Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury parent review

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The recent release for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury has proven itself to be a must-have for Nintendo Switch owners. With two different games in one and a ton of variety and unlocks it’s an incredibly fun game.

But how is it for kids?

Luckily, I have two

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…kids of mine to test this game on. Malcolm, who is 5, and Damian, who is 7. We played both multiplayer and they each also played by themselves on their Switch Lites (we are a very Switch-heavy family). Let’s go into the game itself first and how they reacted to the story.

The Story

The game starts off with Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad discovering a bizarre glass pipe sticking out of the ground at an angle. Mario and Luigi, as plumbers are want to do, immediately take out their hammers to fix it.  I was very proud of both of my kids when they both reacted very strongly to Mario and Luigi thinking a hammer was a good tool for glass.

Eventually, the pipe is fixed and a fairy pops out, that fairy is shortly captured by Bowser and the chase begins to free the fairies from Bowser’s clutches.

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One of the nice things about the story is that there was absolutely no written dialogue. Malcolm is still learning to read and while he’s getting there, he has a hard time keeping up with a lot of in-game dialogue so being able to have visual clues and parse out the story for himself was nice. We had fun figuring out why Bowser wanted the fairies and what the glass pipes were all about on our own.

Also, the suspense of Bowser kidnapping the fairies was very light as even when he kidnaps the fairy, he did so by stretching the entrance of the pipe to fit out of it which made my kids laugh as, luckily for them, they had never seen the original IT. Witnessing a creature stretch a drainpipe to climb out of it was not immediately triggered in their head like it was with mine.

Even the final stages of the game, [spoiler alert] involves Bowser using the combined powers of all the fairies to dramatically…change himself into a big kitty. My kids could not have enjoyed that more.

On the other hand, the new content/game entitled Bowser’s Fury was a completely different story. Unlike Super Mario 3D World, Bowser’s Fury had written dialogue all over the place which made things a little frustrating for Malcolm but I was there to read it out loud for him (he loves my Bowser Jr. voice).

The world itself is an open world that involves Bowser having accidentally turned himself into a Godzilla-sized monster of darkness. As you explore the open area, it will start to drizzle and as the rain gets heavier the music will get more dramatic until eventually, Bowser wakes up. The sky will go dark and a massive Bowser will attack you no matter where you are in the game.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
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Both of my kids were not comfortable with this. The suspense of having a giant creepy version of Bowser showing up at any point made my kids tense up even when the drizzle would happen. Neither of them seems to have any problem watching me play but I never saw either of them hop back into Bowser’s Fury themselves as it just seems stressful for them.