Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again Hands-On

We play through the first of four worlds in this upcoming DSiWare game.

The two iconic and most recognizable video game characters have teamed up once again in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! With the game coming to DSiWare in just a few days, you'll be able guide the adorable, tiny wind-up Marios to safety. The game was announced during the Nintendo press conference, and we had an opportunity to check it out on the show floor of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

It looks like there will be more than 30 levels in the game, with additional puzzle packs that will be available weekly after launch. It's unknown at this time how long the service will go on for, but we were told by a Nintendo rep that it will last at least six months. There are four worlds, and each will have eight levels, a bonus stage to unlock, as well as a boss level.

Like the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games before it, your goal is to manipulate the 2D platformer environment so that the mindless Mario drones can make it to the door. It starts off relatively easy, especially if you're just aiming to get them to the finish line. Given that your performance score is tallied at the end, it's beneficial to snag all of the coins and cards to get the gold star. Once you activate the mini-Marios, they'll walk back and forth until they exit the stage or wind up in a pit with spikes. The first world that we played was simple and required us mostly to tap pink blocks and reposition them so that the Marios can reach the goods. We encountered a mechanical Donkey Kong in one stage who would toss your Marios in the air, helping you reach the higher platforms. There wasn't much diversity in the first few stages, other than a ladder, a spring and DK. It all felt very familiar, but considering that this demo ended after the first world, we're wondering if there are going to be any other new additions.

The boss stage was actually quite fun because you're using the stylus to control and fire a cannon with a mini loaded in it. All you need to do to get rid of Donkey Kong is use your stylus to spin the wheel and tap the giant "shoot" button. The wheel is linked to a conveyer belt of sorts that moves the cannon left and right. Donkey Kong hops in and out of three windows in the top screen while hazardous items rain down. He can take only about five hits, so it's not exactly a long and drawn-out battle.

One of the biggest and lasting features of Minis March Again (especially since it's on the DSi) is the level editor, in which you can create and share your own devious creations locally and online. It's very easy to pull up a template and choose what kind of contraptions you want in your level. There is a limit as to how many items you can place on the map, but the possibilities are nearly endless.

We assume that the levels will ramp up in difficulty, but we look forward to playing more of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! The game will be available via the DSi store June 8 at a price of 800 Wii points.

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20 comments
WildStyle123
WildStyle123

Omg another Mario V.S. Donkey Kong thats great!

calvinsora
calvinsora

I didn't like the mechanic shift from Mario vs. DK to Mario vs. DK: March of the Minis, but it's a charming series nonetheless.

polyergos
polyergos

@Crazy-Redd You misunderstood what I meant. I didn't mean that LBP came out before those two games. I just meant that Nintendo had a chance to make a new FULL Mario game that let you make levels. Instead they're rehashing more of the same thing. What they should have done was made a Time Travel 4-player Super Mario Game that let you go back into all the past Mario Bros games, and even edit and share them to your liking. That would be something!

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

Donkey Kong is bound to not have a proper release. Damn Nintendo.

gmax
gmax

DK fans, time to get you some more...

Sophia
Sophia

@mushroomer This is not a review, btw. This was a preview based off a demo. We'll have a review up when the game is released.

lbptoady
lbptoady

im gonna get it, cheap and looks pretty fun

mushroomer
mushroomer

Sorry bout that.. This preview then, is great. But the biggest question that hasn't been answered is.."Are the levels shipped different than that of the cartridge game released 2 years ago?" I think I can safely say, and many might vouch for me on this.. just check my profile and the March of the Mini Union I created about 2 years ago, but I think i might have been the most involved/addict of this game during its first year of release. I loved the level editor and probably created over 300 levels for it. If this is the exact same game but just available for DSi Download, then its not worth it.. But if it comes packed with more obstacles and enemies to use with the level editor and time has been put into making it a better game, then please review that aspect of the game. Thanks.. Check out my Youtubes of some levels created by users around the world. http://www.youtube.com/user/mrmushroomer

Crazy-Redd
Crazy-Redd

Sweet. I loved the original, so this is getting an automatic download. Oh, and to polyergos, Four Swords and the original March of the Minis came out BEFORE LBP. And, if those two broad ideas count as "taking" concepts, then I claim the sole copyright to breathing.

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

I can't wait for this game to come out next Monday.

PoindeJ
PoindeJ

...New content? Doesn't GameSpot know about the DS game Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March of the Minis? It already has a level editor, where you can make up to 8 levels and sent to friends via the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. And that "mechanical Donkey Kong" appears in that game, too...somebody's spacing out, apparently. March of the Minis is a great game - though at 800 Wii Points, Minis March Again might be hard to beat. But it really does seem like the existing DS game stripped down a bit. Or maybe the levels will be uploaded to a server where you can freely download them. Wishful thinking, but it'd certainly be cool.

Mox007
Mox007

@ BrunoBRS check out Might Flip Champs for a great DSi ware game. I am looking forward to Mario Vs Donkey Kong looks good.

polyergos
polyergos

Nintendo took two concepts from Little Big Planet; the 4 player co-op play and building levels. Then they split it up and put it on the Wii and DS. If you asked me, if you're going to release a new Mario Bros game, you needed to make it so we could create levels. This was a dumb idea making it for the DSi only.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

considering i still havent heard of a great DSi ware game, this is going to be downloaded as soon as i get my DSi