In a move that feels like it should have happened years ago, Mario finally makes the leap into the blocky world of LEGO, and the results are far more creative than I could have ever anticipated.
What we like – a genuine challenge and a great recreation of the Mario universe
Usually when you put together a LEGO set, you expect the experience to end there – with the odd moment of admiring your creation – but LEGO Super Mario takes it one step further. Putting the thing together is just one of part of it all, as there’s a fully-blown interactive game to be enjoyed here, recreating the core Mario gameplay but in LEGO form.
Much like in any Mario game, the aim is to make it from one end of a stage to the other, and through the power of NFC technology our blocky plumber reacts to parts of a level in different ways. For example, jumping on the head of an enemy or into the underside of a question mark block will heed you coins, while a stop on the red lava sections of a stage will deplete Mario’s health.
It’s a great system that’s conveyed entirely by Mario’s ever-changing eyes, a little screen on his chest and an in-built speaker. What helps to bring the experience to life however is the accompanying app, which acts not only as an electronic manual for building, but also as a mini social platform where you can share your unique takes on the Super Mario sets, and see the work of others in return.
Unlike most other LEGO adaptations, the experience isn’t limited to just one set as there are plenty of add-on stages and additional costumes that you can buy to add some serious longevity here. Nintendo has also confirmed that a number of new sets will arrive this year, giving the impression that this could be a franchise that LEGO wants to invest in for the future.
What we didn’t like – it’s expensive if you want to get the whole Mushroom Kingdom
Even though the LEGO Super Mario starter kit nets you a sizeable amount of product to enjoy, it won’t be long until someone turns their attention to the abundance of extra sets that are also available which, if you’re not careful, can end up costing you a fortune.
Don’t believe me? Well, if you do plan on buying the entire set then I recommend setting aside around £250 for the pleasure. For that kind of money you could buy an Xbox Series S or even a Nintendo Switch Lite with a game bundled in. I love LEGO as much as the next person, but there is a limit.
The leap of Nintendo’s mascot into the world of LEGO is nothing short of a huge success. Not only does the kit uphold the charming aesthetic of the Mushroom Kingdom, but it manages to replicate the gameplay in a way that feels inspired and offers a genuine challenge for LEGO fans everywhere.