Super Mario 3D World (JP) (often abbreviated as SM3DW) is a 3D platformer action game for the Wii U, released in November 2013. It is a sequel to the 2011 Nintendo 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land, the fifteenth title in the Super Mario series, the seventh 3D Mario title overall, and the fifth 3D Mario title on a home console after Super Mario Galaxy 2. It was announced during E3 2013 and is the first 3D Mario game to have full multiplayer. The game builds upon the previous installment, following a similar 3D level-design convention inspired from the 2D platformer titles where players must navigate through a linear-designed level within a time limit to reach a level's Goal Pole. The game's plot centers around Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad having to rescue the rulers of the Sprixie Kingdom, the Sprixie Princesses from Bowser.

One key aspect introduced in this title is the simultaneous multiplayer, the first 3D title in the Mario series to incorporate up to four players cooperating with each other to reach the goal, although not the first game in the Super Mario series in general to do that. Additionally, players can select their character from a pool of playable characters prior to starting the game, and each of these characters have their own unique playstyle that gives them advantages and disadvantages over other characters. The game makes use of several Wii U exclusive features, such as tapping blocks with the touchscreen in the GamePad and blowing on the mic to reveal hidden items and blow away enemies. It included Miiverse integration, through collectible stamps that could be used in Miiverse posts and the Ghost Mii functionality that emulates players replaying levels for other players to view; however, the service was terminated on November 7, 2017, meaning that stamps can be collected, but not used. Also, the Miiverse posts that appeared on the course select screen and when selecting courses disappeared. Various new power-ups are introduced in this title, with the trademark suit being the Cat power-up, which enables characters to perform a melee attack, climb up walls, and leap while midair, as well as the game generally having a cat-based theme.

The game introduces a smaller type of levels called Captain Toad's Adventures, which were later reused and expanded into its own standalone title and prequel, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

This marks the first time that Peach and Toad have been playable in a mainstream Mario game since Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988, which was 25 years earlier and the first time that Rosalina has been playable in a mainstream Mario game.

An expanded Nintendo Switch port version, titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury was released on February 12, 2021.


3D World Wii U Opening

Mario and company during an encounter of Bowser with a captured green Sprixie.

The story starts with Mario and crew taking an evening stroll when they discover a clear pipe. After the Mario Bros. fix it, a green fairy-like creature called a Sprixie pops out panicking about her kidnapped fellow Sprixies. Out of nowhere, Bowser comes out of the pipe and grabs the fairy in a bottle. The Mario crew chase after him into the pipe, leading them to Sprixie Kingdom where they must stop Bowser and rescue the 7 Sprixies from his clutches.

Upon defeating Bowser in World Castle, the seventh and final Sprixie was released when Bowser suddenly returns to reclaim them all and posses their power. In the final showdown, Bowser uses the Super Bell to transform himself into Meowser, following cloning himself with the Double Cherries.

After defeating him with the giant POW Block, Meowser was shot into the sky, freeing the 7 Sprixies at last. The game ends with the Mario crew jumping in joy as they return to the Mushroom Kingdom.


Super Mario 3D World 1

Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach in World 2-4.

The game plays identically to Super Mario 3D Land. You move with the left analog stick or directional pad and there is a dedicated run button. However, now the running has 2 phases, a faster run which leads into a sprint with smoke behind the player before going even faster. It's a bit hard to control at this phase.

The run button also serves as the pickup objects button so to pick up an object like a baseball, you cannot be running.

The game is playable up to 4 players and each player is a different character that plays differently.

Like the New Super Mario Bros. series, players can interact with each other like picking each other up or bouncing off each other. Also from New Super Mario Bros., is the return of bubbling where off-screen players are put in a bubble to catch up with the rest of the players.

This can also be triggered within the range of the other players by using the shoulder buttons. The invincibility from a Star is passed through just touching each other this time. The entire team shares lives in this game.

Super Bell Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

The Super Bell power-up.

There are several new power-ups in this game. There is the Super Bell that has the power for the player to turn into a cat and with this form, you can crawl up things like the flagpole at the end to get a high score. Other power-ups like the Goomba Mask can turn you into one of the enemies to deceive them. Also, this game includes a magic cherry that is the Double Cherry power-up. Simply put, it will double the player. With each one you find, you will receive another clone of the player.


