Super Mario 3D Land draws many of its features from the 2D Mario games. Collecting stars, which has been the main goal of the 3D games since Super Mario 64 (with the exception of Super Mario Sunshine, which used Shine Sprites instead), has been omitted from the game in favor of the flagpole goal from Super Mario Bros. Other features from the 2D games that have made their transition to the 3D series include, for the first time, time-limits, short/big Mario, running by holding down a button, extremely linear and relatively short stages, and levels and items based heavily on the Super Mario Bros. series such as the Tanooki Suit, which hasn't been seen since Super Mario Bros. 3. This video game is based strongly on the original Super Mario Bros. video game.
Power-ups in Super Mario 3D Land include Super Mario, which increases Mario's size and health, Fire Mario, which allows Mario to shoot fireballs, and Tanooki Mario, which allows him to perform a spin attack and flutter in the air. Nintendo has admitted that despite the fact that Mario could fly with the Tanooki Suit in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES, this power is not present in Super Mario 3D Land due to the complications of flying in a 3D environment (note: 3D as in the game world and not the handheld's 3D visual effects).
In celebration of the twenty fifth anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series, Yoshiaki Koizumi has revealed that a special stage can be found in Super Mario 3D Land that centers around major aspects of franchise. Very little of the stage was shown during a roundtable, but Shigeru Miyamoto teased the crowd by questioning what could be found in a particular room. This stage is later revealed to be World 5-2, which plays from an overhead view just like the early Legend of Zelda games, and even plays the classic "puzzle cleared" tune at one point.
- Super Mushroom
- Super Leaf
- Fire Flower
- Invincibility Leaf - Grants invincibility and appears if Mario dies five times in a level.
- Boomerang Flower
- 1-Up Mushroom
- Statue Leaf
- P-Wing - Float invincibility and appears if Mario dies five times in a level.
Worlds and Levels
World 1 of Super Mario 3D Land is a grassland area that features tall mushroom hills and flowers. As this is the start of Mario's adventure, the levels of World 1 are rather basic.
- World 1-1: A grassland level with many colored blocks. This level features Cheep-Cheeps, Goombas and the new Tailed Goombas
- World 1-2: An underground area, which features a Super Mario Bros. World 1-2 Warp Zone-like area. This stage's featured music is the Super Mario Galaxy remix of the Super Mario Bros. underground theme.
- Mystery Box
- World 1-3: A Mountain stage where Mario jumps on a rainbow Music Block and is sent to a location similar to Coin Heaven.
- World 1-4: An area where Mario rides a platform down rails.
- Toad House
- World 1-Castle: A lava area with Firebars and small dragons where a Tail Goomba disguised as a False Bowser is fought.
World 2 is a yellow autumn-themed plains area
- World 2-1: A plain with many stones and grass. This level features a new overworld theme also heard in the trailer for the game and has similarities with the Super Mario Bros. 3 and New Super Mario Bros. overworld themes.
- World 2-2: a underground level with poison and many Paragoombas.
- Mystery Box
- World 2-3: Giant 8-bit platforms, representing Mario and a Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros., much like Toy Time Galaxy and Mario Squared Galaxy. The last part of the stage is designed after a Super Mario Bros. ground stage.
- World 2-4: A level with flip Panels and stingbys.
- Toad House
- World 2-Airship: An Airship level with bullet bills and the new tail bullet bill at the end before Boom Boom is battled. The stage's music is the Super Mario Galaxy remix of the Super Mario Bros. 3 airship theme, and the Boom Boom battle music is his own theme. the E3 demo of the level had Peewee Piranhas theme from Super Mario Galaxy 2.
World 3 is a watery tropical-themed area
- World 3-1
- World 3-2: A water stage with Blooper and Cheep-Cheeps.
- Photo Toad House: You can find the photos from Peach.
- World 3-3: An area with many Donut Lifts. The background walls are made of yarn.
- World 3-4: A snowy themed level with fuzzies.
- World 3-5: An area made of cookies with Para-Biddybuds.
- World 3-Airship: Another airship level with spiky things and the camera does not scroll. Boom Boom is battled again and there are left-right panels on the bottom in the fight.
World 4 is mainly themed around a forest of large mushrooms
- World 4-1: A forest area with many large trees and a giant tree trunk with Biddybuds.
- Mystery Box
- World 4-2: a underground level with inky plants and tower goombas.
- world 4-3: a level with paragoombas and moving panels.
- World 4-4: A Spooky area with a Big Boo.
- World 4-5: a snake panel level with 2 boomerang bros.
- World 4-Airship: An airship level with rocky wrenches. Pom Pom is battled here.
World 5 takes place in a desert canyon area
- World 5-1
- World 5-2: A dungeon-like level with Spinies that is played from an overhead view, as a homage for the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda.
- World 5-3: A level with many elevators and flophoppers.
- World 5-4
- Toad House
- World 5-5: A air level with Tail Grand Goombas and Propeller Boxes.
