Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World box art.jpg
Packaging artwork
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Tokyo[a]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
  • Koichi Hayashida[1]
  • Kenta Motokura[2]
Producer(s) Yoshiaki Koizumi
  • Yuichi Iwasa
  • Eisaku Sato
  • Futoshi Shirai
  • Hideyuki Sugawara
  • Norihiro Aoyagi
  • Daisuke Watanabe
  • Rikuto Yoshida
Series Super Mario
Platform(s) Wii U, Nintendo Switch
Release Wii U
  • JP: November 21, 2013[6]
  • NA: November 22, 2013[5]
  • EU: November 29, 2013[7]
  • AU: November 30, 2013[8]
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: February 12, 2021
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Super Mario 3D World[b] is a platform video game in the Super Mario series developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U home video game console in November 2013. It is the sixth original 3D platform game in the series and the sequel to the 2011 Nintendo 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land. The game follows Mario and friends attempting to rescue fairy-like creatures called Sprixies from Bowser, who invades the realm known as the Sprixie Kingdom. The gameplay is similar to previous installments of the series, with players passing through individual levels to reach Bowser. The game introduces a character selector as well as a power-up called the Super Bell, which turns the player into a cat, enabling them to climb walls and use a scratch attack.

The game was critically acclaimed for its level design, presentation, replay value, and soundtrack, though some reviewers decried its unreliable camera during multiplayer. The game was a financial success, with more than 5 million units sold worldwide and becoming the second-best-selling game on the Wii U system.

An enhanced Nintendo Switch port with additional content is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2021, titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury.


Luigi, Toad, Peach, and Mario sprint through Really Rolling Hills.

The game levels play similarly to those of Super Mario 3D Land, which combine the free-roaming gameplay of the Super Mario franchise's 3D games with the mechanics of its 2D side-scrollers, including a timer and a level-ending flagpole.[9] Up to four concurrent players may control player characters, including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and the unlockable Rosalina. Similar to their appearances in Super Mario Bros. 2,[10] each of the characters possesses unique abilities and controls differently: Mario has balanced running speed and jump height; Luigi jumps higher and falls slower, but has slightly lower traction; Peach can jump and shortly float through the air, but runs slowly; Toad runs the fastest, but cannot jump as high and falls faster; Rosalina can use the spin attack move as seen in the Super Mario Galaxy games, but has the slowest running speed.[11] The player can select any of the five characters to use before beginning a level, and up to four players may explore the same level simultaneously, sharing from a pool of lives. Players are also able to pick up, carry, and throw each other.[12]

Levels are accessed through a world map, in which players can find hidden areas to earn more items or coins. Each level contains three collectable Green Stars which are required to access certain levels, and each main level contains a hidden Stamp which was used in handwritten posts to the now defunct Miiverse online community. Players can also view messages left by other players, both on the world map and after clearing a level, and can download 'Mii Ghosts', which are live records of other players completing levels. Ghosts can be raced against, and may hold gift prizes such as coins or extra lives.[13] Additional Green Stars can be earned in Captain Toad, Mystery House, and Challenge levels.[14][15]

Along with items returning from previous games, such as the Fire Flower, Super Leaf, Mega Mushroom, Propeller Box, and Boomerang Flower, several items are introduced. The Super Bell gives players a Cat Suit, allowing them to run faster, perform unique attacks and climb up walls to reach new areas. A variation of the Super Bell, the Lucky Bell, allows the player to temporarily transform their character into a lucky cat statue that awards coins under certain conditions.[16] Double Cherries make a clone of the player, allowing for more effective attacks and a higher chance of survival; the more Double Cherries a player uses, the more clones appear. Players can wear Cannon Boxes which fire shots at enemies, Light Blocks which can defeat ghosts, and Goomba masks which let them blend in with enemy Goombas. Players are able to pick up various objects, such as bombs, baseballs, and Piranha Plants (which can be used to defeat enemies or solve puzzles), and can ride in a Skating Shoe or on an aquatic dinosaur named Plessie.[17]

