While Super Mario Creator is one of our favorite releases of the year so far, we noted in our review that we were disappointed by the omission of some key gameplay features that were present in previous Mario games. Fortunately, Nintendo seems to be working on adding some of those features via a free post-launch update coming November 4.
Probably the most welcome new feature is the addition of mid-level checkpoints, which allow players to restart from specific points in a level if they die. That should allow creators to add difficult sections to their levels without worrying about a single misstep sending players all the way back to the start of a lengthy course. Players have already gone to great lengths to hack into a similar checkpoint system using elaborate arrangements of existing course elements, so we’re sure this will come as welcome news to many creators.
With the new update, item box power-ups can also depend on Mario’s size, as in almost every Mario game. This means that a small Mario can get a Super Mushroom from a box, while the bigger Super Mario can get a handy Fire Flower from that same box, for example.
Nintendo is also taking small steps to make it easier to find good levels to play. The online Course World section will now include an “Official Creators” section for courses created by Nintendo employees, and an “Event Courses” section for levels created by Nintendo partners, such as those from a recent Facebook “hackathon” level creation event. These additions won’t exactly solve the massive findability issues inherent in today’s user-created popularity rankings, but they should at least give players some reasonable alternatives to check out.
It’s nice to see Nintendo working on continuous improvement Super Mario Maker‘s feature set – and not charging players for the additions, to boot. We hope that future updates will continue to add more classic Mario features, such as ramps, additional items, and the ability to string levels together to create entire worlds.