Super Mario Maker Articles RSS Feed | Super Mario Maker RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Super Mario Maker 2 Gets Course Cap Increase, Hits Major Milestone Tue, 07 Jan 2020 11:46:08 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Super Mario Maker 2's course upload cap just got a meaty increase, growing from 64 up to 100. The change comes as Nintendo celebrates SMM2 hitting a major milestone: there have been more than 10 million playable courses uploaded since the game launched last year.

That's an incredible number of courses, and even though we could try to figure out how long it would take to play them all, we aren't going to. It's just a lot. 

Relatively speaking, that number is not surprising either. Not only does Super Mario Maker 2 include a vast number of additional course-making tools over the original game, but it also recently added a Legend of Zelda makeover. That's not to mention SMM2 basically does almost everything better than the first Super Mario Maker.

There are a ton of ways to go about making your dream course, whether it's the trash trial from hell or a carefully designed platforming masterpiece.

Of course, not all courses are created equal. That's why we have some ideas of the best Super Mario Maker 2 courses you should try and some handy tips for how you can try and get your own courses seen more.

Super Mario Maker 2 isn't going anywhere soon, and we'll likely see more updates, content, and tweaks as the year goes on. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Super Mario Maker 2 news as it builds up.

Super Mario Maker 2 Course Upload Limit Increased to 64 Thu, 25 Jul 2019 11:40:10 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Thirty-two course upload limit, begone! Super Mario Maker 2 players can now upload a maximum of 64 courses to the Course World as of today, marking the first increase in course upload caps the game is set to receive.

The 32-course limit has been a contentious topic among the Super Mario Maker 2 community since the game's release, as the original Wii U title offered 100 upload slots to course makers. For some (many) creators, 32 slots just wasn't enough.

Creators can start filling up those extra slots up to the 64 limit today, but this isn't the last limit increase the game is going to see. According to the official Nintendo of America Twitter and an in-game notification, Nintendo will be raising the upload cap again at a later date.

The course ID shared in the tweet is the development team's first released course since Super Mario Maker 2 released, and with luck, it won't be the last. The original Super Mario Maker included a number of special guest-made courses that were unique, to say the least.

This is, hopefully, the first of many updates to Nintendo's level-making-and-sharing title, and the community already has a laundry list of potential additions they'd want. How Nintendo will continue to grow Super Mario Maker 2 will be interesting, but it will surely be a slow drip.

Super Mario Maker 2 Direct Reveals New Modes, New Parts, and So Much More Wed, 15 May 2019 20:28:56 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Today's Super Mario Maker 2 Direct revealed a truckload of new information about the upcoming game. Let's dive right into it, starting with the game's style, marked by a new twist. 

SMM2 will have the same styles as the other two games: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

However, it also introduces the Super Mario 3D World style, including Cat Mario and Cat Bowser, which opens up a ton of new options for stage design.

These range from creating platforms Cat Mario can climb up to the clear pipes we've already seen in previous ads, setting tracks for Piranha Plants, bosses, and more:

  • Floating crates
  • Boxes that phase in and out
  • Warp boxes
  • Customizable track blocks
  • Mushroom trampolines
  • Skipsqueak enemies
  • Koopa Troopa cars
  • Pom Pom
  • Charvaargh

The Direct only showed a bit of what fans can expect from the new style, with the promise of even more to come.

It's important to note that unlike the other styles in Super Mario Maker 2, which players can swap freely between as they create their stages, the Super Mario 3D World style cannot be swapped in and out. It's built on a completely separate engine thanks to the unique physics required for the stage mechanics.

New Themes, Items, and Bosses...Oh My!

SMM2 is introducing new themes as well: desert, forest, sky, and snow. Each has new music created by famous Mario composer Koji Kondo as well.

There are plenty of new items that will be available for all styles:

  • on and off switches
  • crane claws
  • twisters
  • fire-breathing red Yoshis
  • parachutes
  • icicles
  • Dry Bones shell (for extra protection)
  • Big Coins
  • Angry Sun
  • Boom Boom

And a lot more to come.

Slopes can now be customized into different gradients, and the water and lava levels can be adjusted, too. There's a new scrolling feature that gives players the ability to turn any stage into a side-scrolling stage, and the speed and direction of the scroll can be adjusted at will.

That opens the door to new vertical scrolling sub-areas, just like in the mainline Super Mario games.

The Angry Sun gets a counterpart this time as well, with the Moon item. It turns any stage to night and, unlike the Angry Sun, it doesn't hurt Mario. In fact, it's rather helpful. If Mario jumps and touches the moon, the moon then destroys all the enemies on screen at the time.

Different themes react in different ways to night mode. For instance, gravity is reduced in the sky theme, water turns to poison in the forest, and the slopes become dangerously slippery in the ice theme. Items will change somehow as well, though nothing specific was shown other than a rather frightening looking mushroom.

After unlocking night mode for each theme, the moon item doesn't have to be placed; players can just choose to include night mode from then on.

Finally, two players can work together to build their stages as well by sharing Joy-Con.

Story Mode comes to Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 will build on the inclusion of 100+ pre-designed stages in Super Mario Maker 3D and expands on it in a big way. That's because SMM2 will include Story Mode for the first time in the series.

Story Mode sees Mario work to rebuild Princess Peach's castle from the ground up. To do this, he'll need to take on various missions for the constructors and other randos that happen to be around the castle as it redevelops.

Each request revolves around completing a specific course or clearing a set of conditions, and they reward Mario with a set number of coins; these coins are then used to build the castle.

A firm number of courses wasn't mentioned, but like its 3DS predecessor, SMM2 will have more than 100 courses to play through, along with the side quest courses.

Stage Share Mode Returns

Super Mario Maker 2 marks the return of the much-loved stage sharing mode from the original game.

Naturally, since it's an online mode, it will require a Nintendo Switch online membership.

Stage sharing is largely the same as before, though it does include some important new additions. One of them involves challenges. Players can create stages with challenges built in, such as clearing x number of enemies or gathering a set number of coins.

All players will have a Maker Profile, which lets them customize their Maker (think Mii 2.0) and earn Maker Coins for popular stages; these can be spent on outfits and the like for their Maker.

Players can search for courses using various tags, such as themes or features, or even multiplayer.

That's right, Super Mario Maker 2 will include multiplayer modes for stages: versus and co-op modes. Versus modes pits up to 4 players against each other in a race to finish the course first, while co-op mode has up to 4 player work together to finish a course.

If players are nearby and each has a copy of the game and a Nintendo Switch, then one player can host an online room for their play sessions, and the online element will be based on the host's connection.

Some Bundles

Nintendo is offering a few special deals for Super Mario Maker 2. One is a physical or digital bundle featuring the game and a 12-month subscription for Nintendo Switch Online for $69.99. If the purchaser already has a subscription, then the new 12 months will stack onto their existing subscription.

The other promotion is for existing NSO members. 2 game vouchers can be purchased for a total of $99.99 and then redeemed for 2 Nintendo Switch games, including pre-purchasing Super Mario Maker 2.

A list of eligible titles can be found here.

Recap of Announcements from February Nintendo Direct Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:48:57 -0500 Ceedi

Yesterday, Nintendo held its first Nintendo Direct of 2019. During the 35-minute presentation, the company unveiled quite a few games, as well as the release windows for some future Switch titles.

There were also new details on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and the surprise unveiling of a Zelda remake.

Here is a quick recap of the announcements from the direct.