The Wii U GamePad allows players to rub the touchscreen, blow into the microphone to reveal hidden blocks or items, hinder enemies, activate mechanisms, and use Off-TV Play.[18] The game is compatible with the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Wii U Pro Controller.[19] An unlockable Luigi-themed version of Mario Bros., Luigi Bros., is accessed by clearing the game or by having save data from New Super Luigi U.[20]


Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad find a tilted glass pipe. After Mario and Luigi fix it, a green Sprixie Princess appears and tells them that Bowser kidnapped and trapped the rest of the Sprixie Princesses in jars. He arrives and captures her before escaping through the pipe, while the heroes enter it and pursue him. They find themselves in a realm known as "The Sprixie Kingdom" and set off to find the fairies. After the heroes save the final Sprixie, Bowser re-captures all seven fairies and heads to his amusement park fortress. There after, Bowser uses the Super Bell to transform into the cat-like "Meowser". One of them hits a giant POW Block that Bowser stands on and he falls through the sky. With Bowser defeated, the heroes say goodbye to the fairies, and travel through the pipe back to the Mushroom Kingdom.


Director Koichi Hayashida promoting the game at E3 2013

In a January 2013 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that a new 3D Mario game was being produced by the development team from Super Mario Galaxy.[21][22] The title was announced during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2013, along with its tentative release date of November 2013.[5]

Development began shortly after the release of Super Mario 3D Land. A staff of 100 personnel, including producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, wrote ideas for game mechanics upon sticky notes, which were collected upon the studio walls and then evaluated. If the team liked an idea, they would implement it in-game to test it. Kenta Motokura, a director of the game stated "We discussed and discarded a huge number of ideas during development - sometimes you just can't tell if an idea is good or bad by looking at it on the drawing board; when this happens, we try it out in-game. If we don't find the idea fun, it won't make it into the final product. There was a lot of back and forth on the course designs due to this".[23]

The game's signature feline costumery came early in development, to implement an attack mechanic, introduce the ability to climb walls, and to help a novice to clear obstacles. The inspiration for the Double Cherry which clones a player character, came late in development when a developer erroneously inserted an extra copy of Mario's character model into a level. The team was relieved to see that the game did not crash with two identical characters present, and were amused that both could be controlled simultaneously. Developers "scrambled" to include this feature in the final game.[23]

According to Koichi Hayashida, Peach was originally not going to be a playable character. Yoshiaki Koizumi suggested for Peach to be playable, which would be agreed upon. Koizumi reasoned, "I think she adds a lot to the sense of competition when you get in multiplayer. You can have different people choosing different characters based on their personality or whoever they like."[24] Hayashida also revealed that Super Mario 3D World was meant to be a Wii U game that fans of New Super Mario Bros. could enjoy, as well as a de facto continuation of Super Mario 3D Land.[23]

The team faced challenges while animating the opening scene due to Bowser’s placement in the pipe. They had to animate it in the vein of Chuck Jones and Richard Williams. Similarly, Rosalina was later added as a playable character. Kenta Motokura said, "I was thinking about what would be pleasing after the ending and wanted to bring in another female character in addition to Princess Peach. Rosalina has a following among the Super Mario Galaxy fanbase, and she appeared in Mario Kart recently, so I think she's well known."[25]

The game's soundtrack was composed by Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo, and Yasuaki Iwata, and performed by the Mario 3D World Big Band, which they formed after being inspired by the work of Henry Mancini. A soundtrack was released for Club Nintendo members in Japan, Australia, and Europe, featuring 77 tracks across two CDs.[26][27] The game had developmental assistance from 1-Up Studio.[28][better source needed]

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

The amiibo figures that will release alongside the Switch edition.