3D World Plessie

Gameplay of Plessie in World 1-4 with control inputs.

Some of the levels have this new dinosaur named Plessie. These levels or even portions of levels play drastically different from the rest of the game. The players are riding down a river, directing Plessie's movement with the stick. Each of the players influence its movement so, cooperation is necessary to get through them and get the collectibles.

Gamepad Functionality[]

SM3DW promo 2

While almost beatable without it, the game has an extensive use of the Wii U GamePad.

The game is almost completely beatable without the use of the Wii U GamePad. Nonetheless it has at least three uses. The first function of the GamePad is that it can move the camera around a bit. It is helpful in looking for Green Stars.

The second functionality is using the touchscreen similar to Co-Star mode from Super Mario Galaxy 2 in that it stops enemies. It can also be used to defeat certain enemies if the timing is right. It can also hold switching platforms in place and activate switches. It is also used to send out certain platforms. 

The third functionality is blowing. The blowing can activate certain moving platforms, push away smaller enemies and reveal hidden blocks which can be made visible with rubbing.

Playable Characters[]

3D World Wii U Roster

The game's initial playable roster.

The following is the entire playable roster of the game. It is the same as Super Mario Bros. 2, but with an additional unlockable character and one exclusively for dedicated levels.

Before starting a level or the game, a player is able to choose their desired character. Once selected, they have a few seconds to deselect before the jingle sounds and proceed with the choice.

Image Name Description
SM3DW Mario Artwork Mario An all-rounder character.
Luigi Artwork - Super Mario 3D World Luigi Mario's younger brother who can jump high.
Princess Peach Artwork - Super Mario 3D World Princess Peach The Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, and can float in the air.
Toad Running Artwork - Super Mario 3D World Toad A loyal servant who runs faster than all characters.
Rosalina Artwork Super Mario 3D World Rosalina The cosmic galaxy explorer who can spin attack. Unlocked after clearing World Star-2 (Super Galaxy).
Captain toad Captain Toad A fearless explorer on the hunt for Green Stars. Only available in themed levels and can't jump.



Ant Trooper - Super Mario 3D World

Ant Trooper.




List of Power-Ups[]

Sm3dw items

Various power-ups and items pop out of a clear pipe.

Support items[]

General differences from 3D Land[]

Aside with new elements and power-ups mentioned above, the following is a bulleted list of general differences from Super Mario 3D Land:

  • The game now has 4-player multiplayer, a first in a 3D entry.
  • The game runs at 60fps.
  • The camera is now more controllable.
  • Many levels are uniquely-themed and have even more variety, closely resembling to the Galaxy games.
    • Also, only fewer levels are now high angled, if any, most likely due to being a home console game.
  • The "Super" text is now solid gray and the bottom "3D World" text are in solid color; yellow.
  • The game has online support.
  • Mario, Luigi, and other characters like the Toads have new voices with a few archived ones.
  • There is a free-roaming map.
  • Star Coins have been replaced with Green Stars.
  • The menu and UI have new sound effects. There are also improved sound effects from 3D Land.
    • The text appear bolder.
    • Many HUD elements appear more solid with added effects like shadows. They also use the blocky lettering based on the Super Mario logo.
  • Mario (and other characters) have new moves and abilities as well:
    • They can now pick up and hold the Koopa Shell and even enter inside it with the press of a button.
    • A new high jump is added when they jump as soon as they ground pound.
    • They get a boost when they dash - in doing so, a small cloud briefly appears after dashing for a period of time.

Online Functions[]



Stamp collection.

After each level, Miiverse posts about the level just completed show up on screen. Miiverse posts also appear randomly on the world map from a player at those points.  There is also a collection of stamps players can get. Stamps can be used from within the game's miiverse community with the game on. In total, there are 85. 80 of those can be obtained from a normal play-through mostly within each level and in the Sprixie houses.  

They don't appear in World Mushroom and World Flower. 5 of them, however, only appear, if the player has completed every course and touched the flagpole with each character, with the stamp being of the respective character who completed every course.

Since the Miiverse service has been discontinued in 2017, the collected stamps would no longer be of use, making them simply collectables.

Ghost Miis[]

When replaying a level, Miis from Miiverse with similar times to the last playthrough show up and follow the path the player took. These can help indicate secrets players might have missed the first time through. They can be disabled if the player wants to explore on their own.