  • Super Mario Maker 2 was revealed and is planned for release in June 2019.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was revealed, confirmed to have online co-op and launch this summer.
  • The 3.0 Update for Super Smash Bros Ultimate is planned for this spring, with the Persona 5 DLC pack coming before April.
  • BoxBoy + BoxGirl was revealed. The game features 270 stages and two-player co-op.
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for Switch received an update that adds co-op; paid DLC is coming that adds 18 courses. A pre-purchase is available today that gives early access to one of the DLC stages.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is scheduled to release this summer.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 is set to release July 12.
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition is set to release this fall.
  • Disney Tsum Tsum Festival was announced; it is scheduled for release later this year.
  • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: EVERY BUDDY! is set to release in March.
  • Starlink Battle for Atlas' next update will introduce Star Wolf squad and the rest of the team to Star Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy.
  • A Rune Factory 4 remake for Switch was announced.
  • Rune Factory 5 was revealed to be in development.
  • Oninaki, an action RPG from Square Enix, was announced; it is set to release this summer.
  • A Yoshi’s Crafted World demo is available now; the game is set to release March 29.
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses is set to release July 26.
  • Tetris 99 is available to download now. The game is a free-to-play battle royale where 99 players compete for supremacy.
  • Dead By Daylight is planned for release this fall.
  • Deltarune Chapter 1 is set for release for free on February 28.
  • A Daemon x Machina demo is available now; some participants will be sent surveys to give feedback on the game, which is set to launch this summer.
  • GRID Autosport is set to come to Switch this summer; the release will include all DLC.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is set to release on the Switch this spring.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 is set to release on April 12.
  • Unraveled 2 is set to release o nMarch 23.
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered was announced; the release also includes the game Assassin’s Creed Liberation; it is set to release on May 21.
  • Final Fantasy VII is set to release on the Switch on March 29.
  • Final Fantasy IX is now available on the Switch eShop.
  • Astral Chain, a new Action game by Platinum Games, is set to release August 30.
  • A remake of the Game Boy classic, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, is due out later this year.

The latest Nintendo Direct provided a solid layout of the releases coming in spring and summer 2019.

However, notably absent were a few titles that are scheduled for this year, like the new Pokemon RPG for Switch, Luigi's Mansion 3, and the new Animal Crossing. There were also no games announced for the Nintendo 3DS.

It is very likely that further details for these games will be announced later this year at Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation.

Super Mario Maker 2 Needs to Happen Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:14:46 -0400 Adreon Patterson

In the recent generation of video game consoles, the Wii U has struggled to keep up with the sales and output of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The lackluster fanfare for the console can be chalked up to the lack of a launch title, barely any third-party support and Nintendo's bad marketing.

While the Wii U has struggled, the one saving grace for the console has been Super Mario Maker. The game expands on the Super Mario universe by allowing players to create, play and share their own custom courses based on the elements and designs of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U. Throughout your time with the game, new editing tools unlock, thus allowing courses designed by other players to be downloaded and played.

This game has kept the Wii U from dying the expected death that everyone originally assumed. The excitement for the title has been building since its release with rumors of a sequel being in the works, but to many fans disappointment, it was just that -- a rumor

Even though the sequel rumor proved untrue, the fact that there was a rumor speaks high volumes of the fanbase's desire to have one made. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS didn't exactly satiate their appetites, so one can only hope that Nintendo will prick up their ears and listen.

Internet Popularity Equals Sequel?

The key to Super Mario Maker's popularity is the Internet. Everyone from platformer streamers to Youtubers are fascinated by the creative freedom and endless gameplay it contains, alongside the tutorial video possibilities waiting for them. The game also seems to have formed an online community that speaks a specific language -- the language of Super Mario. Watching players get frustrated by the level of difficulty in the fan-created courses can be quite hilarious and the obsession has got to the point where there is an entire page dedicated to Super Mario Maker on Youtube Gaming.

But videos are just the beginning as many forums, blogs, social media pages and websites dedicated to the game have popped up in the two years since the game's release, as well as more nuanced sites devoted to downloading and mastering various courses. The rise of this online community justify the overall need and viability of a Super Mario Maker sequel.

Why This Sequel Must Happen

All the loyalty and admiration for the game is hitting palpable levels. Sadly, though, the one thing bringing Super Mario Maker to an unwanted grave is the Wii U itself. The lackluster performance of the console doesn't support the community the title has built, so the only solution is to create a sequel for the Nintendo Switch. As mentioned before, the anticipation for a sequel eventually petered out, but there's still a chance to make a follow-up happen.

If the Super Mario Maker community isn't enough, Nintendo should really think about its bottom line. As it sold over 3 million copies on its only platform, it could have easily sold even more if not for this hindrance. Just imagine the sales damage Super Mario Maker 2 could achieve if it was put into production and released on the Nintendo Switch within the next year or so. 

The hybrid nature of the Switch also meshes extremely well with the creativity and endless gameplay associated with Super Mario Maker. With the functionality of the Joy-Con at its fingertips, that creativity could be multiplied. This is surely a great incentive to get a sequel in the works for Nintendo's latest system.

What Improvements Could Be Made?

With the reasons for the sequel established, now is the time to talk about what works and what needs improvement. Every game has its strengths and weaknesses, and Super Mario Maker is no exception.

First, the strengths. A definite keeper is the course editor. This is the true selling point of the game as players can create and play something of their own design. Another advantage is the rich online database of user-made content. The ability to hop in and play through a player-created course is something that really helps to strengthen the appeal of the Super Mario world as a whole. The mixing and matching of game elements across the series is another factor that has also skyrocketed its popularity. Giving players iconic items and settings to tinker with is something that is appealing to just about everyone.

With that in mind, one can't discuss strengths without touching on weaknesses. Super Mario World's checkpoint system was sorely missed in Super Mario Maker. Without checkpoints during gameplay, players have to constantly start afresh whenever they meet their demise. A follow-up would do well to incorporate this mechanic into the core gameplay. Another gameplay related quip is the lack of vertical and horizontal movements. Even as a side-scrolling game, Super Mario Maker lacks fluidity and proper mechanics while jumping and sliding across the courses. Adding in these features would provide an extra ounce of style in a potential sequel.

With the Nintendo Switch still relatively fresh in the market, Super Mario Maker 2 is a game that must happen sooner rather than later. Being able to play the new and improved version would be a thrill with the console's functionality, user-friendly gameplay and unique controls. Hopefully, fans can start spreading the word and make this dream a reality.

Have you played Super Mario Maker? What are your thoughts on a sequel? Let us know in the comments!

Wii U Super Mario Maker Level Creators Should Be Hyped For Its 3DS Release This Week Wed, 30 Nov 2016 06:38:57 -0500 SarahKel

Super Mario Maker will finally see its anticipated release for the 3DS this Friday, December 2nd. And level creators should be shaking with anticipation -- because it's a new outlet for what they do best. 

Players have always enjoyed creating courses for the game, reveling in the nostalgia and fun of Super Mario Bros and Super Mario World. The very success of the game is owed to the fact that courses can be created, played, and shared with others. 

So how will this work for the 3DS? What does it mean for Wii U level creators?

Firstly, the Wii U is now pretty much an obsolete console, so the numbers of users has really dropped. That means there are less people to play and share the game with.  But Super Mario Maker for the 3DS brings with it nearly everything from the original game – and makes it portable!

It is exactly the same game that we know and love from last year. Players can play and create side-scrolling Mario levels, built from a toolkit of familiar elements collected from a few entries in the decades old series. These range from simple remixes of familiar tropes to more elaborate creations that truly push the boundaries of how the items were originally used -- such as the bullet hell dodging exercises.

Super Mario Maker is a natural fit for the 3DS due to the short nature of its levels and free-form design mode lend themselves perfectly to playing in short bursts, dropping in and out of the game on the go. For the 100 Mario challenges, where players try to complete a set of user created challenges with 100 lives, those games can be downloaded from the Wii U, to the 3DS port. The recommended courses for the game allow players to browse the most popular courses from the Wii U’s library too.

