Super Mario Bros Wonder review: Magic of side-scrolling games revived

The latest Super Mario adventure brings a familiar but renewed experience on the Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Bros Wonder features a new voice as the beloved main character Mario. Photo: Nintendo
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The newest side-scrolling Super Mario game has been released after much anticipation.

Super Mario Bros Wonder is the first traditional side-scrolling title since New Super Mario Bros U was released in 2012.

The hunger for a new Super Mario adventure has grown in recent years, especially after the release of the animated film in April.

After playing the game, here's what gamers should know.

Super Mario Bros Wonder

Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Switch
Rating: 4/5

The magic is back

Anyone who has ever played video games has at one time enjoyed the thrill of a side-scrolling Super Mario title.

From the days of the first Nintendo through the portable consoles and the Wii, there has always been a Super Mario game to enjoy for all ages.

With the newest one, the simplicity and ease of play is back. Whether seasoned or sporadic in their gaming, players can enjoy playing Wonder and be reminded of the reasons they loved all those side-scrolling experiences of the past.

It melds familiar aspects of Super Mario gameplay with new additions that keep interest high and players wanting to complete levels.

A nice addition is a new ability for the characters in the game to use an elephant suit to negotiate the levels. The elephant suit turns a chosen character into a cute but capable elephant who storms through obstacles with ease.

The new suit has been in the forefront of Nintendo’s advertising campaign for Wonder and joins a long list of popular abilities such as the fire suit and the Tanuki suit.

Improved graphics

One of the first things players will notice is how beautiful the game looks. The backgrounds are lively, and the levels are colourful and energetic.

The characters have a lot of detail in their movements too, such as showing their facial expressions depending on the situation they’re in.

The music in the game perfectly complements each level and switches depending on how serious or lighthearted a stage is.

As usual with Super Mario side-scrolling games, the goal is fun but simple. Run through a level collecting coins and objects while avoiding or getting rid of enemies in the way.

There’s no real need to change a winning formula but Wonder still attempts to elevate this experience through new tasks.

A significant change to the game is the voice of Mario himself. The beloved Italian plumber had for decades been voiced by Charles Martinet, but Wonder is the first game in which Kevin Afghani takes the mantle as the new voice of Mario.


Super Mario games are a firm favourite among gamers. It's hard to find someone who has not played a game in the long-running franchise from Nintendo.

The latest iteration shows a lot of love to the characters and creates a memorable experience that will please most. There's a familiar magic to these games that sparks nostalgia and fun, and Wonder does that in spades.

The Nintendo Switch adds another title to its large library of must-play games that can only be experienced on the console.

Updated: October 27, 2023, 7:26 PM
Super Mario Bros Wonder

Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Switch
Rating: 4/5