For the longest time, Mario and Donkey Kong have been rivals, ever since Mario was known as Jumpman and was a carpenter instead of a plumber. Since then, the two have faced off in a variety of games, especially those with the moniker of Mario vs. Donkey Kong, the first of which releasing on the Game Boy Advance. While that game was more akin to the gameplay of the original Donkey Kong, the DS iterations have been Lemmings-style games, 2D and all. It seems now the portly plumber and the big ape have set aside their differences to make the first 3D entry in their series of games, Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, a 3DS eShop exclusive. Should you move on over to the Nintendo 3DS eShop post-haste to pick this game up?
In Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, there are an abundance of modes and mini-games to play, but at first you are limited to Mario's Main Event. However, once you've completed the first ten tutorial levels, new options open up. As more levels are completed, even more content is unlocked.
Mario's Main Event has the main objective of using the falling tiles (coming in straight and curved varieties) that drop into the green pipe on the touch screen to create a path for your Mini Mario to reach the goal. You have to work quickly as up until it exits from its starting position, a green pipe, Mini Mario is constantly moving forward, and if there is no path for it to follow, it will teeter over the edge. You also have to work quickly because the pipe that holds all of the falling tiles can only hold so many before it overfills, also resulting in a level failure.
For such a simple premise, there is a
lot of complexity to this game.
Getting to the goal is easy enough, but
can you collect all of the M-tokens too?
Moving two Minis around a given level can
feel like rubbing your head and patting your stomach.
Feeling overwhelmed? It's common
with the Giant Jungle mode.
Outside of the direction tiles that serve as your Minis' path to the goal, there are a myriad of other objects that appear in the game such as pivot tiles; trash cans that allow you to throw away up to three falling tiles to create one new special tile; hazardous spikes; enemies like Shy Guys; miniature Donkey Kongs that toss your Mini three tiles ahead; keys that unlock special goals; conveyor belts; warp pipes; roadblocks; and so many more. Levels constantly introduce new concepts to the player so you're seldom bored.
To also help players not get bored are a collection of entertaining mini-games. These come in four varieties, having you shoot Mini Marios on a slingshot into targets, where the furthest away targets net the most points. There's Fly Guy Grab, where you nab Fly Guys and reel them in for points. There's my favorite of the bunch, Cube Crash, where you unload a mess of Mini Marios at a shape made up of cubes. If you destroy the object by using only one Mini Mario, you get double the points. The final mini-game has you spinning a lever to raise and lower a Mini Mario standing on a platform to dodge Bullet Bills and to collect coins. These mini-games are fun diversions, but the majority of them won't keep players coming back for more.
You, Mini Mario, and the cubes--
a time to remember!
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move features a colorful art style, though I do notice that it has a bit of a washed-out look to the game at some parts. The 3D that the game uses is really impressive and makes everything look all the more better. The music is a mix of new tracks and various remixed Mario songs, such as the castle theme from Super Mario 64 and the jazzy jungle track of the original Donkey Kong Country.
Keep your nerves about you as you
move Mini Mario in Elevation Station.
[SPC Says: 9.0/10]