Polish your Mario!
Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move combine your classic platforming stars with a combination of puzzle elements to bring a relatively inexpensive 3DS experience to the Nintendo eShop. This cute 3DS downloadable title is broken up into four different modes to offer you a puzzling adventure wrapped up in Nintendo presentation.
The main objective is to guide your pint-sized clockwork mini Mario toy through each stage to reach the final destination of the shining star, whilst collecting coloured Mario coins along the way. Sounds easy? Well, the game begins relatively easily, but you’ll soon find yourself getting into a muddle.
Mario’s main event begins with your mini Mario popping out of the famous green pipes ready to make his way across a broken up path to the safety of the star. The game is primarily played on the bottom screen of the 3DS, even though the action displayed on the top screen is so vibrant and colourful. But the bottom screen is where the game is played.
Your objective is to drag tiles that are released from the tile pipe on the right hand side of the 3DS screen and make a path from the available tiles to the exit. The tiles are placed on the grid for your mini Mario to safely travel across, while hopefully collecting scattered coins for a perfect score. The tiles consist of various path shapes that will require the player to think ahead and plan their route. Once you have released your mini Mario onto the path, he will continue on his merry way until reaching the exit, or the path finishes. The green pipe which deposits the tiles for your path drops them in a random order, so the player may find themselves in a mini Mario emergency as they wait for the right tile while mini Mario moves ever closer to a dead end.
Once you’ve found the right path tile for your journey, it’s a matter of tapping on the tile and sliding it into place on the grid. If successful, your mini Mario happily makes his way to the star exit and all is good in the world. Double tapping on your mini Mario can force your clockwork toy to move faster.
During your progress, the pipe spits out a selection of path tiles, sometimes overfilling the pipe area. If this happens, you can quickly grab a tile and place it in the trash can to remove it. The game begins at a slow pace, but this doesn’t last and before long you may find yourself placing the tiles in the wrong area or wrong way in. If this happens, you can use a bomb tile, which removes tile you’ve placed. The game allows you to retry a level and go for that perfect score if you find yourself missing coins along your way.
The mini games mode comprises of a selection of quick hit games such as Mini Target Smash, in which you catapult mini Marios into the air, and burst various character balloons, scoring different points for Shy Guy, Donkey Kong, or hitting a Mario coin.
In Fly Guy Grab, you must grab the fly guys and reel them in as they hover in the sky. You use the bottom screen to rotate a wheel, which once spun quickly with the stylus, enables you to reel them in. Again various shy guys score different points depending on colour. The mini game offers an added source of entertainment and gives you a break from the mind bending puzzles of the main game.
Cube Crash involves catapulting mini Mario’s into coloured 3D shapes in the sky to earn points, whilst Elevation Station allows you to control a platform with your stylus, with a mini Mario standing on top of it gathering coins and dodging enemies such as giant bullet bills.
Once you’ve played through the 180 or more stages, the Level Creator provides loads of replayability by allowing you to custom create a level and share with your friends. At the end of the day, it’s about collecting points and stars, as this will result in unlocking more puzzles, more mini games and more toys. The toy collection is like an achievement system, where various mini toys are unlocked and are on display like trophies. These adorable toys make some strange noises and you can even get your stylus out and give them a polish.
Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move offers a great deal of enjoyable gameplay for a reasonable price. There’s a huge amount of content with puzzles, collectibles and mini games to keep you amused for a long time. Visually, this upbeat puzzle game is one of Nintendo’s sparkling gems and is undoubtedly worth investing in. The mini Marios may be pint-sized, but Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move is a whole barrel-full of entertainment for the 3DS.