We seem to have missed the last few weeks of Mario Maker together, and for that I apologize. It’s been a busy time of year, but there’s still plenty of fun left to be had in our global Mushroom Kingdom and Levels of the Week has returned with 10 new levels worth your previous time. So if you get a chance to boot up your Wii U this week we have a fresh crop of levels to play together. Some are tense, some are funny, one is an item-abusing hellscape. And, of course, at least one ship level steals my heart. Let’s-a-go!
4-4 Cannon Cadence
833E-0000-00D5-1F8D (Clear Rate 13.22%)
The first level we have on our list this week is Cannon Cadence. It’s short and sweet, but elegantly designed around a single obvious theme: cannons. You’ll find a plethora of cannons firing at you on all sides, both stationary and on tracks to add a touch of the random element. Still, it’s never an unwieldy amount. Even though I died on several playthroughs of this short level, each death felt like it was my own fault, and the level’s construction didn’t work against me to knock me down before I’d even figured out what was happening. It even finishes before you get too frustrated, so even if you get to a truly complicated section, the end is always in sight. It’s a level that prioritizes quality over quantity, with plenty of secrets for level explorers to stumble across.
2-3 Odd Socks & Broken Symmetry
6DD7-0000-01A0-4280 (Clear Rate 4.73%)
It’s like an awesome mind puzzle. That’s how I feel every time I enter one of these cleverly designed Ghost House levels that test your problem solving abilities even more than your platforming fingers. Odd Socks & Broken Symmetry is a brain teaser, setting up some interesting, mostly trial and error puzzles that make you think about the environment. Get the answer to a puzzle wrong, and you’re sent back a step until you can figure out how to get through it correctly. Learn from your surroundings and previous experience in the level. Don’t be afraid to take chances and get it wrong the first time. There’s usually something there to help you out.
Mario Kart Dif:★★★☆☆ by Max !
2F42-0000-0126-90B4 (Clear Rate 9.35%)
It’s Mario Kart! Yup, I’m officially impressed by the ability of these creators to use Mario Maker to create the levels they really want to play. Even disregarding the amazing opening of the level that uses music blocks and items to recreate the iconic Mario Kart starter’s countdown, this level knocks my socks off with its speedy challenge. I found myself holding down the B button for the gas by instinct! The level is a fun romp that recreates some of the features of Mario Kart (including an incredibly creative Rainbow Road) and contrary to my initial assessment, isn’t really that easy either! You’ll have to remember which game you’re actually playing and slow down every now and then to make those jumps. I often found myself getting carried away with momentum and messing up.
EED5-0000-0221-3C52 (Clear Rate 7.05%)
Taking advantage of a single enemy’s strengths is always a surefire hit for a Mario Maker level, and although they won’t be the only monsters you’ll encounter in Thwomp Temple, the Thwomps are definitely out in full force. You’ll have to decide which ones to avoid, let pass, or run quickly underneath to reach the end. Stomping on top of a gigantic set of Dry Bones riding on top of Thwomps was a frustrating experience, but the checkpoint the level gives you is at least a minor blessing. This level also pulls one of the meanest tricks I’ve ever experienced by making the axe at the end of the bridge only reachable by means of a pipe, and yet allowing you access to the bridge itself earlier on. It’s a mean trick only accomplishable on a Castle themed level and I applaud the creator for their mean-spiritedness.
BB7D-0000-0029-E5BF (Clear Rate 33.33%)
Thank you, Mario Maker creators, for blessing me with an endless surprise of Ship Levels to play for the rest of my life. This is my favourite aesthetic: one that encourages exploration, enemy engagement, and an ever-present push to move forward without at your own pace. Like some other levels I’ve highlighted, this set of ships makes up a joyfully designed armada, with a twisting path around and through the actual ships to get yourself to the end. You’ll find a whole hoard of enemies from Bowser’s army fighting you off this time around, and it’ll take a good amount of your platforming skill to get from ship to ship before you’re able to reach the final confrontation.
0F8D-0000-00AF-6A30 (Clear Rate 13.99%)
Alright. As always, there ends up being at least one level that may not actually deserve to be on this list, but amused me in some way enough that I thought it was worth including. Alphabet Challenge has recreated the alphabet as a series of imposing challenges. There might be a way either over or through certain letters, making more complicated patterns such as W or G some of the most interesting. If Mario falls off a letter, he’ll have to take his walk of shame back to the beginning to try again. It’s a cute idea that sort of brings to mind what a Super Mario Bros. themed children’s book might look like… only darker in the underground theme.
A8A9-0000-016D-FF20 (Clear Rate 17.58)
This actually reminds me of the challenge it took to get through some of the original Castle levels back on the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Starting off with a game of chance that makes Mario choose between jumping over and under barriers, the level continues on through a series of firebar pits and fireball-laden jumps that require some significant thought. Naturally a concluding boss battle with the OG version of Bowser himself at the end, you’ll feel like this is an original level. All the while with that hectic castle theme playing in the background triggering your anxiety.
Stickerbrush & Stars
50B1-0000-0015-9E72 (Clear Rate 9.26%)
So, when I first saw the title of this level, I thought I was going to be treated to some Donkey Kong Country 2 style Stickerbrush level that would chill me out as much as that sweet jam. What I found instead is a hellscape of thorns. In order to move anywhere in this course, you have to be invincible. Which means you only have a very small amount of time after collecting your star to move around, wall-jumping your way through a complicated maze. It’s a logistic and strategic outing which means you will not be able to beat this course on the first try as you’re still exploring. While it’s rewarding to find where each path leads, I also found my adrenaline and stress levels rising trying to do it all in one go and collect enough stars in time. Luckily, there are several green pipes you can use as “hubs” while you collect your thoughts and make multiple attempts at getting that jump juuuust right. I still had to skip this level for the sake of my sanity. Hopefully you won’t.
0302-0000-0046-7518 (Clear Rate 31.79%)
You know,putting the amiibo costumes in Super Mario Maker was great and all, but it really just made me miss the Ice Climbers being in Smash. Oh, what’s that? They just released an Event Course that finally put their costumes in the game? Well, I don’t know anything about that, because THIS creator actually went ahead and built an Ice Climbers-esque level out of assets Mario Maker already contained. While Popo & Nana’s Climbing Challenge actually rewards you with a costume, this level actually rewards you with an Ice Climbers experience. Put on that spiked helmet and smash your way up level by level until you reach the top of the mountain. It’s just a pity this level seems to have been made before the costumes release, so you can’t go through this level as the ice climbing duo themselves.
Event Course (17.18% Clear Rate)
Okay, okay, OKAY. I understand I am supposed to be highlighting fan levels here, but… it’s Babymetal. In Mario. When am I going to get the chance to talk about this again? In probably one of the strangest cross-promotions Nintendo has managed yet, this Event Course rewards you with a costume based on Japanese girl-metal group Babymetal. But not before meeting some rigorous demands in an obstacle course that’s sure to entertain. It’s an official Nintendo level, so I shouldn’t even have to tell you it’s good. It doesn’t hurt that when moving around and jumping, the girls actually shout lyrics from their Gimme Chocolate and Karate videos. I don’t know why I like it as much as I do, but it makes me smile every time. Soiya sossosso soiya!
Submit Your Mario Maker Levels!
Liked this list? Send me Mario Maker codes for the coolest levels YOU’VE made or discovered to help me out! Each week I’ll be playing through 100 Mario Challenge looking for something cool, but I’ll try out any Super Mario Maker level I’m sent if you think it’s worth my time. Send me one I like you could be featured here on our Levels of the Week!