New Super Mario Bros. U Review

New Super Mario Bros. U Box ArtNew Super Mario Bros. U finally brings back the Super Mario World style of play.  And for the first time ever, Mario is available in glorious HD — and he looks dang good!

If you’re familiar with any of the ‘New’ Super Mario Bros. games, or any of the side-scrolling Mario games of the past, there isn’t a whole lot to tell you about.  A few new power ups like Balloon Yoshi and Flying Squirrel Suit give the game some new strategies, but the real meat of the same is simply taking Mario on a new adventure.


The ‘World’ style of play means you get a big over-world map of levels that you unlock in sequence, with only a few alternative paths giving a couple of options of which way to go first.  Around the map will be shortcuts, secret level/path unlocks, Toad huts, Baby Yoshi’s (with their own types of power ups), and new challenges to beat.

Read our full review of New Super Mario Bros. U after the break.

New Super Mario Bros. U Miiverse
Miiverse gives Mario a true online community accessible in-game.


One of the greatest innovations made by Nintendo with the launch of the Wii U is Miiverse.  Not only does Miiverse finally bring an online element to Nintendo, it also creates a community between all Wii U players that surpasses even Xbox Live’s ability to link people together.  This Miiverse integration into New Super Mario Bros. U lets players share their strategies, stories, funny quips, pictures, and feel like you’re online with others during the game.



New Super Mario Bros. U Multiplayer

Up to five people can play on together on the same Wii U.  Four people can use Wiimotes, and someone else can use the GamePad to assist the others.  The GamePad user can create platforms, disrupt enemies, stop objects, and do a -ton- of useful things to assist.  We feel like this is an absolutely ideal way for parents to get involved with their kids playing.  Parents can use the GamePad to make the experience easier for their kids while still being apart.   The GamePad can also be used for assisted speedruns, and to provide a nifty and different way of playing Mario games.

Balloon Baby YoshiMultiplayer isn’t easy.  You’d think that playing with others would mean more players to take out enemies, but in reality players end up getting in each others way.  We’re constantly jumping on the other person’s head and knocking them off cliffs, or bumping each other into falling icicles.  Stealing upgrades, fighting for 1-ups, and seeing who can get to the top of the flag pole at the end of levels is both maddening and fun.

We wish the GamePad could be used as an actual controller when not being used for Boost Mode.  We have to set the controller aside and basically use it for Miiverse activities.  Occasionally one of us will grab it and place a block on top of the other person’s head to force a hilarious kill.


New Super Mario Bros. U World Map
The ‘World’ feel is finally back!

Boost Rush, Coin Battle, & Challenge Modes

These additional modes provide players with levels and gameplay not in the original game.  These levels are designed to give players a new objective: Speedrun, avoid touching the ground, see how long you can go without dieing, avoid projectives, and other unconventional gameplay.  These modes are a lot of fun.


  • Gorgeous HD graphics, stunning stylized visuals on some levels
  • New Power ups are a great addition — Baby Yoshi!
  • The difficulty feels like a perfect blend between “omg this is insane!” and “Woot, stomped that!”
  • Miiverse creates an actual online community for players


  • Still can’t kick shells upward
  • Yoshi’s are left behind when completing a level (except Baby Yoshi)
  • Some ‘Lands’ are a bit small
  • When playing with multiple people, the GamePad can only be used for Boost Mode.
  • Wiimote only sucks.  Want to use classic or Pro controllers.

New Super Mario Bros. U takes Mario and flies them (via squirrel suit) to the proverbial next level.  In addition to improvements like  gorgeous graphics and retro ‘world’ gameplay, Nintendo found several ways to be innovative with Mario that we didn’t expect.

We give New Super Mario Bros. U a 4.5/5 and highly recommend it for new gamers, old gamers, and even core gamers seeking a true challenge.  Such a great game!

  • I’m glad they took some things from super mario world.
    It is the mario game I enjoyed the most.

    Nooo yoshi do not run off and fall into a pit.
    Oh well.. more apples for me.

  • “Wiimote only sucks. Want to use classic or Pro controllers.”

    I read you can’t even use the nunchuk, you have to use the sideways wiimote? Sideways wiimote is literally the most awful video game controller of all time. Pass.

  • @Jenks: Yeah, Wiimote only with no nunchuck. That’s one of the biggest factors influencing our decision to downgrade the game to a 4.5.

  • I hope soon to hear about other games, AC3, Far Cry 3, Planet Side 2.

    But console gameing have never meant anything to me 🙂