Both Malcolm and Damian have been playing the game on their Switch Lites by themselves a bunch so I’ve been watching to see how it goes.
The single-player version of Super Mario 3D World provides a bunch of benefits to younger players. It also feels like they do better by themselves as they don’t have other players distracting them or fighting for the camera.
The camera angles are also a lot better in Single Player mode as it stays closer to focus on the sole player of the game so the game looks a bit better and it’s a lot harder to get distracted.
They started having some problems getting through some of the stages but luckily Nintendo helps single players out pretty well. If you die enough times in a specific area, a special golden power-up block will appear by the checkpoint. Hitting it will give you a golden leaf which will grant your character a white gold tanuki suit.
The white gold tanuki suit comes with a ton of benefits and lasts till the end of the stage, which at that point it reverts back to a standard tanuki suit. It can dramatically slow the descent of its jumps by keeping the jump button held so landing a jump becomes much easier. It gives you a tail attack if you’re having a hard time accurately jumping on enemies. And best of all, the suit is invincible.
Does it feel like cheating? Absolutely. Is it better to see my kids have fun with a game and gradually get better instead of discourages? Yup. Did I use a Game Genie back in the day because I also had a hard time and did it help me get better at gaming as a result? Sure did.
Another thing they used a bit was the Amiibo functionality. As I discussed back in this article, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury has two new Amiibos each with its own function.
Cat Peach grants you a random power-up. If they’re worried about being knocked back to little Mario this will randomly give them anything from a Fire Flower to the Boomerang Brother suit. Cat Mario is one that they busted out when things got too heavy. Scanning the Cat Mario Amiibo gives you a special bell that gives you a white gold catsuit. It works just like the white gold tanuki suit except for the fact that instead of gliding across jumps you can climb walls. It was really helpful for them in some areas where they had difficulty with the enemies.
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Like I said, if they die enough times they’ll also get the white gold tanuki suit (which is a bit more useful) so I don’t feel like they would have missed out had they not have these Amiibo handy.
With Bowser’s Fury, however, the white gold catsuit proved helpful but they honestly only played it once or twice each and were very turned off by the concept — so I didn’t get to witness them doing this for long.
All in all, I think for Super Mario 3D World is a great game for younger kids as it provides a remarkable amount of variety and challenges while, at the same time, goes out of it’s way to make sure it’s accessible for people having difficulties.