Nintendo has at last lifted the lid on its celebrations for Super Mario Bros.’ 35th anniversary, via a Nintendo Direct broadcast stuffed full of Mario games old and new.
Headlining the announcements was the re-release of Mario’s three 3D platforming classics: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection will arrive on 18th September, but will be removed from sale at the end of next March. Bizarre.
Speaking of Mario collections, the original Super Mario All-Stars pack, released back on the SNES, is now available to play via Nintendo Switch Online. Online subscribers will find it in their catalogue today, allowing them to once again play Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
A deluxe version of Wii U platformer Super Mario 3D World was also revealed – this was another announcement which leaked ahead of time. Officially titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, the game is a little further away from release. It’ll arrive for Switch on 12th February 2021, with more details to follow on the mysterious new gameplay sections first teased today.
Onto the surprises, beginning with a competitive multiplayer version of Super Mario Bros. Inspired by Tetris 99, this is Super Mario Bros. 35 – where you play against 35 other players to become the last plumber standing. It arrives on 1st October and will only be playable until 31st March 2021 – again, bizarre.
A wonderfully-inventive augmented-reality version of Mario Kart was also revealed. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit lets you drive real Mario Kart toys around your living room via virtual tracks which duck through and around your furniture. Either a Mario and Luigi toy will ship alongside copies on 16th October.
Mario Kart Tour, the gacha-filled smartphone version of the series, will meanwhile host an in-game anniversary event from 9th to 23rd September featuring SNES Mario Kart versions of Mario and Donkey Kong to unlock.
It wasn’t just Mario software. A dinky Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros handheld was revealed for launch on November 13th – neatly fitting into this year’s stocking filler spot previously taken up by the NES and SNES mini consoles. This device will let you play the original Super Mario Bros. game and will also act as an alarm clock, among other things.
Many other Nintendo games will also get in on the celebrations. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will host an online tournament with classic Mario characters and items in November and December. Super Mario Maker 2 will get an anniversary-themed Ninji Speedrun course in November. And Splatoon 2 will host a Super Mario-themed Splatfest in January 2021.
Perhaps most excitingly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans will be able to add Super Mario-themed furniture to their islands – though not until March 2021.
Physical bits and bobs will be available to purchase from the Nintendo UK store, while Splatfest T-shirts will be available from the My Nintendo Store. The Direct also included a round-up of the various Mario toys and merchandise already launched this summer, such as the enormous range of Lego Mario sets and the Lego NES console, Super Mario Monopoly and more.