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Super Mario Bros. Wonder Direct: all announcements

Here are the highlights from Nintendo’s latest showcase
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Yawn, another Super Mario Bros. 2D game? If that’s what you thought about the reveal of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, then worry no longer, because Nintendo’s latest Direct focusing on the title delivered a wave of announcements that show Wonder in a new light. There’s a lot to unpack in this 15 minute video, so here’s our recap of what we learned.

First up: Super Mario Bros. Wonder will have a whole bunch of playable characters – you’ll be able to jump and run as nine different heroes and heroines:

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Yellow Toad
  • Blue Toad
  • Toadette
  • Yoshi
  • Nabbit

Any character will be able to ride Yoshi – even Yoshi. The adorable dinosaur as well as Nabbit will function as nigh-invincible characters for beginners, as they won’t take damage from most sources and only lose lives when falling off the map.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder characters.

This is the crew of available characters in Wonder.

A series of new power-ups will be introduced as well. One of them has already been seen all over the place ever since the initial announcement of the game – the ridiculous Elephant Form. When transformed in this way, characters will be able to lash out with their trunks, break blocks by running against them, and suck up water through their trunks before spraying it out again.

Bubble Form and Drill Form join Elephant Form. The first allows you to capture enemies in bubbles, defeating them. Bubbles are fairly useful, as they can pass through walls and allow you to jump on them, essentially creating additional platforms. That’s a very powerful tool. The second power-up enables you to break through blocks below you, opening up additional areas and paths. Offensively it’s also a nice tool.

Another gimmick that had already been shown in the trailer are the Wonder Flowers, which completely change a level once activated. However, Wonder Flowers can also transform the player character into something totally different. For Wonder Flower effects to end, you need to collect Wonder Seeds, which are also used to unlock additional levels.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder badges.

Badges are a new key mechanic in Wonder.

A big new mechanic comes into play in the form of badges. These can be used one time per level to drastically mix up the game by endowing you with powerful abilities such as a parachute, wall climbing, or faster swimming. Shops on the map as well as challenge levels allow you to stock up on these.

Naturally, couch co-op is back for this entry into the series. There is a bit of a revive mechanic this time where your friends can rescue your ghost for a short time after you die, in which case the team won’t lose a life. In online multiplayer, other players show up on the map as ghosts and you get a bonus for finishing the level at the same time as them. There will also be a race mode.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder will be launched on October 20, 2023, on Nintendo Switch.