Level Name
World 1
1-1 Super Bell Hill
1-2 Koopa Troopa Cave
1-A Chargin' Chuck Blockade
1-3 Mount Beanpole
1-4 Plessie's Plunging Falls
1-5 Switch Scramble Circus
1-Toad Captain Toad Goes Forth
1-Castle Bowser's Highway Showdown
World 2
2-1 Conkdor Canyon
2-2 Puffprod Peaks
2-3 Shadow-Play Alley
2-A Big Galoomba Blockade
2-4 Really Rolling Hills
2-5 Double Cherry Pass
2-Mystery House Mystery House Melee
2-Castle Bowser's Bullet Bill Brigade
World 3
3-1 Snowball Park
3-2 Chain-Link Charge
3-3 Shifty Boo Mansion
3-4 Pretty Plaza Panic
3-A Magikoopa Blockade
3-5 Pipeline Lagoon
3-6 Mount Must Dash
3-7 Switchboard Falls
3-Toad Captain Toad Makes a Splash
3-Castle The Bullet Bill Express
3-B A Banquet with Hisstocrat
World 4
4-1 Ant Trooper Hill
4-2 Piranha Creeper Creek
4-A Brolder Blockade
4-3 Beep Block Skyway
4-4 Big Bounce Byway
4-5 Spike's Lost City
4-B Fire Bros. Hideout #1
4-Mystery House Mystery House Mad Dash
4-Castle Lava Rock Lair
World 5
5-1 Sunshine Seaside
5-2 Tricky Trapeze Theater
5-3 Backstreet Bustle
5-A Chargin' Chuck Blockade is Back
5-4 Sprawling Savanna
5-5 Bob-ombs Below
5-6 Cakewalk Flip
5-7 Searchlight Sneak
5-B Fire Bros. Hideout #2
5-Toad Captain Toad Plays Peek-a-Boo
5-Castle King Ka-thunk's Castle
5-Train (No official name)
World 6
6-B Fire Bros. Hideout #3
6-1 Clear Pipe Cruise
6-2 Spooky Seasick Wreck
6-3 Hands-on Hall
6-4 Deep Jungle Drift
6-5 Ty-Foo Flurries
6-A Prince Bully Blockade
6-6 Bullet Bill Base
6-7 Fuzzy Time Mine
6-Mystery House Mystery House Throwdown
6-Castle Bowser's Bob-omb Brigade
6-C Motley Bossblob's Big Battle
World Castle
Castle-1 Fort Fire Bros.
Castle-2 Switchblack Ruins
Castle-3 Red-Hot Run
Castle-4 Boiling Blue Bully Belt
Castle-A Brolder Blockade is Back
Castle-B Prince Bully Blockade is Back
Castle-C Fire Bros. Hideout #4
Castle-5 Trick Trap Tower
Castle-6 Rammerhead Reef
Castle-7 Simmering Lava Lake
Castle-Toad Captain Toad Gets Thwomped
Castle-Castle Bowser's Lava Lake Keep
World Bowser
Bowser-1 Spiky Spike Bridge
Bowser-2 Plessie's Dune Downhill
Bowser-3 Cookie Cogworks
Bowser-Train The Bowser Express
Bowser-4 Footlight Lane
Bowser-5 Deepwater Dungeon
Bowser-6 A Beam in the Dark
Bowser-7 Grumblump Inferno
Bowser-Mystery House Mystery House Claw Climb
Bowser-A Motley Bossblob's Encore
Bowser-B Hisstocrat Returns
Bowser-Castle The Great Tower of Bowser Land


