When Super Mario Wonder was announced I was intrigued but cautious. Could it really recapture the magic of Super Mario World on the SNES, a game that defined many of our childhoods? After spending countless hours with Super Mario Wonder I can confidently say it does, and then some.

Right off the bat the game hits you with its vibrant, detailed graphics. It’s clear the developers wanted to pay homage to the classic Mario style while bringing something new to the table. The colours pop, the environments are richly detailed, and there’s a level of polish that makes every frame worthy of a screenshot. Each world in the game is distinct, from sun-drenched beaches with crystal clear water to shadowy forests with leaves rustling in the wind. It’s a visual treat.

The gameplay is where Super Mario Wonder truly excels. The controls are tight and responsive, reminiscent of the SNES days but refined for the modern era. Mario’s movements are fluid, making it a joy to navigate through the levels, whether you’re dodging enemies or leaping across platforms. The new abilities, like the “Wonder Wing,” add a fresh layer of strategy and exploration to the game. This ability lets Mario take to the skies for short bursts, opening up new pathways and secrets in levels that would otherwise be out of reach.

Level design deserves a special mention. Each stage is thoughtfully crafted, offering a perfect mix of challenge, exploration, and nostalgia. There are callbacks to classic Mario levels, but with new twists that keep things interesting. The game does an excellent job of guiding you while also encouraging you to go off the beaten path. Discovering hidden areas is incredibly rewarding, often leading you to clever puzzles or challenging bonus stages.

The game’s difficulty is well balanced. Newcomers to the series will find it accessible, while Mario veterans will appreciate the challenges that come later in the game. Boss battles are a highlight, each requiring a different strategy and testing your mastery of Mario’s abilities.

On the story front Super Mario Wonder keeps things light and fun. The plot is classic Mario; Bowser causing trouble and Mario setting off to save the day, but there’s a warmth and humor in the storytelling that brings the characters to life. The interactions between Mario, Luigi, Peach, and the rest of the cast are full of charm and personality.

The sound design in Super Mario Wonder is a delight. The soundtrack is a mix of new compositions and remastered tracks from Super Mario World. Each piece of music perfectly captures the mood of the levels, from upbeat rhythms to more serene, atmospheric tunes. The sound effects are equally impressive, with every jump, coin grab, and stomp sounding just right.

Multiplayer is another area where Super Mario Wonder shines. Playing through levels with friends is seamless and adds a whole new dimension to the game. The levels are designed to be fun in single-player but offer extra layers of fun and strategy when tackled with a partner.

After you’ve beaten the main story, there’s still plenty to do. The game is packed with collectibles, secret levels, and achievements that will keep you coming back. Hunting for every last secret is addictive and satisfying, extending the game’s lifespan considerably. In conclusion, Super Mario Wonder is a triumph. It’s a game that not only pays tribute to the classic Super Mario World but also stands on its own as a modern masterpiece in the Mario series. The blend of nostalgic elements with new innovations makes for an experience that’s both familiar and fresh. Whether you’re a long-time fan or not, this game is

10 / 10

Written by Luke.

Edited by Alexx.