The very fact that there is no noticeable drop in quality reported for the game, due to the change in platform is great to hear and the retro style of the game works perfectly for a device with a much lower resolution.  The touch sensitive lower screen, with a stylus works perfectly for building levels with the game’s editor and the full feature set will be available for course building -- so even though the Wii U base is slowly declining, this port can totally revitalize the game and allow level creators to keep doing what they love to do. 

Levels created on the 3DS can be shared with other 3DS players via local wireless.  Friends can collaborate on levels by passing them back and forth via Local Play. This is a great feature and superior to the Wii U's global creator community, as it creates a stronger social networking effect. This is a perfect feature for a handheld device, for a fun and competitive gaming experience.

For a fun, portable and replayable Mario experience, this game is going to be great. The 3DS version will launch with 100 exclusive levels and access to the vast majority of user-created online content. In addition, for the most established Mario level makers, the game can also work as a supplement for playing with ideas on the go too.

Five Games to Look Forward to in December Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:00:01 -0500 StraightEdge434


1. The Last Guardian


Platform: PS4


Release Date: December 6 


Publisher and Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment and genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio.



Finally. After many delays, the PS4 exclusive title will be released on December 6th! 


Since 2007, The Last Guardian had been in development for the PS3 by Fumito Ueda, the creative mind behind other titles like Shadow of the Colossus and Ico. But due to Ueda, along with other project members leaving Sony, and other complications like hardware issues, the title was swapped to a PS4 release instead.


The game is sort of like a flashback from a boy's perspective. When he was young, he got kidnapped and was put in a castle. There he encountered the creature pictured above. With the creature's help, the boy tries to escape the castle. All this time, the two develop a friendship.


This is one of the most anticipated PS4 titles yet, and gamers have been looking forward to it since its announcement at E3 2015. The title has been in development for a long time, so let's hope that it'll be a mind-blower.




These are just some of the games that players are looking forward to in the month of December! What games are you yourself most excited for? Feel free to let us know down in the comment section!


2. Super Mario Maker for 3DS


Platform: 3DS


Release Date: December 2


Publisher and Developer: Nintendo



Are you a creative individual? Do you like to build stuff and design unique levels? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this game is for you!


The original Super Mario Maker came out for the Wii U last year. This time around, the game will be coming to the handheld device!


This special Super Mario game allows you to build, design, and construct your very own levels! You can also share those levels with the world and allow other players to try and beat them. You can either make a standard level which is very basic to the original levels from other games, or you can add obstacles, puzzles, or whatever it is that you wish in order to spice up your creativity!


The game literally allows you to create whichever level you want, play it, share it, and much more!


3. Super Mario Run


Platform: iOS


Release Date: December 15


Publisher and Developer: Nintendo



Super Mario Run will be available for the iPhone and iPad soon. The game quite honestly is pretty simple. Mario keeps running forward the whole time. By tapping the screen, he will jump and collect coins, or stomp an enemy. If you time your jumps correctly, he will be able to pull off interesting and unique moves, and gather even more coins!


The game will have three modes: World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder.

  • World Tour: Just like any other Super Mario game, Mario must rush to Princess Peach's rescue and save her from Bowser.
  • \n
  • Toad Rally: This is sort of like a multiplayer mode. The goal is try and collect as many coins in order to set a high score between your friends or other players from around the world.
  • \n
  • Kingdom Builder: You can build your own little world from the coins that you have collected in Toad Rally.
  • \n

This is basically the classic Super Mario games that you played, but incorporate a new aspect (just tapping the screen). And as stated above, it'll have a multiplayer area which might prove to be incredibly interesting for a platforming game.


4. Eagle Flight


Platform: Vive


Release Date: December 20


Publisher and Developer: Ubisoft and Ubisoft Montreal



An exclusive VR title, Eagle Flight literally provides players with a bird's eye view. The whole game takes place in Paris after humans have vanished, and nature took over as a result of that. You can fly around the city and explore every street, building, and famous landmark like the Eiffel Tower.


Apart from having single player, there will also be multiplayer. You will have the option to battle other players in mid air for whatever objective. Or you if prefer to avoid combat altogether, you can just have pleasant and relaxing flight.


If you ever wanted to get a bird's perspective of the world, regardless of midair combat or just flying around and exploring, than this game might be for you. 


5. Maize


Platform: PC


Release Date: December 1


Publisher and Developer: Finish Line Games



I'm going to try and keep this simple... it's a P.O.V. adventure game about a corn that comes to life and explores an abandoned farm, the area around it, and a secret research facility that just so happens to be underground. There is also a Russian toy robot bear, so you have that to look forward to!


I'm also certain that besides the adventure aspect, gamers will have to solve puzzles of various kinds. And since this game will require exploration, you'll make some unique discoveries, especially in the underground research facility!


November is almost over. As December slowly makes its way towards us, gamers have set their eyes on new releases. And let us not forget that December is also the holiday season! Perhaps you're looking to get a gift for yourself, or someone that you know?


The following is a slideshow that displays the five most anticipated for December.

Gamer Gift Guide: Family Friendly Games to Enjoy With Your Kids Thu, 17 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0500 Damien Smith




Platforms: Wii U


Price: $59.99


Buy it: Amazon


There is not another game out there quite like Splatoon. Players take on the role of inklings, being capable of changing form from humanoids to squids and back. It is a great game for both kids and parents alike as they battle each other, splattering the arena with paint guns or brushing it with paint rollers. It is a wonderful game that was created for one thing only, to have great fun.


Super Mario Maker


Platforms: Wii U and 3DS (Available on 3DS from December 2nd)


Price: $39.96-$59.99 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Amazon


What better game to play with your kids than Super Mario Maker? Create levels and play millions of others from players across the world together. You can find anything from simple straight forward levels to the absolutely ridiculous. There is countless hours of fun to be had for the whole family.


Yoshi's Woolly World


Platforms: Wii U


Price: $34.90


Buy it: Amazon


Yoshi's Woolly World is an absolutely adorable game. The game takes place in a knitted island full of various yarn Yoshis'. It is a great platform game from the creators of the Mario games, and is sure to please both kids and parents alike.


Zoo Tycoon (2013)


Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One


Prices: $18.97-$29.99 (Varies by platform) 


Buy it: Amazon


Here is your opportunity to create your own parents and kids zoo with Frontier Developments Zoo Tycoon. I definitely recommend getting the Xbox One version over the 360 if it is possible, as it contains more content. Either way, this is a great game to work together with your kids as you build your dream zoo.


Lego Marvel Super Heroes


Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PSVita, 3DS, DS, Wii U, iOS and Android


Prices: $15.89-$22.99 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Steam (PC and Mac), Nintendo (3DS, DS and Wii U), PSN (PS3 and PS4) and Amazon (Xbox One and Xbox 360)


Everybody loves Lego and everybody loves Marvel. Combining the two together is always a guaranteed success. In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, you can play as your favourite Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Spider-Man. It is a game that both kids and parents alike are bound to enjoy.


Rayman Legends


Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One


Prices: $18.07-$29.99 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Steam (PC) and Amazon (PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One)


The Rayman series has always been a favourite among platformer fans. Rayman Legends is easily one of the best of the titles in the entire series. With beautiful graphics, excellent level design and over 120 levels in total to play, it is a game that will keep the kids and parents alike occupied for hours.


Octodad Dadliest Catch


Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U and Xbox One


Prices: $4.99-$69.98 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Steam (PC, Mac and Linux), Microsoft (Xbox One), Nintendo (Wii U), Amazon (PS4 and PS Vita), Google Play (Android) and iTunes (iOS).


Easily the craziest of the games on this list. Octodad Dadliest Catch is an adventure game where players take on the role of an octopus attempting to live under a human's identity. You must complete tasks and keep people from becoming suspicious of your strange behaviour.


It is a game that can be frustrating and may be difficult in places for younger gamers but the laughter everyone will get from it, is worth it.