- World 5-castle: A castle level with Thwomps. a False Bowser is fought (Magikoopa)
World 6 is based high up in the sky
- World 6-1: A tropical island area with palm trees and large waterfalls.
- World 6-2
- World 6-3: A Boo house stage with giant piano and a library. A Big Boo can be found again.
- Mystery Box
- World 6-4
- World 6-5
- World 6-Airship: A airship level with spiky things. Pom Pom is battled again, but fire surrounds the floor.
World 7 is a deep dark jungle with some more complicated levels than previous points in the game
- World 7-1
- World 7-2: A desert area with enemies hiding in the sand.
- World 7-3
- Toad House
- World 7-4
- World 7-5
- World 7-Airship: This is where Boom Boom and Pom Pom is battled.
World 8 is bowser's traditional lava lair with volcano's and fortresses everywhere
- World 8-1: a level with many spiky balls.
- World 8-2: a level with things that Mario can go on to.
- World 8-3 a level with rotating platforms and Rocky Wrenches.
- World 8-4 a boo house level with moving carpets.
- World 8-5 a fortress level with Banzai Bills and Rocky Wrenches.
- World 8-castle 1: a castle level with magmagghs and a fight with bowser at the end, bowser will do a fire ring.
- World 8-6: a level with platforms that Mario can move on.
- World 8-castle 2 part 1: you go on a bone coaster with fire and many enemies, when you go outside the 3 toads will appear and you go inside the castle for the final battle.
- World 8 castle 2 part 2: the final battle has began! you start with Bowser shooting fireballs at Mario, when Mario goes up the stairs Bowser will shoot spiky balls and may use a big spiky ball, then you go on a tightrope to Bowser who shoots crates at Mario, then you press the button and he falls in, but he comes back shooting pink fireballs. then he will chase after you with many brick blocks. then you press the button and he falls in. then you rescue peach.
THE END! at the end you get a picture of Mario (or Luigi) and Peach sitting in the Tanooki Tree. Then a picture of Luigi, captured by Bowser's minions, is seen at the end. if you play this level after the special world levels at the end you get a picture of Peach in a Tanooki suit.
- Special 1-1: A replica of World 2-1 but with a sunset background. It has different enemies like Spinies and Statue Leafs and Poison Mushrooms appear in the level.
- Special 1-2: An underground level the same as World 1-2 but it includes Spinies and blue spiked blocks. A Cosmic Clone appears here.
- Special 1-3: A level that is similar to World 2-3 but it includes enemies and items and and the level takes place at night.
- Special 1-4: A beach level like world 6-1 but replacing the cheep cheeps and other ememies with Boomerang Bros and Paragoombas.
- Special 1-Castle: A clone of World 1-Castle that needs to be unlocked by collecting 110 Star Medals. Dry Bowser is the boss here and when defeated, Luigi is rescued. This level starts with 30 seconds.
- Special 2-1: A stage where the screen is scrolling up. It has Piranha Plants and the music is a remix of the main theme.
- Special 2-2: A mainly water level where the player is swimming. The clock starts at 30 seconds.
- Special 2-3: A level with the green platforms with arrows above lava.
- Special 2-4: A snowy level with many propeller boxes.
- Special 2-5: A level where it is snowing and there are many green reproducing panels.
- Special 2-Airship: An Airship with a lot of spikes and banzai bills like world 3-airship but takes place in the daytime.
- Special 3-1: A level with platforms that move back and forth.
- Special 3-2: A level a lot similar to World 4-3, but the colorful blocks move faster and the Statue Leaf appears here.
- Special 3-3: A forest area with many tightropes the time starts at 30 seconds and the player has to get timers so time will not run out.
- Special 3-4: An dark underground area with rolling cylinders and Giant Spiked Balls.
- Special 3-5: A level similar to World 6-4, the blocks beat is slower than normal. and the platforms will be 1 at a time.
- Special 3-Airship: A quickly scrolling Airship Level at Nighttime like world 2-airship. the camera moves faster.
- Special 4-1: A level featuring a yellow platform that slowly shrinks while Mario or Luigi fight enemies and dodge obstacles.
- Special 4-2: A Ghost House level with a Cosmic Clone.
- Special 4-3: A level similar to world 6-1 with a lot of Bullet Bills and some Banzai Bills.
- Special 4-4: A mountain level the same as world 1-3 but with 30 seconds and you get time when you stomp on the Goombas.
- Special 4-5: A level with a lot of rock donut lifts and is filled with Boos and Dry Bones.
- Special 4-Airship: An Airship level with many Boomerang Bros. At the end, Boom Boom and Pom Pom are fought separately. In Boom Boom's part there are spikes but in Pom Pom's there are donut lifts.
- Special 5-1: A dark blue area filled with many flipping platforms and boos.
- Special 5-2: A level where a cosmic clone is in. This level consists of many Chain Chomps.
- Special 5-3: A stage with the moving platforms with arrows that dictate which way to go.
