Kororinpa: Marble Mania is a puzzle game which requires the player to roll a marble through a maze, collecting gems along the way, until it reaches an end point. The player achieves this not by rolling the marble itself, however, but by using the Wii Remote to tilt the maze itself, this in turn gives a much higher degree of control to the player, allowing them to roll the marble along and up walls, jumping large distances, even returning from a fall over the edge, which the game manual adds as a hint: "Don't ever give up, even when you're falling over the edge!".
The main game is split up into 5 main areas: Park, Candyland, Day Town, Toyland and Night Town, each area containing 10 levels, except for Night Town, which contains 5. Each and every (except one) level requires the player to collect red gems scattered around the level, usually in a linear fashion, which activate checkpoints, in some levels, then when all gems are obtained, the exit pad, however if the player does not collect all gems, but still roll over the exit pad, they will have to restart from the furthest checkpoint reached. Each level also features one green gem, placed in a difficult to reach location, often disabling the player from returning without falling off. Unlike most common ball rolling games, the player does not have lives, however if they do fall of of the edge or get destroyed by a hazard, the clock does not reset, it just keeps going. When the player finishes the level, if they have completed it within a required time, they will receive either a bronze, silver or gold trophy, prompting the player to not fall off too much. Before starting a level, players are able to choose from a variety of marbles to roll through the maze, each one having specific traits that advantage and disadvantage it, though only one marble is available to begin with.
There are several different objects to challenge and help the player throughout the game:
Conveyor Belt - replacing normal stretches of track, these move in one direction, forcing the player to tilt the maze further, rolling the marble more forcefully, which often leads it over an edge once it gets off of the belt.
Scissors - giant scissors that are placed over a portion of track, these open and close periodically, preventing the player from progressing until they open again.
Ice - covering sections of track, they reduce traction, making it very difficult to move carefully, which can be very effective on narrow tracks.
Lava - covering sections of track, if the player's marble touches this, the marble will be destroyed as if they had fallen off of the track.
Magnifying Glasses - these hover over the parts of the level, usually rotating, magnifying the sunlight to be as powerful and deadly as lava, destroying the player if they touch it.
Cannon - these, when the player rolls their marble into it, shoot the player upwards to a higher platform, however if the player does not keep the platform level, the marble has a good chance of falling off again.
Magnet - these automatically attract the marble to them, letting the player cross large gaps without fear of falling.
Jelly/Honey - covering sections of track, these reduce speed, forcing the player to tilt the level further.
If the player is able to collect a certain number of green gems, they will unlock a secret area, full of 15 levels of varying difficulty, though they must collect all 45 green gems to unlock 14 of the levels. If the player is able to complete each level in a small amount of time, they will receive a gold trophy, which, although would seem unnecessary for non-completionists, serves a purpose. If the player can obtain 5 gold trophies, they will unlock an extra level in a new area, Outer Space, which contains 5 levels, these levels can be each unlocked when the player obtains an additional 5 trophies for each level. Additionally, if the player can complete those five space levels, they will unlock the 15th secret level, totaling in 65 levels in the main game, and if the player can complete all 65 of those levels, they will progressively unlock extra background music and 19 extra marbles. If the player completes the 45 regular stages also, they will unlock mirror mode, simply reversing left to right direction for additional challenges for the player.