PLOT Princess Peach's castle must be rebuilt.
RATED E for Everyone
DETAILS $59.99; Nintendo Switch
BOTTOM LINE A peach of a sequel.
Super Mario Maker 2, a sequel to the 2015 hit, carries over many of the features of the original and refines them in the Course Maker mode.
The developers expertly use that familiarity to design a user interface that's simple to understand and fun to use. They give players a palette of objects at the top and players use the Nintendo Switch touchscreen to pick and choose how they're laid out across the level. At times, the process can feel like drawing.
By experimenting with how objects are used, players can come up with interesting combinations like super-sizing an enemy by giving it a mushroom. Another trick is the option to add wings to a question block, making the power-up inside harder to reach.
For veterans of the first game, Nintendo added slopes that vary the terrain and allows Mario to slide into enemies. Super Mario Maker 2 also includes a wider array of enemies and gizmos.
Players can encounter speed-run stages that test their platforming skills as they quickly run and jump through obstacles. Others will require smarts as they deal with multiple doors and keys in puzzle levels.
If players want higher-quality content, they can always check out Story Mode. Mario and the toads finish Princess Peach's castle. only to have Undodog destroy it by hitting the reset button. Players have to run through some of the 90 levels available to earn coins that pay for the castle reconstruction.
Super Mario Maker 2 provides the right tools for the job. All players have to do is put in the time and dedicate themselves to the art.