Putty Squad Remake


Platforms:  PS4, PSVita, 3DS, and Xbox 360


Prices: $12.75-$29.99 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Amazon (PS4, PS Vita and 3DS) Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360)


Putty Squad was originally a game set to release in 1994. It, however, never released. It eventually got remade and released in 2013 and became available on the platforms above. With it's wonderful and colourful cartoon graphics and comical character designs, it a game that kids are sure to love.


Mario Kart 8


Platforms: Wii U


Price: $48.33


Buy it: Amazon


There are few games out there that are as much fun as Mario Kart when playing with others. Get your family around the TV on those cold, rainy, winter days and play Mario Kart 8. You won't feel the hours go by as everyone enjoys themselves with this beautifully colourful and addicting game.


Little Big Planet 3


Platforms: PS3 and PS4


Price: $19.99


Buy it: Amazon


Little Big Planet 3 is a great puzzle-platformer. Not only does it get the kids to use their brains to get through each level but it allows them to get creative and make their own levels too. With the ability to play countless levels created by players from around the world, the fun never has to end.




Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Gear VR, Kindle Fire, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PSVita and Wii U.


Prices: $26.99-$29.99 (Varies by platform)


Buy it: Minecraft (PC, Pac, Linux, Windows 10), Microsoft (Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows Phone), PSN (PS3, PS4, PSVita), Nintendo (Wii U), iTunes (iOS), Google Play (Android), Amazon (Kindle Fire), Oculus (Gear Vr).


Not only is Minecraft one of the biggest games ever made, it is also one of the best games for kids. It is 100% child-friendly and it also encourages them to use their imagination to build anything that their imaginations can muster. If they don't already play it, Minecraft is sure to give you and your kids hours of fun.


In the modern age of video games, violence is the main theme of most titles that hit store shelves. In an industry that primarily focuses on games for a mature audience, it is getting tougher to find titles that are suitable for younger gamers -- especially games that you can spend time together enjoying as a family. 


Don't worry though. With this buyer's guide, you will find a selection of varying titles across many platforms that are family-friendly and lots of fun. Whether your kids play games on the Xbox, PlayStation, PC, 3DS, Wii U or Mobile Devices, there are titles here to suit everyone -- both parents and kids alike.

3 Games That Would Make Awesome Mobile Games Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:00:02 -0400 Janette Ceballos

Smartphones allow for on-the-go gaming away from a T.V. and home console, perfect for long road trips or quick gaming sessions throughout the day. Mobile games like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush offer the appeal of easy gameplay and simple objectives while still providing fun and rewarding experiences.

So many games are already being developed for, or ported to, the platform because developers notice and are taking advantage of the tremendous number of people who can access the mobile platform. Almost everyone has a smartphone, so almost everyone can download these types of games. This being said, the mobile platform provides the base for a huge multiplayer community, perfect for the builder genre.

Here’s a list of 3 games that I think would work just as nicely on your smartphone because they can make the most of the audience and limitations of the platform.

Super Mario Maker

Having the game on a phone rather than a WiiU or 3DS allows more people to have access to the game, increasing the already large number of Super Mario Maker players. Putting the game in a position to increase its user base leads to more levels and creative challenges players can provide each other.

As far as construction games go, they do pretty well on a mobile platform since they give people a huge amount of control over how they go through the game. This would just add the benefit of letting the audience control each other’s experience too, crafting stages that can be merciful or merciless.

The mobile platform could possibly make the game more interactive by providing a screen players would physically interact with, tapping and sliding across their phones to create and play through levels. With the upcoming Super Mario Run, this may be a possibility.


This pixel-style RPG sandbox adventure is the perfect game to transition onto a mobile medium. The platform would provide a larger audience to build up the multiplayer mode the game already offers, making it possible to get help and make friends while traveling through alien planets.

The pixel style would transition quite well to a phone. You wouldn’t necessarily need ultra-HD resolution to enjoy the game since that comes from the gameplay and sense of adventure. Not to mention, the open-world format ensures players always come back.

Stardew Valley

Another pixelated RPG, this game is basically a farming simulator, but it’s still managed to be a popular buy. Mixing together a lovely soundtrack, memorable characters, and endless content lets players actually care about the game more than other agriculture-based games.

Again, the pixel style would transition nicely to a mobile game and the calm atmosphere would grab the attention of a lot of people who are used to easygoing mobile games. Couple that with a never-ending list of things you can do in the game and you’ve got the next FarmVille, just with less Facebook requests.

What games do you think would make for good mobile ports? Let me know in the comments below!

Nintendo 3DS Direct Highlights - September 1st, 2016 Thu, 01 Sep 2016 08:41:02 -0400 David Fisher

Today's Nintendo Direct is now over, but some of us just like to have the condensed version. As such, this article will only cover new reveals, announcements, and must-knows. Ready? Then let's get started!

Announcements for Upcoming Titles and DLC

Pokemon Sun and Moon

The latest Pokemon Sun and Moon announcement came in two parts. The first of which was this friendly little critter below:

Rattata, Alola Form card.

That's right, Rattata is getting an Alolan form - which I totally predicted down to the lore by the way! Its typing is Dark and Normal, and its abilities are Gluttony (which causes it to eat held items early), and Hustle (which trades 20 points of accuracy for 50% extra attack stat).

According to the Nintendo Direct, Yungoos were sent to hunt the Rattata that were an invasive species in Alola. The Rattata then adapted to this new typing so that they could function better at night. This helped them survive since the Yungoos did not hunt at night.


Another announcement that took the stage was new Pokemon-specific Z-Moves. One of these is an electric-based Z-Move for Alolan Raichu called "Stoked Sparksurfer". This move has Raichu surfs along electric waves for a truly tubular finishing blow.

Snorlax silhouette against the sun.

Snorlax's aptly named "Pulverizing Pancake" is another unique Z-Move in which the typically lazy Snorlax sprints toward its opponent, leaps into the air, and comes crashing down upon them! Players who pick up Pokemon Sun and Moon early will also be treated to a free Munchlax and Snorlium-Z for a limited time. This way they can be sure to test out the new Z-Move for themselves.

Hyrule Warriors Legends DLC

Toon Link with a sand wand.

The Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks DLC for Hyrule Warriors Legends is now available for those with either the Wii U or 3DS versions of Hyrule Warriors. Showcased in this new DLC pack is the Sand Wand weapon for Toon Link (above) and the new playable character: Toon Zelda (below).

Toon Zelda knight holding a sword and shield.

While it certainly does not look like Toon Zelda, this incarnation, in particular, hails from Spirit Tracks where Zelda was displaced from her body and became a spirit. She helped Link during his adventure in Spirit Tracks by possessing the body of a Phantom, providing a strong physical attacker and impregnable wall of armor.

New Titles Coming to the 3DS

According to the Nintendo 3DS Direct, two ports of Wii U titles will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS, as well as several newly announced titles.

Tank Troopers

Tank Troopers characters.

Tank Troopers is an upcoming 3DS eShop exclusive that revolves around - you guessed it - fighting with tanks. Coming out this winter, Tank Troopers will support up to 6 players in cartoonish battles involving unique tank drivers and their special abilities. These abilities range from electric attacks, ice cannons, and even paintballs to block your opponent's view.

Tank Troopers supports both single-player, local multiplayer, and download play modes. There are plenty of other game modes as well. The game is expected to be released this winter season.

Tank Troopers gameplay with tanks shooting each other.While Nintendo did not specify who is responsible for this title, the game does look interesting for anyone looking for a quirky tank-based third-person shooter game for the Nintendo 3DS

Yo-Kai Watch 2

Nintendo Direct splash screen announcing Yokai Watch 2 Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls.

