Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem Hands-On

Continue to create and share your own devious levels in this fourth game of the series.


Mario and Donkey Kong are always going to be at odds with each other, and it always seems to involve a woman. A woman named Pauline to be exact. Mario has opened his third theme park, and the first 100 guests will receive a new mini Pauline toy in a capsule. Because Donkey Kong is the 101st guest, he decides to take the real Pauline and run off into the park. Like in previous games, your goal is to guide the windup minis to the door while collecting coins, cards, and other bonus items along the way.

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The first few levels that we played involved tapping rivets to draw or remove girders in order to guide the minis to safety. You are given a set length of steel to use, and in some levels you can pick up some more, but at any given point, you'll have to build and remove the girders accordingly so that your marching minis don't end up marching into some spikes. To remove a girder, you tap on the rivet. You use the stylus to place girders horizontally, vertically, or diagonally by drawing a line between rivets. As long as you have enough materials to do it, it will connect.

After the first level has been beaten, the game unlocks a minigame where you have to draw girders to help guide minis into the pipe with the most stars. Rivets are scattered throughout the screen, so you need to budget where you want to place your girder to make sure the minis get to the pipe that isn't labeled with a skull.

The theme park is quite cute, and you'll encounter other minis in festive capsules that you'll have to guide into their respective doors. Like in the previous game, you can create your own levels and share them with friends online. We wanted to play through more levels and create our own, but we were short on time at E3. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem is set to come out this holiday season, so stay tuned for more info.

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