Mario meets democracy in Super Mario Maker, a side-scrolling platform game creation system and video game developed and published by Nintendo in which fans are provided with the tools to design and create their own levels. Players from all over the world responded to this call and thousands of levels have already been created, ranging from the brilliant to the dull, from the insane to the even more insane.
Super Mario Maker is a development tool just as much as it is a guided tour of the world of Super Mario. Devoid of enemies to beat or princesses to save, players now witness the familiar 2D spaces raw. They need to populate them with obstacles and challenges and will quickly realise how hard it is to design a good level. This experience reveals the balance and elegance reached in games such as Super Mario Bros. 3.
However, democracy has its perils: many creations will probably be ignored by the Mario community, but a few kind peers will certainly comment and play through them. If you’re good enough, you can become a Mario starchitect, respected and applauded by the community. To reach that status, you need to analyse the failures of others who play your levels. Will you make the level harder or easier? The choice is yours.
There’s no pre-made game in Super Mario Maker. Effectively, the player creates content for Nintendo. The player will stumble through many unremarkable levels but the experience is worth the time and will help you learn to love the possibilities you create in the familiar Super Mario universe.