Back by popular demand, Yo-Kai Watch's sequel will be shipped once again to international shores. Considered to be a rival against long-time monster taming franchise, Pokemon, Yo-Kai Watch 2 will be getting even closer to Pokemon in similarities as it takes on the multi-version format. This time players will be picking which side they want to be on depending on the version they choose.

Unique to this game in the series is the ability to trade Yo-Kai Medals between the games. There are certain Yo-Kai that are specific to each game, so players will have to consider which exclusives they would like to have in their own teams.

The game is expected to launch on September 30th, 2016.

Mario Sports Superstars

Mario Sports Superstars composite with Yoshi, Bowser, Mario, Peach, and Daisy.

Do you love Mario sports titles? Well then look no further than Mario Sports Superstars coming to the Nintendo 3DS. Mario Sports Superstars will feature 5 different sports, including tennis, soccer, golf, horse racing, and baseball. There isn't much information out on this title yet, but the footage so far seems to show that some features from Super Mario Sluggers seems to be here such as the fiery hit Bowser makes.

This game is expected to arrive in the spring of 2017.

Pikmin 3DS

Pikmin 3DS gameplay screenshot on 3DS.

There's a new Pikmin game coming out, and this time it's on the 3DS! The game plays in a different way from previous titles as it will use the touchpad to throw Pikmin, and the game will focus on a more action-oriented style. We don't know much else about the game. What we do know is that we will play once more as Olimar instead of the various companions and characters that have appeared in the sequels.

Super Mario Maker 3DS

Super Mario Maker 3DS gameplay on 3DS with stylus.

The popular Super Mario Maker game for the Wii U will be coming to the 3DS on December 2nd, 2016. All of the Super Mario Maker features (sans Amiibo compatibility) will be brought over to the 3DS handheld, as well as several new features. Unlike the Wii U version, the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker will feature local wireless transfer of stages, as well as the ability to use streetpass to pick up stages from other players.

Super Mario Maker 3DS will also be compatible with Wii U levels, so players can rest assured that they can play their favorite creator's levels even on the handheld device.

Yoshi's Wooly World 3DS

Nintendo Direct splash screen announcing Yoshi's Wooly World 3DS.

Another great Wii U title, Yoshi's Wooly World will be ported to the 3DS in 2017. The port of Yoshi's Wooly World will also include several new features such as the Poochy Pups. Functioning much like Yarn Eggs, the Poochy Pups will give you clues to hidden areas and items when not in use. They also can return to Yoshi - unlike regular Yarn Eggs - which doubles their usefulness.

Yarn Yoshi and Poochy will also return for several animated shorts involving the crocheted pals. For those looking to collect, a new Yarn Poochy Amiibo will also be released alongside Yoshi's Wooly World 3DS on February 3rd, 2017.

New Legend of Zelda Amiibo and Merchandise

It just wouldn't be a Nintendo Direct without more Amiibo...

Pixelated Link, Regular Link, Toon Link, and Regular Zelda Amiibo.

While we have yet to hear anything about the Bayonetta, Corrin, or the other Super Smash Bros. series Amiibo that are currently missing in action, Nintendo has now released a new series of Legend of Zelda Amiibo. This series contains a pixelated Link from the NES title, Ocarina of Time's the Hero of Time, Windwaker's the Hero of Winds, and lastly Toon Zelda.

These Amiibo will be released on December 2, and will surely be the bane of any holiday shopper.

The Legend of Zelda Art & Artifacts book.

Nintendo also announced that they will be releasing a new artwork book for The Legend of Zelda. This book known as Art and Artifacts will contain various pieces of artwork and concepts from over 30 years of The Legend of Zelda history. The book will be published by Amazon and can be preordered on Amazon.

This comes just after The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - which marked the series' 25th anniversary was announced for the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U's Virtual Console.

So tell us: what do you guys think about the latest Nintendo Direct? Are you looking forward to any of these titles? Are you disappointed overall? Discuss in the comments section below!

Nintendo Breaking Conventions: First Zelda, Mario next? Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:14:46 -0400 Phil Fry

The newest Zelda game isn't the only series Nintendo is looking to break conventions, because in an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto hinted at a Mario game of a new kind. 

"We're always challenging ourselves to create something new, so hopefully you'll see a new kind of Mario in about a year or two." 

[via IGN] 

Miyamoto noted that the conventions of Mario are more difficult to challenge because accessibility to a large audience is something Mario games are known for.

The Wii U saw Mario games like Super Mario Maker, and although this title was classic Mario platformer, the game did allow for players to create their own levels-- something innovative and convention challenging. New Super Mario Bros. U was also in classic Mario style. Super Mario 3D World, however, was a great installment and re-imagining of Mario tropes. 

The Wii U did not see a 3D platformer Mario game in a style such as Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, so perhaps Miyamoto could be hinting at the development of a full scale 3D Mario game that could break conventions like Zelda is doing. 

[Image from Wikipedia

There is still little known about Nintendo's NX, so maybe we will see something groundbreaking for Mario games on the system. Something of Galaxy's caliber would be amazing to see. 

What kinds of conventions would you like to see Nintendo break? Should Nintendo continue the trend of convention breaking for their games that are known for their classic styles? 

[Source image courtesy of Independent

This guy proposed to his girlfriend in Super Mario Maker (and you can too!) Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:09:20 -0400 JessDambach

Someone used Super Mario Maker to propose to his girlfriend, and he caught it on video. Genius, I know. (These are just the perks of living in one of the best and techiest generations in history.) It might be a little out of the ordinary to most people, but that doesn't mean it's any less beautiful than the traditional proposals we see plastered everywhere.

Are you not tired of the typical perfect proposal that has been happening for thousands of years? You see them all over social media day in and day out. But after a while, they all kind of look the same. We are a lot more creative than we think we are, and we really need to tap into that. Like this guy did.

It is a common sentiment that technology is separating people and making them less social and less human. I disagree. We have an opportunity to use technology to make life more fun and creative -- to make us more human! Shane Birkinbine's proposal using Super Mario Maker isn't an instance of technology controlling his life, but a moment in which he uses it to expand his human experience and do something different. (Pam are a lucky woman.)

If you would like to propose to your significant other in the same way that Birkinbine did, you can do so by using the following code in the game: 7A61-0000-0245-8DE8.

Here's hoping this is just one of many cool, techy proposals we'll see in the future. Personally, I can not wait until the first person uses a hologram to propose to their significant other. 

Guy Pops The Question With Classic Mario Style Fri, 27 May 2016 06:00:19 -0400 Justin White

Mario Maker and its vast variety of level-building tools have given the Nintendo community a wealth of frustratingly hard, terribly clever, and downright cool takes on the jumping plumber's levels since its release earlier this year. 

And now, this nerdy fellow built a unique level just for the love of his life to uncover those beloved four words, "Will you marry me?" It's little surprise she says yes. Hats off to that fellow for doing it big.

Digital Demigods: A look at the 2020 eSports Olympics Thu, 24 Mar 2016 03:58:25 -0400 Seth Zulinski

As it opens its doors for the first time, the newly finished Monster Arena looks much like a major sports center should. The clean steel construction, a ring around it filled with vendors and food carts, bars and people. The motif is personal, sure -- great neon green claw marks flash across gigantic monitors, telling the crowd below to "unleash the beast". Even outside, though, you can hear, even feel the cheering and stomping in the stands as teams are walked in and introduced for the first day of the games. 

It's the PC eSport OIympics 2020, and the fans don't mess around. 

Spanning three weeks of matches with the best and brightest electronic competitors countries have to offer, it starts off this year (and every four years after) with more bang than a Frag grenade. Nations send their very best overseas in a knock-down, drag-out brawl of digital destruction to see not only who can bring home the most Diamond Medals (or Platinum, or Gold), but to decide then and there which country has the honor to hold the next - all wrapped up in the Trophy.