A re-release for the Nintendo Switch titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury was first revealed on September 3, 2020 as part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Nintendo Direct. Gameplay updates include characters moving faster by roughly 30%,[29][30] online co-op multiplayer, and amiibo support, with Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo figures at launch.[31][32]

The trailer for Bowser's Fury shows "a dark, rainy environment" with a cat statue.[33][34] The game is scheduled for release on February 12, 2021.[35]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 93/100[36]
Review scores
Publication Score
4Players 90/100[37]
Destructoid 10/10[38]
Edge 9/10[39]
EGM 5/5 stars[40]
Eurogamer 10/10[41]
Famitsu 38/40[42]
Game Informer 9.25/10[43]
GameRevolution 4.5/5 stars[44]
GameSpot 9/10[45]
GamesRadar+ 4.5/5 stars[46]
GamesTM 9/10[47]
GameTrailers 9.5/10[48]
Giant Bomb 5/5 stars[49]
Hardcore Gamer 4.5/5[50]
Hyper 100/100[51]
IGN 9.6/10[52]
Joystiq 5/5 stars[53]
Nintendo Life 10/10[54]
Nintendo World Report 10/10[55]
ONM 93%[56]
Polygon 9/10[57]
Shacknews 9/10[58]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[59]
USgamer 4.5/5[60] 9/10[61]

Super Mario 3D World was critically acclaimed. It has scores of 92.77% and 93/100 on aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively.[62][36] It also won many awards from media outlets, including Game of The Year (GOTY) from Eurogamer, Digital Spy, and MSN UK.

Famitsu gave the game a score of 38/40.[42] IGN's Jose Otero gave 3D World a 9.6/10, praising the visual design's "youthful energy," the "interesting risks" taken with the level designs, the "maddening challenge" offered by later worlds, and the "genuinely funny and memorable co-op". He said, "I reveled in the sheer brilliance of how much energy and gameplay mileage Nintendo has packed into every world." Otero's only complaint was that "the camera becomes a slight obstacle in four-player multiplayer".[52] GameTrailers gave the game a score of 9.5, praising its gameplay and presentation, while criticizing camera issues and some odd control choices.[63] GamesRadar gave the game a score of 4.5/5, praising improved multiplayer and some moments so brilliant that they can make some other levels seem dull by comparison.[46] Luke Plunkett of Kotaku called the game "a terrific Mario game. just not a very good Wii U game", praising the game itself, but lamenting that it doesn't do much to show off the Wii U's capabilities.[64] Patrick Klepek at Giant Bomb, saying "World continues to make the case that it's possible to reinvent a classic over and over again".[65]

Anime News Network gave the game an A grade, calling it "fun, imaginative, and filled with little surprises and delights".[66] Edge rated the game 9/10, calling it "Wii U's best game to date," and "the most next-gen game that 2013 has yet produced," and stating that Mario is the most fun character to play as because "his cohorts' abilities aren't anything special".[39] Destructoid's Chris Carter awarded the game a 10/10, praising the power-ups (especially the catsuit, which "opens up doors platforming-wise that weren't there before" and the Double Cherry with which "Nintendo really outdid themselves in terms of the technical mechanics" to make possible), the "incredibly sharp" graphics, and "one of the best OSTs I've ever heard". Carter wrote that "the only downfall of the design is the selection of boss fights", as Nintendo "had achieved a level of platforming design that's close to perfection".[38] Joystiq's Richard Mitchell gave the game 5/5 stars, praising the "astounding" visual craftsmanship, "excellent soundtrack", and "artful, purposeful design" which "communicates goals with complete clarity".[53] GameZone's Mike Splechta stated "With multiple characters to play as (harking back to Super Mario Bros. 2) and an unlockable fifth, a fantastic and unobtrusive multiplayer component and enough new power-ups to make even Mario's head spin, you're bound to have a highly enjoyable time with one of the best 3D platformers released thus far."[67]