Level Name
World Star
Star-1 Rainbow Run
Star-2 Super Galaxy
Star-3 Rolling Ride Run
Star-4 The Great Goal Pole
Star-5 Super Block Land
Star-6 Honeycomb Starway
Star-7 Gargantuan Grotto
Star-8 Peepa's Fog Bog
Star-9 Cosmic Cannon Cluster
Star-Toad Captain Toad Takes a Spin
World Mushroom
Mushroom-1 Night Falls on Really Rolling Hills
Mushroom-2 Spiky Mount Beanpole
Mushroom-3 Deep-Black Jungle Drift
Mushroom-4 Trouble in Shadow-Play Alley
Mushroom-5 Back to Hands-on Hall
Mushroom-6 Gigantic Seasick Wreck
Mushroom-7 Broken Blue Bully Belt
Mushroom-Mystery House Mystery House Brawl
World Flower
Flower-1 Switch Shock Circus
Flower-2 Floating Fuzzy Time Mine
Flower-3 Piranha Creeper Creek After Dark
Flower-4 Faster Fort Fire Bros.
Flower-5 Sprawling Savanna Rabbit Run
Flower-6 Shiftier Boo Mansion
Flower-7 Pipeline Boom Lagoon
Flower-8 Blast Block Skyway
Flower-9 Towering Sunshine Seaside
Flower-10 Honeycomb Skyway
Flower-11 Spiky Spike Bridge Sneak
Flower-12 Boss Blitz
World Crown
Crown-Crown Champion's Road
Crown-Toad Captain Toad's Fiery Finale
Crown-Mystery House Mystery House Marathon


Peach (Super Mario 3D World)

Princess Peach wasn't originally intended to be a playable character, but this was changed after producer Yoshiaki Koizumi convinced director Koichi Hayashida to include her.

Super Mario 3D World was first mentioned during the January 2013 Nintendo Direct alongside Mario Kart 8, in which it was announced that a new 3D Mario platformer was being developed by the same team behind Super Mario Galaxy.[4][5] It was later properly announced in the June 11, 2013 Nintendo Direct during E3 2013, when its release window was also revealed.

Plans for Super Mario 3D World picked up following the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Like with Super Mario 3D Land, the developers intended to bridge the gap between 2D and 3D to appease fans of the New Super Mario Bros. games that did not care for the 3D installments.[6]

According to Koichi Hayashida, early in development Peach was planned to reprise her role as damsel-in-distress. However, Yoshiaki Koizumi suggested to the development team that she should instead be a playable character, akin to Super Mario Bros. 2.[7] Super Mario 3D World ended up being the first, and so far, the only 3D Mario platformer in which Princess Peach is playable and not kidnapped. Similarly, Rosalina was added into the game in response to her rise in popularity among fans.[8]

According to game director Kenta Motokura, the game went through numerous concepts suggested by over one hundred staff members via sticky notes that were extensively playtested, such as the Mystery Houses and The Adventures of Captain Toad levels. The Cat form was one of the earliest ideas that passed development, with the intention of creating a method of directly attacking enemies and assisting novice players in clearing obstacles. The Double Cherry, on the other hand, was conceived entirely by accident when a staff member inadvertently loaded two identical character models into a test level, which was well-received by the developers and thus hurriedly added into the final game.


Critical reception[]

Super Mario 3D World received widespread critical acclaim and has been praised for its gameplay, visuals, music, level design, the Cat form's usefulness, and its improved 4-player co-op compared to New Super Mario Bros. Wii. However, it has been criticized for camera issues and co-op control issues.[9] The game currently has a score of 93 on Metacritic based on 83 reviews[10] and a score of 92.56% on GameRankings based on 54 reviews.[11]

Mark Walton, reviewing for GameSpot, called the game an "exceptional craft" with "painstaking focus on the minute details that are integral to making it feel special".[12] He also added that "[every one of the game's levels] is a golden nugget of heavenly platforming joy, where ideas are rarely repeated--and if they are, they're given such a twist as to make them feel new again". Jose Otero of IGN gave the game a 9.6 out of 10, commenting that, "After 28 years of making marvelous Mario platform games, you'd think Nintendo would run out of ideas. But Super Mario 3D World defies such logic and creativity sets itself apart-in good ways-from its outstanding recent predecessor".[13] Chris Carter, reviewing for Destructoid, called it one of the greatest Mario games ever made and gave it a 10 out of 10, stating, "Why is 3D World so good? Because it's essentially a complete refinement of everything that was great about 3D Land, a game that I happen to think is criminally underrated. 3D World is pretty much a joy ride from start to finish--and that "start" is as quick as ever".[14] Adam Cook from God is a Geek scored the game as a 100, saying, "Unimpeded creativity drips from every moment, forcing an awed expression from the most cynical of mouths. Decades old ideas are renewed with such ease and simplicity that it’s almost unnerving. I’ve fought Bowser more times than I can even remember, yet the first encounter somehow feels fresh. There’s always a princess, there’s always another castle, Bowser is still involved (this time he’s stolen Sprixies and locked them in jars) – it’s the design and execution of it all that makes it so special."[15]


As of March 1, 2020, Super Mario 3D World is the second-best selling game for the Wii U,[16] selling 5.83 million units worldwide.