Is there a respect for form? Sure. Is it about the spirit of competition, triumph, and excellence? Absolutely. 

But this is eSports, and the players are here to claim victory. Their country's pride (and their MMR) depend on it. 

A hush falls over the crowd as the Power Ceremony begins. It's tradition, lifted from the old Physical Olympics -- though each country manages it a little differently, millions are poured into the "On Button" shows. Dancers, performers, lightshows and more add their own national bend to the ceremony.

Red, White, and Blue flash over the crowd as Michael Giordan, the single highest Rated player of the last PC Olympics (and the reason we just edged out Korea for the Trophy) solemnly walks towards the Megamonitors in the center of the arena. Fireworks and lights flash over the walkway and guitar and bass pound through monolithic speakers in the ceiling as the Power Core -- an incredibly large, impossibly neon blue cylinder visible even from the nosebleed seats -- is inserted into the center of the column of screens and wires. 

A thrum of bass hits the crowd as the screens light up, flickering then stabilizing as they ascend to their place above the field. "SYSTEM ONLINE" thunders from the speakers over the arena, the lights and pyrotechnics make the dark center as bright as day, and the crowd goes wild. 

The lights dim as the MOBA week begins. League of Legends, DotA2, SMITE and more are here, spanning a full seven days of nearly nonstop play before it turns over to FPS, with the traditional game Counter-Strike leading.

CCGs like Hearthstone take over after that, in Singles and Team settings. Then Real Time Strategy has a solid five days of 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5 before the miscellaneous/"retro" category finishes out.

Word is, Super Mario Maker is up for addition in 2024.  

Now, though, parents bring their drinks and children back to their seats, teenagers click off their smart-watches and drain the last of their energy drinks, and the last bits of spring are shut outside as the crowd quiets to whispers. While the Americans may be king of the Console Olympics in the fall, Spring is PC season -- and Germany's DotA 2 team is looking strong. 

The players settle into their soundproof booths as the first HUD of the Games comes to life on the megamonitors. Fans cheer and stomp as Picks and Bans are selected, but one watcher, Serena Smith, only looks on quietly. 

"See...this week is where I'm worried."

She says, adjusting her press badge before leaning forward from the reclining seat. 

"Shooters, sure. Some of the European zone teams, they can be trouble, but I trust our Players on that front. I mean hell, Michael just owned Counter-Strike last time. But MOBAs? MOBAs are Europe and Asia's game. Japan, Korea, China, Germany, France...they all have a lot of good rosters." 

The noise from the crowd nearly drowns out the speakers as FIRST BLOOD booms from the ceiling. That's extra Rating - for the Player and the Team - and judging from the HUD, it was Germany that had scored. 

"We make it out of this week alive, I'll be happy. FPS, some of the CCG games, some of the Guild Wars events… I have confidence there."

The melee continues, ending 3-1. Favor: Germany. Only four minutes have passed on the clock. 

"We just gotta survive MOBA. We can do this." 

Five months later, sitting in the Day 3 stands of the Console eSports Olympics 2020, Serena can only shake her head. On screen, Brazil is piloting Necalli into Japan’s Nash as the Street Fighter V event approaches its halfway point.

“We didn’t do it. We survived MOBA, sure, but we dropped Hearthstone when we shouldn’t have, and our poor Starcraft II team…”

As the stands cheer for a well-timed Critical Art from Nash, she shudders.

“We don’t talk about what happened to our Starcraft II team. But here? Consoles? We might be in Paris, but this is our turf. Undefeated so far in Street Fighter, we’re doing fine in Halo and Call of Duty and I think we can manage Smash Brothers.”

Far from the neon and flashing lights of the Monster stadium, Paris offered a theme fit for the men and women of the Console Olympics – well-set but hard and gleaming, this wasn’t the traditional eSports Stadium. It was a modern-day metal Coliseum.

The coming days and weeks would broadcast the victors and the fallen: those countries still in contention would have their flag outlined in green on the dozens of monitors scattered around the walls, while those no longer eligible for a Ratings placement would fade to grayscale before cycling to the next flag in line.

The Console Olympics were a battlefield – and the casualties were mounting.

The teams had been seated – America would be squaring off against Brazil in a best of three FIFA set for the last console match of the day. The FPS and Fighting Game segments had finished days ago, Action-Adventure had been squared away, and the sports from Madden onward were the remainder.

These were long days -- hard-fought days for the Players and their cheering fans. New friends were made here. New drinks consumed, new words picked up as the last day of the Console Olympics (and the eSports Olympic year) came to a close.

As the lights flickered over each player, as they had for both Singles and Teams events, each name was called over the soundsystem. If the songs, cheers, and chants in too many languages to count were any indication, none of these Players were alone.

The announcer’s voice boomed out into the audience, and the floor of the stadium itself flickers with an overlaid image of a real soccer field. Tickertape swings in the air with party favors and noisemakers, whole sections of the crowd are decked in body paint and national colors, and huge homemade signs swung back and forth in front of cheer drums.

After this, only one day remained for the Awards Ceremony. Then the eSports Olympics were over – at least for another four years. Serena looked out over the crowd all stomping and howling for their favorite Console Kings and Queens, four colored buttons and some joysticks deciding the future of eSports in an event every bit the measure of the Superbowl, or the World Cup, and she smiled.

“Exciting, isn’t it?”

Rumors of Discontinuing Wii U Rendered False Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:12:30 -0400 JunaeBenne

A report in Japanese newspaper Nikkei, states that the Wii U consoles haven't been doing so well and will cease production before the end of 2016. It isn't a secret the Wii has been struggling to sell even 10% of the units that the original Wii sold.

But somehow, Kotaku came out with a report that negated the statement from Nikkei. Nintendo responded to the discrepancy, saying:

"This isn't an announcement from our company .... From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production [of the Wii U] is scheduled to continue."

Nikkei has a reputation for having reliable sources, so we'll just have to see whether this was an information leak that Nintendo is covering up or just a case of poor reporting. Nintendo doesn't usually respond to rumors -- so either way they thought this was a subject worthy of comment. If we're looking at another leak, just like the newest prototype of the next gen controller, all we can do is wait and see how things play out.

This is the same thing that happened to the Gamecube, the system people reach for to play Super Smash Bros Melee. But unlike the Wii U, the GameCube was popular in its heyday and is still used today. Who knows if that will be the case with the Wii U, if they are discontinuing it. Perhaps it will become a novelty item?

Regardless of the Wii U's future, the NX is due for its unveiling pretty soon. Perhaps the success of that console and what it offers will determine the ultimate fate of Wii U. With Nintendo having the Miitomo app coming out on mobile as well, maybe discontinuing the Wii U wouldn't be such a bad idea -- it sounds like success is a castle away.

Super Mario Maker's new feature, elements, and how to use them Sun, 13 Mar 2016 09:00:44 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Super Mario Maker's update last week brought some new elements and new features for level makers to have fun with. Every new tool helps and what we got in the last update were much-needed additions to the game.

Can we step back right quick and be happy we finally got another content update to the game, and not just more Mystery Mushroom costumes? Whew!

Back on track, let's take a look at the new Super Mario Maker elements, what they're used for, and which other elements you need to shake to use them. Oh, and at the new Failure Point view feature -- the one thing literally any level maker would want to have -- is finally here.

Failure Point view

The one new feature packed in this update is the ability to see exactly where players die in your levels.

Before you could see vaguely where players died when looking at a level's information, but now you can go in and actually look at a level's "Failure Points".

This information is crazy useful for optimizing your levels' difficulty and honestly it's a surprise it wasn't added sooner considering how important that information is for makers to balance their levels. It may not be an exciting feature, but its value is tremendous.

New elements

There were four new elements added with the recent update, including the much-needed Keys and Key Doors. These are great for puzzles but are ideal for bosses -- finally players can have unskippable bosses, something almost every maker has wanted from the start.

