When you first see LEGO Super Mario, you will initially notice how few blocks there are in the starter set. But that’s not what this set is all about. Where the real power of the set lies is what you can do after building. The many parts of the traditional Mario levels that you get in the starter set make it possible to build a different level over and over again.
Only the tube (the starting point) and the flag (the ending point) hold their fixed positions. There is also a Mario that you can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. And this Mario makes the real Mario sounds, has eyes that can blink and look around and on his stomach there is a screen to see how many coins he has collected, for example. Mario is therefore recognizable for every child who has ever seen a Mario game.
The levels are full of interactive parts. Under Mario is a sensor that, for example, registers the color of the surface it is on. If it is green, there is no problem, but if it is on a red background, it will burn itself. Also the Goombas, the coin blocks and even the end of a level also has an interaction part. If Mario jumps on this, he makes the corresponding sounds.
We have also tried two extension sets. The first is the Mario Maker Mario. This set gives Mario a power-up that lets him break blocks. Not really of course, but it does add an element to the game. We doubt a bit if such a small extension is really worth a dozen, although our test person was constantly switching between Mario’s outfits.
The second expansion was that of Bullet Bill. Two huge cannonballs float over a turntable that Mario has to jump to turn. This is just one of many expansion sets that cost between thirty and one hundred euros. It should be noted that the set of one hundred euros contains a thousand bricks and therefore offers much more building pleasure than, for example, the starter set. The ratio is even the same with other LEGO sets.
These expansion sets provide a totally new experience for players of the game. Several elements are added to Mario’s capabilities, which further expand the interactive part of the game. The great thing for parents is that there are many iconic and recognizable expansion sets to be found, including Bowser Castle.
LEGO Super Mario is a set that really lives up to its age rating. Where most LEGO sets are also suitable for adults, this is only for adults who want to play Mario with their children in a fun, playful way without having to crawl behind a screen. Sixty euros may feel like a high sum for an apparently small set. But the interactive elements make it so much fun for kids that they will play more for longer than with most computer games that are just as expensive.