnaps Princess Peach, but intends to marry her too, it's up to Mario to set out in pursuit, and put a stop to proceedings before the unhappy couple get chance to tie the knot. With new friend Cappy by your side (or rather on your head), it's up to you travel to different worlds, as you explore, solve puzzles, and collect hidden Moons in order to close the gap with Bowser, and rescue Princess Peach!
How do you play Super Mario Odyssey?
As a 3D platform game, Odyssey is a game of exploration and adventure. You'll be taking advantage of Mario's surprisingly nimble nature as you make your way through the levels, triple jumping to high areas, running over invisible paths, or rolling your way through tiny gaps. New for Odyssey is the ability to use your friend Cappy - a transforming hat - to take over certain animals, objects, or even enemies in the levels. With each enemy/object having its own specific set of abilities - like a Fire Bro that can chuck fireballs around, a giant T-Rex that can smash through solid rock, or a new enemy called an Uproot, that can make itself much taller by stretching out its long, stilt like legs - these temporary transformations are key to many of the game's puzzles and levels, and you'll need to use them wisely if you want to hunt out all the game's Moons.
Speaking of Moons - rather than having a specific start and a finish, the levels in Super Mario Odyssey are much more open in nature. While the first time you play through a level, you'll have a clear objective you'll need to pursue - whether it's figuring out a way to climb a tower, scale an inverted pyramid, or enter an underwater city - there's much, much more to do here. Each level is crammed to bursting with secrets waiting to be found, with anywhere from 50 to 100 hidden Moons to collect in each level - this game's equivalent of Stars, or Shines - many of which are in turn tied to a puzzle, or something specific you need to do. With an exploration-based puzzle to be figured out around almost every turn, it's up to you to collect enough Moons in order to move on to the next area - and get one step closer to stopping Bowser.
How easy is Super Mario Odyssey to pick up and play?
Though it may be slightly more open ended in design than other Mario games, Super Mario Odyssey is still easy to pick up and play, and has been designed to be easy for newcomers to get into. From the little animations that pop up the first time you need to use one of Mario's more elaborate moves, to the helpful parrot who'll give you a clue as to the whereabouts of the next Moon, there's plenty of nice little touches to help new players find their footing.
With no real lives system, you're instead simply docked ten coins every time you "die" - and within a few seconds of restarting, you'll have collected more than enough coins to replace them. There's even an Assist mode, which doubles Mario's health, gives you objective arrows to follow that'll lead you through the levels, and lets your health restore automatically if you can go a few moments without getting attacked. While you'll need to collect a certain number of Moons before you can move on to the next level, the number you're required to collect is only a tiny portion of the Moons available in each world, and you'll usually find you come pretty close by just following the main objectives the game gives you on your first run through each level.
For the youngest of players, a strong reading ability is required, as the game's story, objectives, and any dialogue is delivered through text only. Sample sentences include:
- I am providing security for this vault. I was told to only permit explorers inside. Right now... you do not look even slightly like an explorer.
- Our k-kingdom f-froze when that s-strange couple got here. Wh-why did they do this?
- Press ZL in midair to do a Ground Pound.
Super Mario Odyssey contains nothing in the way of mature content - there's no bad language, sexual content, or violence here.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Switch