Here are the new elements:


These are obstacle elements that extend and retract to damage Mario. Super Mario Maker has sorely lacked a variety of obstacles and the Skewer, while basic, has been a mechanic staple of the series since Super Mario World.

Keys and Key Doors

The perfect pair with the next element, Key Doors. Keys can be placed just about anywhere, including on enemies. If you want to lock parts of your levels off based on a player's exploration or want to make it so they have to defeat the bosses in your levels, using Keys and Key Doors is a must.

Pink Coins

Makers have been asking for some sort of collectibles to have in their levels for ages, and finally they got them: Pink Coins. Players can see how many Pink Coins there are in a level and try to collect them all. Once all three are collected, the player gets a Key.

If you use Pink Coins for a collect-a-thon style level and don't want to use Key Doors too (to make use of the Key), don't worry -- the Key will disappear if there are no Key Doors on the level.

How to use the new elements

I'm ashamed to say I didn't pay attention to the tooltip that popped up after the update. Shame on me, and maybe (just maybe) shame on you, too.

So what elements do you have to shake to get your hands on these new toys?

Shake the Thwomp element to use the Skewer.

Shake the P-switch element to use the Key.

Shake the Door element twice to use the Key Door.

Place a Coin, then grab and shake it to use the Pink Coin.

This is the first content update Super Mario Maker has gotten in several months. It may not be huge, but what's been added this time around adds some substantial new gameplay possibilities.

For the first time, makers can give incentives to players for exploration via Pink Coins. Finally players will be truly forced to fight the bosses creative makers come up with thanks to Keys and Key Doors.

Makers have a new obstacle -- the Skewer -- to work into the levels for more creative platforming. And, of course, let's not forget the Failure Point view.

Updates are far and few between, but the Super Mario Maker community is going strong and always growing as level makers, especially with new tools like these. Keep it up!

It's Groundhog Day: Here are the games you could play over and over again Tue, 02 Feb 2016 04:30:01 -0500 Justin Andress

As most of us know (or are learning throughout the course of this sentence), this Tuesday is Groundhog Day, the day on which all of America crowds into a small town to scare the crap out of a poor giant rodent. It’s one of the nation’s grandest traditions for some reason. Also, whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not absolutely, totally has a real impact on the weather. 

At any rate, the best thing to come out of the silly non-holiday where we don’t even get the day off is a 1993 comedy masterpiece starring Bill Murray. Groundhog Day is the story of a selfish jackass who gets stuck reliving the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over and over again.

So, it’s in that spirit, in celebration of the twenty-third anniversary of Harold Ramis’ seminal comedy, that we present our list of the games you can play ad nauseum. Enjoy!

Fallout 4

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

To be totally honest, every Bethesda entry in the Fallout series — Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 — as well as any of the Elder Scrolls you can get your hands on. We only chose Fallout IV specifically because it’s the newest and, therefore, shiniest (unless you believe all those naysayers on Reddit).

Pretty much no matter how you like to play your video games, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls or Fallout series are designed to be played the way you want them. First-person? Third-person? Running and gunning? Sneaky like a shadow? Sword and board? Liquidating everything that moves? It’s entirely your choice how you approach any of Bethesda’s incredibly detailed open worlds; your imagination is the limit.


Platforms: iOS, Android, Browsers

Because it’s entirely possible that you’re stuck in the office today, you may be in need of a good mobile game. Or, if you’re the daring type (or you’re lucky enough to have a cubicle jammed in a corner somewhere), there’s always Threes! The exclamation point is part of the title, but I probably still would have added it.

The best part about Threes! is that it’s available for free in a browser, even though it’ll cost you if you want to play it on mobile. Totally worth it, though.

It’s simple: you move the cards around the board using the arrow keys or swipes, depending on your platform. Ones and twos make threes(!), threes and threes makes sixes, sixes and sixes make twelves, and so on. After the ones and the twos, only identical cards can be smashed together to make a larger number. The goal is to make as large a number as possible before your board fills up. It’s easy. It’s also incredibly difficult. In other words, it’s addictive as a game gets.

NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15 screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 3, iOS, Microsoft Windows

Even if you’re not a huge fan of sports games, there’s something about 2K’s annual basketball series that will still get its hooks in you. The challenging, strategic gameplay is challenging, but fair, and you’ll find yourself feeling less like a player on the court and more like a general on the field as you guide your team to victory after victory.

For the customizer, NBA 2K15 has MyCareer mode, which allows players to create a single-player and guide them through their career. Of course, when you’re on the court, MyCareer doesn’t give players complete control of the team; instead, you’re responsible for making your player a valuable contributor while the series’ simply incredible player AI makes you feel like a real member of a team. It’s tense, it’s powerful, and it’ll keep you coming back.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

Why wouldn’t you want to spend hours and hours on end just kicking around the state of San Andreas? Whether you’re boosting sports cars in downtown Los Santos or hunting down some meth in the decayed trailer parks of the Alamo Sea, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is one that’s never quite done revealing its secrets.

On the off chance you actually manage to scour every square inch of San Andreas, the game’s story provides several branching options that will provide at least a few new hours of gameplay each go round. Beyond that, Grand Theft Auto V’s mission structure is at its best in this iteration, which makes repeated playthroughs a joy, not a chore.

If you run out of all that, you can jump on Grand Theft Auto Online, design your own gangster and rise through the ranks. Don’t have new GTA money? Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas may not have the graphical shine of the newest iteration, but it’s a masterpiece that stands the test of time. Trust.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, IBM PC compatible

There are lots of first-person shooters out there, and lots of them have some multiplayer you can get down on. Call of Duty, Battlefield, all those games provide something of a rush to gamers across the world. And that’s good for them, but running forward and shooting at people gets real old, real fast… unless you’re dual-wielding automatic shotguns and mowing down wave after wave of enhanced Nazis.

For new iterations on the story — if not the gameplay — there are diverging paths in BJ Blazkowicz’s story that rely on the player’s choices, and the story itself really is worth paying attention to (a real rarity in the FPS universe). The real replay value, however, comes in the different manner of gameplay styles that players can use to murder the Nazis in their path. Stealth or straightforward, the number emergent gameplay possibilities are surprising, and no two playthroughs come out quite the same way.


1010 Screen cap

Platforms: iOS, Android

Are you a fan of Tetris? For most gamers, that’s pretty much like asking, Are you a fan of oxygen? If you’ve been unable to find a solid Tetris clone for your mobile device, well, 1010 isn’t it. What it is is a game that takes the basic concept of Tetris — using geometric shapes to create complete lines on a board — and turns it on its ear.

In 1010 (which is free, by the way), nothing is falling. Instead, players have the freedom to place their random shapes anywhere on the board they see fit. However, a wider variety of shapes and sizes and the burden of total control make for a fun, addictive gameplay experience that’s perfect for a commute. It’s easy to learn but challenging in a way that’ll have you humming “Korobeiniki” like the good old days.

Super Mario Maker

Platform: Wii U

If you have a Wii U, you can build your own Super Mario levels, share them with other players, play other people’s levels, etc.

If I have to explain why that’s awesome, if you’re not currently considering dropping $300 on an otherwise useless console, you need your gamer credentials revoked.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

I don’t know what the heck was going on with the plot of Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, and I suspect there’s a larger number of people out there who are on my team than will freely admit it. The game’s story was weird, unrewarding, and annoying for any series newcomers.

But, man, was Metal Gear Solid V fun to play. Once you get the opening series of whatever that was out of the way, it’s just a matter of getting the hang of things before running missions through the huge militant playgrounds of Afghanistan and Zaire are a blast, no matter if you like to remain unseen or you really like to blow crap up. It’s like Rambo: The Video Game.

