Super Mario 3D World like the New Super Mario Bros. series before it is a mix of cooperative and competitive gameplay. Even though the points don’t have a value other than gamer pride, it was enough reason for players to fight for coins and break as many blocks as they could. Pretty much everything in Super Mario 3D World rewards players with points, although you don’t see your score until the end of a stage. Some bonuses are worth more than others like snagging a green star and capturing the flagpole.
Super Mario 3D World has Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad as playable characters. All of them are based on their Super Mario Bros. 2 play styles, so Luigi jumps higher than Mario, but he’s slower. Peach can hover for a few seconds and Mario is average at everything. Toad seemed like the best competitive character when I played the game because he runs the fastest. That means you can steal items before other players can run up to them and you can capture the flagpole first (which is worth an absurd amount of points) to prevent other players from getting extra points. The downside about Toad is his jump is the lowest out of all the characters. However, the new catsuit powerup makes that a non-issue.
A gold colored bell gives players the Cat Suit. When you wear this you can cling and climb up to walls. Two of the levels I played during the demo had goodies like 1ups hidden in places that are out of reach unless you have the cat suit. You can climb up flagpoles while wearing the cat suit too, another advantage if you care about getting the maximum point bonus.
One of the levels I played in Super Mario 3D World was a basic grassy area with round goombas done in the style of Super Mario World. This area also had transparent pipes that connected chunks of land and optional underground passages with hidden stars that rewarded whoever grabbed them first with thousands of points. Another level had four players riding a boat shaped like Yoshi.
I also got to try a boss battle with a worm-like enemy that burrowed out of the ground. Platforms popped up and I rushed to jump up the platforms so I can ground pound the boss on its noggin. Like most Mario bosses it took three knocks on the head to defeat him, but in Super Mario 3D World all four players fought each other to deal the blow to add points to their score.
Super Mario 3D World is slated for release this December on Wii U.