Nintendo debuted Mario Maker at its E3 special digital event, which allows you to build your own courses for the famous plumber to navigate. You can build the courses on your Wii U, and paint using tiles and objects you’ll remember if you’ve played the series at all, including bricks, enemies and pipes, and you can render them in either 8-bit or New Super Mario Bros. U-style 3D graphics.
This is Nintendo’s crack at the Little Big Planet or Project Spark type of game creation too, but it has the advantage of being tied to a franchise close to the hearts of its core audience. It also gives players what they’ve proven they want through continued spending on games like New Super Mario Bros. U – infinite replayability and expandability of the core Mario Bros. gameplay experience.
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Based on the preview provided by Nintendo, it looks like building new levels is fairly simple (unlike the game creation tools of Sony and Microsoft, in this case the mechanics remain fairly static.) It’s the type of thing you could easily see being used between parents and kids to play together and to go back and forth with levels designed to challenge and foster creative expression.
The use of the Wii U’s gamepad with its stylus should make it even easier to build levels that can be played right away. It’s set to arrive in the first half of next year, but it’s unclear exactly when or for how much.