Rocket League

Rocket League screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

What do you get when you cross a demolition derby, soccer, and multiplayer competition? You get a soccer game that involves insane acrobatics, bone-crunching car destruction, and the kind of endless desire to succeed that can only come from that magical barbecue sauce of rage and adrenaline.

It’s easy to pick up, but tough to succeed, and the variety of players behind the various wheels are generally just a good bunch of people there to play soccer Mad Max-style. Obviously, there are, you know… those players. But Rocket League is a special mashup of game styles that’s worth a few a-holes.

XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM Enemy Within screen cap

Platforms: Android, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

As the world prepares for the inevitable goodness that will be XCOM 2, take a visit to the previous entry in the series, the DLC-enhanced XCOM: Enemy Within. The original release, XCOM: Enemy Unkown, tasked players with fending off an alien invasion with a minimum of resources (and a maximum amount of skepticism from your funding countries). 

As the leader of a small international military force, you’ll meet the enemy on the ground in a series of procedurally generated levels, you’ll research new technology, train your soldiers, and endure permadeath when your leadership fails. It was an unforgiving joy in which victory was won in inches.

Then, Enemy Within came out and added a competing agency, mechs, and superhumans to the whole swirling mix. You know, just in case dealing with budgets, new tech, base expansion, and soldier advancement wasn't enough. Even better, these days XCOM: Enemy Within can be played on pretty much every platform under the sun. If you’re a fan of turn-based combat and a game that reinvents the levels on each new play-through, then XCOM is the game for you.

Okay, So What Did We Forget?

Across genres, there are games that provide hundreds of hours or gameplay, games that require multiple choices, and games that have simply perfected the perfect gameplay loop. 

So, which ones did we forget, and exactly how upset are you that we were so thoughtless?

Wii U emulator able to run Super Mario Maker and Mario Kart 8 Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:05:37 -0500 Eric Adams

Cemu, a Wii U emulator, has been causing some stir amongst gamers following the project. While a controversial project, the Cemu has garnered attention from gamers worldwide. The performance of the emulator is not up to optimal level, but its ability to run some games at all is rather impressive.

Improvements made to the Cemu have allowed users to run Super Mario Maker and Mario Kart 8. While a number of games still remain unplayable in the latest build, it is still a step forward to be able to run the current games at all. Let us clarify, however, that Cemu is still a long way off from being usable, and will not be able to replicate the Wii U anytime soon.

While the ability to play Super Mario Maker and Mario Kart 8 is still impressive, Cemu still has quite a long way to go. Still, the progress it seems to be making is exciting. It looks like the battle to bring the Wii U experience onto a PC will continue.

Want more people to play your Super Mario Maker levels? Share them Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:47:57 -0500 Ashley Shankle

It's hard to say whether I like making or playing levels more in Super Mario Maker. The community is absolutely brimming with creativity, and good portion of the game's player base is just as eager for good levels as it is to make them.

Simply pressing "Upload" after you're done making your levels shouldn't be the end if you want them to get more players. There are a few online communities packed with fellow level makers eager for good levels to play and more exposure for their own creations. This is the easiest and most consistent way to get more people into your levels.

Some Super Mario Maker YouTubers and Twitch streamers will also take level submissions to play on stream. This isn't totally common nor do you have a guarantee your level will be played -- so while submitting a stellar level to a YouTuber or streamer isn't a terrible idea, it's not one you should rely on.

No matter where you decide to list your levels, make sure you hop over to the Super Mario Maker Bookmark website and tag them as soon as they're uploaded. Today, we're talking about how to get more plays for Super Mario Maker levels.

So where can you share your levels?

There are a few community options that are above the rest in terms of activity, which is what you want if you're trying to get your levels out there.

The very first option is the most obvious, and that is...


The Miiverse should be your first stop on your road to level promotion if only because of the convenience. You're on your Wii U already and it's super easy to hop over to the Super Mario Maker Miiverse community and make a post asking people to try your level.

You're not going to get a ton of Feedback from a Miiverse post and because so many submit threads so often, it's going to get flooded out pretty quickly. But it's a start and it's better than nothing.

Some makers will draw pictures to promote their levels as well, which tends to be more effective than just opening a new discussion on Miiverse. Unfortunately not everyone (myself included) is so artistically inclined. If you are, it's definitely worth whipping up a quick sketch to draw attention.

GameFAQs SMM Level Sharing board

What? You've been to the GameFAQs board for the game and didn't see any level sharing? Did you perhaps overlook the level sharing sub-board?

The Super Mario Maker Level Sharing board is one of the best places you're going to find for direct feedback on your levels. The board may not be as fast-moving as some of the other options in this article, but it is probably the best place for feedback for anyone serious about their level-making.

The primary board for the game is pretty great, too. But it's not meant for level sharing.

Nintendo Life SMM level sharing section

This one's a little out of the way when compared to the other communities here, but there's no denying the amount of levels that make it way onto Nintendo Life's level sharing section. Just don't expect to get much in the way of feedback.

One thing that's different here from the others is the sheer amount of tags used to categorize levels, which is nice if you (or others) are looking for particular components or level types.

This one isn't a must-use, but it's still handy and yet another way to promote your levels and the varied tags make finding certain types of levels much easier.

The Super Mario Maker subreddit

This may be the most obvious place to go outside of Miiverse, and it's well-worth it.

The Super Mario Maker subreddit isn't just a great place to share your levels, it's also pretty amazing for feedback. You can make your own thread to share your levels or slap them into the sub's regular level exchange threads with a snazzy description.

Like the primary GameFAQs SMM board, the subreddit is also packed with discussion over mechanics and level design. It's a great place to get involved in whether you're a new or experienced maker.

These four communities are some of your best options for sending more players your way. If you make good levels, they will come -- but more will give your creations a try if you just stick your neck out there a bit and get involved with the Super Mario Maker community outside of the game itself and Bookmark.

Want to run those Super Mario Maker levels from AGDQ? Here they are! Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:51:16 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Let's not get into semantics over whether or not the Super Mario Maker races during this year's AGDQ were speedruns or not. Let's swoon over those crazy levels and the skill displayed during the races instead.

This year's Mario block featured some entertaining runs, but none were crazier than the Super Mario Maker races featuring some of the best Mario runners going head to head in teams to complete a course of eight special levels made by the speedrunning community specifically for AGDQ.

If you watched the stream and wanted to get your own grubby little mitts on these babies, you're in luck: the codes for seven of the eight levels have been released and you can hop onto Super Mario Maker right now and give them a try. The third stage, titled Bully the Bullets during the stream, should be made public soon now that AGDQ 2016 is over.

You don't have to be a speedrunner to complete these levels, but it certainly helps. You're going to find out just how big the difference is between playing in a team and playing by yourself.

Here are the AGDQ levels' codes, the Super Mario Maker Bookmark links, and screenshots. Give them a go yourself and see if your Mario skills can be compared to the talent displayed by both teams earlier this week.

Stage 1 - Too Fast For Mr. Angry Wall (B5B0-0000-0178-FEB2)
Bookmark page

Stage 2 - AGDQ Beetlemania (F3F2-0000-0179-0191)
Bookmark page

Stage 4 - Swift Kickin' The Walls (A94F-0000-0179-0D81)
Bookmark page

Stage 5 - AGDQ The Kleptastrophe (2122-0000-0178-FD59)
Bookmark page

Stage 6 - AGDQ Killbox (D658-0000-0178-F8D2)
Bookmark page

Stage 7 - It Came From Above! (3806-0000-0179-0232)
Bookmark page

Stage 8 - AGDQ Kill or Save the Animals? (3B6A-0000-0179-0126)
Bookmark page

This was the first GDQ to feature Super Mario Maker and hopefully it won't be the last. With the wealth of well-made precision platforming levels the community just keeps churning out, chances are we'll be seeing this baby return in SGDQ 2016.