- Special 5-4: An area where it is snowing and there are cookies that Mario or Luigi can walk on.
- Special 5-5: A Ghost House with lots of Library books.
- Special 5-Castle: Same level as World 8-6, but the timer starts at 30 seconds, Mario or Luigi need to stomp on goombas to get clocks to continue and Dry Bowser is fought at the end of the level.
- Special 6-1: A Nighttime level with Desert music.
- Special 6-2: A level with bubbles and the time starts at 30 seconds.
- Special 6-3: A level with many Poisonous Mushrooms and Poisonous Water
- Special 6-4: A Nighttime level. A Cosmic Clone appears here.
- Special 6-5: A Ghost House with a fog like effect.
- Special 6-Airship: An Airship Level with many flipping platforms. Boom Boom is fought here.
- Special 7-1: A snow level like world 3-4 where the time starts at 30 seconds. you can get time by jumping on boomerang bros.
- Special 7-2: A level like world 6-4 where a Cosmic Clone appears. There are lot of Red, Blue, and Yellow platforms that appear and disappear by the beat of the music.
- Special 7-3: A level with lots of moving gears like world 7-4.
- Special 7-4: A level with obstacles that look like Flip Flap platforms and the player jumps to make them turn like world 2-4. A large Cosmic Clone also appears.
- Special 7-5: An Airship level like world 7-airship with many rotating platforms and Poison Mushrooms.
- Special 7-Castle: Same as Level 1-Castle but with a large Cosmic Clone and only 30 seconds.
- Special 8-1: An underground level that's similar to world 1-2 but you start backwards and a Cosmic Clone is found and with the time starting at 30 seconds.
- Special 8-2: An area with many spinning platforms and Rocky Wrenches. There is also a Rocky Wrench that throws Coins.
- Special 8-3: A castle level like world 5-castle with a giant cosmic clone and the time starts at 30 seconds.
- Special 8-4: The same as world 8-6 but the time starts at 30 seconds.
- Special 8-5: An Airship level with a large Cosmic Clone, the camera does not move and the platforms are faster. A harder edition of world 7-airship
- Special 8-Castle: A castle level where the time starts at 30 seconds. Dry Bowser is faced at the end. he will breath fire like Bowser does in World 8-Castle 1. Hammer Bros are the way to get blue clocks as the only 2 enemies (the other are magmarrghs)
- Special 8-Crown: The last level of the game, that contains many colorful blocks and varied enemies and obstacles. Like Special 4-Airship, Mario has to fight Boom Boom and Pom Pom at the same time, and there is a short Cosmic Clone part in it. In the final area, the message "THANK YOU!!" is made of green reproducing panels and there are many Toads near the goal pole. Although this is the final level to become unlocked, when unlocked it is located before Special 8-1 on the course selection screen. To unlock this course, the player must have five stars in his or her profile. When unlocked, the background music for the world (based on the "Mario Drawing Song" in Flipnote Studio) is remixed.
When the Nintendo 3DS was announced, Nintendo revealed several spin-off Mario games but offered very little information regarding the new Mario game on the system, merely saying that it was in development. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto teased interviewers with possibilities of a 3D Mario, but usually reiterated the fact that a 3D Mario would assist players in knowing where certain objects floating in the sky were, which according to him was a fault of games such as Super Mario Galaxy. At GDC 2011 Nintendo revealed Super Mario for the 3DS, showing off four images and the game's logo, as well as the developer of the game. President Satoru Iwata, who revealed the game, noted that more information on it would be shown off at E3. At E3 Nintendo released a trailer for the game and had a playable unit on the showfloor with four stages. A press release by Nintendo on July 28, 2011, confirmed the title to be "Super Mario 3D Land" along with the official title of the 3DS's Mario Kart title, "Mario Kart 7".
The game was reviewed pretty well. It received a 90 on Metacritic and 90.09% on GameRankings. Famitsu gave the game a 38(9,9,10,10) out of 40. Critics praised its use of nostalgia, use of 3D and good level design though some criticized it for being too easy. The game's first week was 343,492 copies in Japan. As of March 31st, 2014, the game has sold 9.27 million units making it the 3rd best selling game for the platform only behind Pokemon X and Y and Mario Kart 7.
- 3D Land uses many elements from the Super Mario Galaxy games.
- The game's sound effects are later used in later entries, as well in the Mario Party games.
- This is the first 3D Mario game to:
- The game is focused on the linear approach and uses power-ups instead of health, very similar to the past 2D Mario games.
- It is not to be confused with Super Mario Land on the Game Boy.
- This is the first game for composer Takeshi Hama since joining Nintendo in 2010, who later worked on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He has since left in 2012.
- Hama's 3D Land theme has influenced the "Jazz"-style music, which would later be heavily implemented in its sequel Super Mario 3D World, featuring actual jazz performance.
- Asuka Hayazaki has previously worked on New Super Mario Bros.. This is her first 3D Mario game.