The basic gameplay in Minis on the Move revolves around using the stylus to place various tiles on each level, creating a path for the Minis (tiny wind-up versions of your favorite Mario characters) from the starting point to the goal. Once they start moving, they don't stop until they reach the goal, or don't have a valid path to walk on (either from a lack of a tile being placed, or an incorrectly placed tile), in which case it's game over. Simply getting to the goal can be easy enough, but the real challenge lies in gathering up all the tokens strewn around the level while also making it to the goal in under the allotted time.
There are 4 main modes in Minis on the Move:
- Mario's Main Event: This is the base mode. As time passes, tiles show up on the right side of the bottom screen, but your queue can only hold up to 5 tiles before it's game over. However, there are ways to eliminate placed tiles (using a bomb) or throw them away immediately (using a trash can tile). Get Mario to the goal!
- Puzzle Palace: In this mode, you have a fixed set of tiles provided to you, so planning is key.
- Many Mini Mayhem: Here there are multiple Minis to keep track of, but all the tiles have already been placed on the board. The player interaction involves rotating tiles by tapping them with the stylus.
- Giant Jungle: This mode is unique in that there are far fewer levels, but they are huge. Each level has 10 collectibles (instead of the normal 3), and the map needs to be scrolled along using the Circle Pad to view the entirety of it.
Additionally, there are various mini-games, as well as a level creator that allows the player to download and share custom user-created levels.