Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch is a collection-based 3D platform game that is simultaneously both comfortingly familiar and freshly new and exciting.
About the Game
As with many Mario games, this starts with a highly familiar scenario: Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach and whisked her away. Mario sets off in pursuit, playing and battling his way over worlds and regions that take him up in the sky and under the ground, facing enemies and obstacles along the way.
And this is where the differences come in. There are two types of collectibles in this game, the usual coins, and something new called a ‘power moon’.
Power moons fuel Mario’s ship – the eponymous Odyssey – and enable him to move on to the next location in his almost unending search for Princess Peach. Gather all you can, and be aware that even though the game says there are 52 power moons to collect, there are actually more like 68, with some being released when you defeat significant enemies or complete difficult tasks.
There are also super moves, including one in which you can ‘break’ the game, landing outside of the level that you are playing and being rewarded for your unexpected skills with a massive stack of coins! As always, look out for cunning secret entrances to hidden passages and treasure caches.
Secret Special Worlds
There are fourteen kingdoms for you to play through, gathering coins, power moons and more, but this game is not done yet. Beat Bowser and watch the credits roll to unlock the fifteenth world:
The Mushroom Kingdom: this region returns, but with a subtle upgrade allowing you to ramble freely. Swim in the moat, explore Princess Peach’s castle and even chase rabbits if you like!
The Dark Side: you must complete the whole game and collect 250 power moons to automatically unlock this world – and that is not as simple or as easy as it sounds! Once you are there, watch out for enemies, capture Yoshi, Hammer bro and Herm Tank and keep your eyes peeled for even more power moons!
Fourteen New Fun Worlds to Explore
Let us take a quick look at some of the worlds that Mario will encounter:
- Cap Kingdom: the first world you will come across in the game – and one of the smallest – and the home of Cappy, Mario’s companion in the game. Cappy is a living hat and he replaces Mario’s less active version, helping him out and guiding him through the game
- Cascade Kingdom: go back in time, see dinosaurs and marvel at living fossils in this bubble region, unanchored by space or time
- Sand Kingdom: not the usual baking desert, this region is cold rather than hot, and it is – as so often – all Bowser’s fault. Can Mario help the people out, bringing a little warmth back into their world?
- Lake Kingdom: with the usual refraction and slower movements of a Mario underwater world, this is just the first of several underwater levels, and it bears careful exploration with plenty of power moons to be found, treasure packed caves and unusual creatures to capture
- Lost Kingdom: a weird swampy rainforest, everything in this place wants to hurt you so be on your guard
- Bowser’s Kingdom: Bowser goes old-school feudal Japanese for his home world. It is hard to see how he squares his own behaviour with the fine traditions of Japanese courage and honour, but presumably he does it somehow
- Instead of a fire world, which is a usual Mario offering, there is a ‘Luncheon Kingdom’ which is food based and weird in a typically Nintendo way