Eurogamer's Christian Donlan gave the game a 10/10, describing it as "an endless freewheeling treat of a game" with an "ad-libbed drive to...explore how many different situations Mario can be squashed into". He noted that this inventiveness carries over to the "lavish and quick-changing" soundtrack: "This is pastiche at its most skillful, its most panoramic."[41] Cheat Code Central's Jenni Lada gave the game a 5/5, calling it "the closest we will ever come to a perfect Mario game, one that is a culmination of every right decision ever made in the series."[68] Nintendo World Report stated that it's a Mario game that one would want to continue playing once the game is beaten and may be the killer app of the Wii U, saying "Thankfully 3D World isn't just a refinement of the Mario formula, it’s a powerful re-imagining. It’s an explosive cavalcade of color and excitement as well as a well thought out evolution of Mario."[55] The Escapist gave the game four out of five stars, but was slightly critical of it, saying "Buy it if you love that little plumber, and enjoy the new toys, but don't expect your mind to be blown."[69]


In Japan, the first week's sales in three days at retail, totaled 99,588 copies sold (not including eShop download sales)[70] and 57% of its initial shipment.[71] The sales were considered low at first, but it maintained strong sales during the following weeks. By January 5, sales totaled about 400,000 units in Japan and was still on the weekly top 10 charts.[72]

In the UK, the game debuted at number 14, behind its competitor, Knack, which debuted at number 13.[73] During its first eight days on the market, there were 215,000 units sold in the US according to the NPD Group, debuting out of the Top 10.[74]

As of September 30, 2020, the game had yielded sales of 5.86 million units worldwide, making it the Wii U's second best-selling game.[75]


Based on and expanding upon the game's Captain Toad puzzle-based levels, a separate game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, was released for the Wii U on November 13, 2014 in Japan, December 5, 2014 in North America and in January 2015 in PAL regions as a spin-off to Super Mario 3D World featuring Captain Toad and Toadette. Years later, it was re-released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS on July 13, 2018. It was received with favorable reviews.

In late 2014, downloadable content was released by Nintendo for Mario Kart 8, containing the ability to play as Cat Peach, which is a reproduction of her pink cat costume from obtaining the Super Bell item in Super Mario 3D World.[76]

Elements from Super Mario 3D World appear in Super Mario Maker 2, as assets players can use while designing their course.[77]


Pre-release awards and nominations
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2013 Destructoid's Best of E3 Best Wii U Game Nominated [78]
Best Platformer Nominated
GameTrailers Best of E3 Best Wii U Exclusive Nominated [79]
IGN's Best of E3 Best Overall Game Nominated [80]
Best Wii U Game Nominated
Best Platforming Game Nominated
The Nerdist Best of E3 Best Platformer Won [81]
Post-release awards and nominations
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2013 Cheat Code Central 7th Annual Cody Awards Best Nintendo Game Won [82]
Digital Spy Game of the Year Won [83]
Eurogamer Game of the Year Won [84]
GameRevolution Game of the Year Nominated [85]
Best Wii U Exclusive Won [86]
GameSpot's Game of the Year Wii U Game of the Year Nominated [87]
GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2013 Game of the Year Nominated [88]
Best Nintendo Game Won [89]
IGN's Best of 2013 Best Overall Game Nominated [90]
Best Overall Music Nominated [91]
Best Overall Platformer Game Won [92]
Best Wii U Game Won [93]
Best Wii U Music Won [94]
Best Wii U Graphics Won [95]
Best Wii U Platformer Game Won [96]
Spike VGX Game of the Year Nominated [97]
Best Nintendo Game Won
National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR) awards Game, Franchise Family Won [98]
Camera Direction in a Game Engine Nominated
Game Design, Franchise Nominated
Game of the Year Nominated
2014 BAFTA Video Games Awards Best Game Nominated [99]
Best Family Game Nominated
Best Multiplayer Game Nominated
Best Original Music Nominated
Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year Nominated [100]
Best Design Nominated
32nd Golden Joystick Award Best Audio Nominated [101]
Game of the Year Nominated
Best Multiplayer Nominated
SXSW Gaming Awards Game of the Year Nominated [102]
Excellence in Gameplay Nominated
Excellence in Animation Nominated
Excellence in Technical Achievement Nominated
Best Multiplayer Game Won