Long-Jump Glitch[]

If Small Blue Toad long-jumps into a Snowball, he sits down and slides right while holding the Snowball. He will be unable to jump and will continue gaining momentum while moving. This glitch can be canceled by letting go of the Snowball.[17]

World Map Out of Bounds[]

If done correctly, one can get on top of the World Bowser entrance pipe by jumping onto the nearby pole first, and then fall to the worlds down below. Additionally, if the player quits the game while he/she is falling out of bounds, the progress will not be saved, and when restarting the game, the music of the world the player was in when the glitch was activated plays for a short time.


Unlike the music of its predecessor, which is digitally created, Super Mario 3D World uses live recorded music, and much of the music is focused on band-style music, including jazz, rock, and orchestra.

Scrapped follow-up[]

At some point, director Koichi Hayashida has considered a direct sequel to 3D World for the Wii U which would recycle unused features and most likely have an even more extensive use of the system's GamePad features.[18] Co-director Kenta Motokura also added to the possibility of a sequel, stating "[I]f we were to make another game then we might need to make even more use of the GamePad."[19] Following the poor sales of the Wii U console, the idea and its original GamePad features were likely shelved.[18]

The next installment would later become Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch which used completely new features for the system.



  Main article: Super Mario 3D World/gallery




  • This is the first 3D Mario game to feature 4-player multiplayer.
  • This is Kenta Motokura's first game as a director after working as the level design director in the previous Mario games. Motokura would later direct the successor, Super Mario Odyssey alone.
  • This is the last 3D game to use a "linear"-style gameplay of power-ups and no health, before the return of the "exploration"-focused gameplay as featured in Odyssey.
  • If one counts the support items, Super Mario 3D World has the most traditional power-ups in any Mario platformer thus far, with eighteen power-ups (compared to Super Mario Bros. 3, which has nine).
  • The character icons from this game (with the exception of Rosalina and Captain Toad's icons) are used in Club Nintendo prizes.
  • If one looks closely, the plants dance to the background music, changing animations based on a part of the song.
  • Oddly, the spin-jump move is not mentioned in the game's manual.
  • The Play Nintendo website features a trivia game based on power-ups from this game.
  • As of now, this game is the only 3D Mario game to not have a representative stage in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • The first Nintendo-developed title to be co-developed by 1-Up Studio after its rebranding in 2013.
    • It is also their very first home console game since its entire foundation.


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. Purchese, Robert (January 23, 2013). New 3D Mario and Mario Kart Wii U games at E3. Eurogamer. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  5. Tito, Greg. New Mario Kart Wii U Playable at E3. The Escapist. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  6. Edge Staff (July 6, 2015). "Why double Mario forced Nintendo to change Super Mario 3D World" GamesRadar+. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  7. Alba (June 12, 2013). "Peach Wasn't Originally Planned As A Playable Character In Super Mario 3D World" My Nintendo News. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  8. Costabile, Christopher. "Latest Iwata Asks Reveals More on Camera Angles, Rosalina and the Amount of Content in Super Mario 3D World - Wii U News @ Nintendo Life". Nintendo Life. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  9. Gallaway, Brad (February 19, 2014). Super Mario 3D World Review GameCritics. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  10. Metacritic score of Super Mario 3D World. Metacritic. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  11. GameRankings score of Super Mario 3D World GameRankings. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  12. Walton, Mark (November 19, 2013). Super Mario 3D World Review GameSpot. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  13. Otero, Jose (November 19, 2013). Super Mario 3D World Review IGN. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  14. Carter, Chris (November 19, 2013). Review: Super Mario 3D World Destructoid. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  15. Cook, Adam (November 19, 2013).Super Mario 3D World Review God is a Geek. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  16. Official Nintendo IR page
  17. A+Start (Mar 15, 2019). Super Mario 3D World Glitches - Son of a Glitch - Episode 87. YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Super Mario 3D World Ft. @The Completionist Upload date: May 19, 2021. Author: DidYouKnowGaming?
  19. Why double Mario forced Nintendo to change Super Mario 3D World (gamesradar) Date: July 8, 2015.

External links[]