Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! is a DSiWare puzzle game and a follow-up to the 2006 Game Boy game Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. Once again, the focus of this game is on the mini toys produced by Mario's toy company, which have to be guided to the exit in each level. The gameplay of this title is simplified in comparison to the previous game, as the player no longer has control over the Minis after initiating them and can only use the touchscreen to manipulate the environment around them. This gameplay style would become standard in all later Mario vs. Donkey Kong games. In addition, the game allows players to create their own levels and, prior to May 20, 2014, share them using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection procedures. The game was available if you were a gold member of Club Nintendo in 2012.
After the success of the Super Mini Mario World theme park, Mario and Pauline open an expansion of it. A crowd of Toads are in line for the opening celebration, along with Donkey Kong. As Donkey Kong reaches the front of the line, he discovers the tickets have just sold out. Donkey Kong bursts into anger and grabs Pauline. As Donkey Kong runs for the elevator, Mario leaps to rescue Pauline, but ends up failing and ripping the fringe of her dress. As Mario lies on the ground, a few Mini Marios come towards him, volunteering to help save Pauline.
Later on, when Mario reaches to the top of the tower, he finds Pauline is there waiting for him. Relieved, Mario opens the door, ready to hug her, but then all of a sudden, Donkey Kong turns off the light and captures Pauline once again. Mario and the Mini Marios jump out of the tower after Donkey Kong, leading them to more floors.
After all the trouble, Mario once again opens the door and sees Donkey Kong, Pauline, and two Mini Marios. Confused by this, Mario then sees Pauline with a clipboard, showing that the Mini Mario model passed the test. Mario shrugs, and then celebrates with Donkey Kong, Pauline, and the rest of his Minis.
Differences from Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! features a less detailed story with slight changes from March of the Minis. The game removes direct control of the Minis, including jumping and changing directions on player's command. Instead, the minis move by themselves after being activated, while the player changes the environment around to lead the minis to the goal. Minis are now required to reach the goal within a similar amount of time; otherwise, the door will close, failing the level. If a mini falls from a height of seven to nine blocks, it becomes momentarily dizzy and stunned.
Many level mechanics return, but most designs include a large focus on the redesigned Pink Block mechanic, as referenced in the game's logo.
Like with the first installment, lives return to this game. The player loses a life if the time runs out, if a mini falls onto spikes or other dangerous obstacles, runs into an enemy, falls from a height of ten blocks or more, or if the next mini does not reach the door in about 5 seconds after one has entered. The player can also lose a life by restarting or exiting a level before it is cleared the first time, which was also the case in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Losing all lives results in a Game Over and the player can choose to restart the current level or exit the game. Extra lives can be gathered with every M-Token or 100 Coins collected throughout the game.
Plus Mode is also available after beating the first four worlds, unlike March of the Minis, which did not have the mode. Both games share the Construction Zone function, but Minis March Again! has some different objects available.
In this game, there are four different types of Minis that the player can use in levels. Mini Marios are the default type for most of the game, but Mini Toads, Mini Peaches, and Mini Donkey Kongs are also playable on the Rooftop floor. There are no significant differences between the types of Minis.
After three levels with a particular type of mini are completed on the Rooftop floor, the player will be able to switch most Mini Marios in the game with that type of mini. This is done by tapping the "Characters" button in the Showroom section of the Options menu. The only levels where this change does not take effect are key and Donkey Kong levels, where Mini Marios are always used.
DSi Shop description
Thanks to the runaway success of Super Mini Mario World, Mario and Pauline have expanded their toy-filled theme park and invited everyone to the opening celebration. Everyone, that is, except Donkey Kong, who was too late to get in! Donkey Kong decides to crash the party and kidnaps Pauline along the way! Can Mario and his Mini Marios rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong’s clutches yet again?
In addition, make sure to explore the Construction Zone, where you’ll find all the tools needed to make your own original levels. You can then share your masterpieces or download levels created by others via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and broadband Internet access, or via local wireless.
The re-opening of Mario’s theme park, Super Mini Mario World, was going so well... until Donkey Kong burst in and kidnapped the hapless Pauline once again! So it’s up to you and the Mini Marios – tiny mechanical Mario toys – to rescue Pauline from that crazed ape’s clutches.
Instead of controlling the Mini Marios directly, you use the stylus to manipulate objects in each trap-laden level, and lead the fragile toys safely to the exit. Once you clear all eight levels on a floor, you’ll get a chance to pummel Donkey Kong with your Mini Mario-launching cannon!
Another feature is the Construction Zone, which allows you to create your own original levels, play levels that you or others have made, and share or download levels via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or local wireless communications.
References to other games
- Donkey Kong - The game's title theme is arranged into Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!s title theme. It is also the basis of Room B-8's soundtrack.
- Super Mario Bros. - The game's overworld theme is arranged into the title theme along with Donkey Kongs own title theme. The underground theme is the basis of Floor 3's soundtrack.
- Donkey Kong Country - "DK Island Swing" is the basis of the Floor 4 soundtrack; a slightly modified version is heard throughout Rooftop Rooms R-7, R-8, and R-9. In addition, an arrangement of "DK Island Swing" is incorporated into Room B-8's theme.
- Super Mario 64 - "Inside the Castle Walls", the music that plays while inside Peach's Castle, is the basis for the soundtrack of Rooftop Rooms R-4, R-5, and R-6.
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong - Many tracks from this game are arranged and sometimes extended.
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis - Many of this game's objects (along with their sprites, animations and functions), as well as soundtracks and boss battles, are reused.
References in later games
- Starting with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Pokeys display spikes instead of a flower at the top of their heads, reflecting the appearance of Pokey toys in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars - The Miiverse description of the third official online level stated that "Pink Blocks were a favorite item in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!"
- This game was one of a few downloadable titles that were on sale via Club Nintendo, at 150 coins, until January 10, 2012, though requiring a Nintendo 3DS despite being a DSiWare downloadable title. The game was also included as one of the Elite Status gifts in 2012, available to Gold and Platinum members. It then became available again on September 3rd 2013, until October 6th 2013, still costing 150 coins.