LEGO Super Mario

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Ry_Ry

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I still don't really know if this whole thing is a good idea or not, but I'll admit that it's a lot more charming and cute than I was anticipating. So here are a few quick thoughts I've had on it while seeing how my 8 yr old uses it.

  • This first one is going to be specific to my kid. He's very shy around new noisy toys. It usually takes an hour for him to get used to whatever the new thing is. However, with it being Mario with a smart device app - that barrier broke after less than 4 minutes.
  • There is no traditional LEGO manual. You have to download an app for your smart device and see the build instructions there. Also there's a software update for the Mario. Because of course there is. Additionally, if your child is off busy playing with the parts you've completed so far, anytime you complete one part, you'll have to wait until their done playing for the instructions to come back on screen. You could in theory disconnect Mario (via Bluetooth) from your device but then your kid won't get the coins. So there's that. (No my kid's fine motor skills weren't up to the challenge of this particular set - so it was mostly me.)
  • Speaking of stuff on the app, be prepared for your kid to say they're gonna play Mario and eventually switch over to another app. Kind of an obvious thing, but I wish this talked to the Switch as an option instead of just a smart device.
  • The app does suggest a hand full of different layouts to try, so it kind of feels like one of their 3-in-1 sets but instead of starting over completely it's different challenges to run through. Kind of neat to have the suggested options. However it also advertises the other sets in this series. So be ready for "can we get Bowser's castle now? (it's a 100 USD set)
  • The Mario in this set (and only in the 59.99 USD starter set - god help me if this gets lost) is both extremely haunting when it's in an off state, but incredibly cute when active. It seems to know when it's jumping around, on it's side, doing all sorts of different things that don't have one of the ID tags that it reads through its legs. Yea there is a light that constantly shines through Mario's legs to scan the environment color and bar code for different sounds/actions.
    So if you place Mario on a red book, he thinks he's on fire. If you put him on a yellow post-it, he thinks he's in sand. It's a neat little thing.
  • After two days it's still getting played with, and most importantly sparking the creative play of ignoring whatever format LEGO recommends and just going off on adventures through the bins of other toys and cars.

Will I buy more Mario LEGO? Yea probably. It's cute enough that everyone wants to play with it and sectional enough that you can't really "break" it.

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wollywoo

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Nice impressions. I have to say despite seeing a couple reviews like this I still don't understand how this really works as a game. Like, what are the rules of the courses? Can you just jump Mario right to the end goal and win or does it know somehow whether you've done all the in-between stuff? Is there any way to lose?

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Ry_Ry

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The big thing that I didn't understand is how this would translate to an actual game. And it turns out that it's not really trying to be a game. It has game adjacent elements for sure. You earn coins, and it does track progress by what little barcodes that Mario scans. So at the end of a course you get a breakdown of your "progress" but it really doesn't feel like the main point.

Like my kid is currently treating it as a relay race where he's got sections all around the living room and his bedroom and he's gotta get to all the points as fast as he can while constantly inventing new Calvinball rules. Is there a win condition to all of this? i have no idea. I don't even know if he can lose. He doesn't seem to mind either.

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wollywoo

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Huh, actually when you put it that way it sounds pretty fun, at least for kids! I do remember making Lego Mario courses when I was a kid and obviously there were no rules except what I made up at the moment.

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Ry_Ry

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Yea that's really the best way to think about it. Kind of like any other LEGO x Brand that's out there. They provide the set pieces, you provide the story. :D

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eddiephlash

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That's how I felt this would go. We recently found an old Heroica set and played a few rounds with my 7yo. It similarly seems more of a fun generation thing that works best if you add your own ideas and creations to it rather than expect it to be a fully featured, tested, balanced Board Game.

At least the sets look cool! That Yoshi is something else.

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curiosus

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#8  Edited By curiosus

@ry_ry Lego are experimenting more generally I think with not including instructions anymore but they still make pdfs available, the mario sets are no exception. https://www.lego.com/en-us/service/buildinginstructions/71360

I will yell at them the day they try to make them app only, but I've been using the pdfs on my tablet for years now.

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ItHas2BeSaidKVO

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I can’t lie: that Bowser’s Castle set looks pretty dope, but probably not dope enough to drop AUD$160 on it. Although I’m all in on having a Whomp mini(ish)-fig, and I would buy the shit out of a Chain Chomp mini-fig.