Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U) Review

By Shanker Varma 11.04.2015

Review for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on Wii U

Usually, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach, but this time Donkey Kong has whisked Pauline away, thereby spurring Mario and his friends on an adventure. With over 60 levels in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, there is more than enough content to satisfy the hungriest of gamers in this budget title that is available exclusively on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShops. The ranking system encourages replaying stages in more efficient ways, while the workshop has the potential of limitless entertainment. Guiding Mario and friends through each level is an amazing experience, and one that should not be missed by any puzzle fan.

The aim of Tipping Stars is to guide mini clockwork toy versions of Mario, Toad and others through levels, towards the exit. This simple task is made difficult thanks to a range of obstacles and enemies, including the title antagonist: Donkey Kong. Levels are also filled with various coins, which increase the score as they are collected. A number of tools are given, such as lifts, long springs and travelators, to guide the toy characters around each stage. One of the best features of the game is the ability to be creative with the various features that make up each stage.

Progression through each world adds a new gameplay element to the proceedings, which steadily makes the game more and more challenging. While this may sound off-putting to casual players, accessibility is preserved thanks to the forgiving nature of the game. Gamers seeking a challenge should not shy away, as the rating system is designed so that only the most efficient routes and quickest thinkers will be awarded gold medals and extra stars. This helps to tailor the difficulty to attract a wide audience, as well as creating replay value in an already generous game.

In addition to the eight worlds shown when starting the game, there will also be 100 new levels that will be delivered free of charge via download during the first year after launch. If that wasn't enough, a workshop mode makes it possible to create stages and share them with the world on both the Wii U and 3DS. The gameplay elements, characters and backgrounds from the main game are all useable in the workshop mode, though some must be unlocked using stars earned by first completing levels. Other players can also tip stage creators for their work to help them unlock more parts to create new stages.

Screenshot for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on Wii U

The simple designs of the characters, platforms and backgrounds are beautifully displayed on both the TV screen and Wii U GamePad. The range of vibrant colours and wonderful animations make it a joy to complete each level and watch the wind-up toys make their way to the exit as they interact with the various features of each stage. The different themes of all eight worlds are well created to give each world a unique appearance. This amazing presentation is complemented by an exceptional soundtrack with classic Mario themes that have been given a new twist for Tipping Stars. It's hard not to be endeared by the music alone, while the visuals help to create a complete package that easily captures the player's attention.

There are only a couple of slight drawbacks, the first of which would be the loading times when starting the game after turning on the Wii U. Switching between levels is a little quicker, while restarting a level is done immediately. This is very useful when going for gold medals, but also when trying to complete a level for the first time, as any unsightly errors are unlikely to result in frustration. The inability to use the stylus to move the camera around by selecting empty spaces in a level (for example, parts of the background), is a shame, but the use of both analogue sticks, the D-pad and the face buttons means that it's easy to find a comfortable control scheme.

Tipping Stars is the first title published by Nintendo to feature cross-buy over the Wii U and 3DS, as buying the Wii U version will generate a free download code for the 3DS version, and vice versa. Unfortunately, there is no cross-save feature between the Wii U and 3DS, which makes owning both versions largely redundant, as it is not possible to carry progress between devices. This makes it tempting to share the cost with a friend and pay half price for either the Wii U or 3DS version. Nonetheless, the game is easily worth its full asking price for both versions, thanks to its incredible content, but also as levels created on either device can be accessed, for the most part, on the Wii U and 3DS alike.

Screenshot for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars is very reminiscent of Lemmings, as the goal is to guide Mario and friends through levels by manipulating objects around them, instead of directly controlling them. Creating inventive ways to avoid hazards and collect coins make each level a challenging, but endearing, experience. The ranking system is well crafted to make the game appealing to both casual and competitive gamers. Creating new levels in the workshop mode and then sharing them online adds further replay value to a game that is already rich in content. The whole package is presented with beautiful visuals and an incredible soundtrack to create something that should not be missed.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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