Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Direct 2020

Yesterday, Nintendo hosted a special Super Mario themed Nintendo Direct to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. and in it, announced a smorgasbord of amazing rereleases coming to the Nintendo Switch (and more) in the coming months. 

I have to say: Nintendo knows what they’re doing. They know who their audience is, how to market to them, and what is going to sell. They consistently own the market for reliably good family entertainment and tapping into video game nostalgia.

Here, I’m going to do a quick overview of all the different titles announced and share my excitement with you!

For more information about these titles and other announcements from Nintendo, check here.


Super Mario Bros. 35

Available October 1 – March 31

Only available on Nintendo Switch Online, Super Mario Bros. 35 is a free to download game for Nintendo Switch Online members wherein 35 players enter the arena, and only one can be declared the victor. Each player navigates their own instance of the same Super Mario Bros. stage with a starting time limit. As you defeat enemies, you get extra time for your own stage, and send those defeated enemies to sabotage your opponents, until only one Mario is left standing. 

It looks like a really interesting battle-royale type game for people who enjoy Super Mario Bros. It will only be available for a limited time, so if you have a Nintendo Switch Online account already, it may be worth checking out!

I’ll probably give it a shot and then promptly face the undeniable truth that I am terrible at the original Mario games (and side-scrollers in general) before giving up on it entirely. But! If you like classic video games and always wished you could play side-by-side with 34 opponents, this is the game for you.



Game & Watch

Available November 13

The original Game & Watch device came out in Japan in 1980 and was the first handheld system created by Nintendo. And now, they’re rereleasing it! It will come preloaded with Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, a Mario themed version of Game & Watch: Ball, and a Mario-themed clock.

It is obviously a very limited system, and strangely only has one actual Game & Watch title included, but I think it’s an interesting nostalgic collectible to own.



Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Available September 18

All right, so this is where I start to get excited. Super Mario 3D All-Stars combines three of the 3D Mario adventures into one game: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy.

I played so much Super Mario 64 as a kid, and I still look fondly on the N64 console, with it’s weird three-pronged controllers, as one of the best. It was the game that made me fall in love with Mario and Nintendo. For it to be rereleased now, when my kiddo is about the same age I was when it originally released, feels… right. Being able to share these things that I loved as a kid is one of the best parts about being a parent.

As for Super Mario Sunshine, I admit to playing very little of it. It originally released for the GameCube, which is one of two Nintendo consoles I never owned (the other being the Wii U). I had a friend who had one, though, so I got to watch a bit of gameplay and picked it up a few times when I was visiting. It will be cool to have the chance to play it now.

I remember playing Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii, and yet I do not remember anything about the game or story itself. I’m not sure if I never actually owned the game, and only played it at a friend’s, or if I just rented it for a short time, or what, but I do remember being very excited about playing it at the time.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a title I’m looking forward to downloading (and in fact, I have already preordered it) and playing, so that I can both relive my childhood as a budding gamer on the N64, and to play the games I missed as I was going through the process of growing up.

It will only be available to purchase through the end of March 2021, so if you’re thinking of grabbing it, make sure to preorder it, or snatch it up quick, if you can.  



Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Available February 12

Originally released for the Wii U, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is another Mario title I missed out on playing since I did not own the console, and in fact, I did not know it ever existed until the Nintendo Direct announcement yesterday. That said, it looks like a lot of fun! I really enjoy the multiplayer Mario games, especially ones that do the traditional side-scroll with a fresh perspective—in this case, an almost isometric perspective—with more dynamic levels and obstacles. 

I will probably wait to purchase this one, until after it releases, if I can manage to get it on sale, or if I don’t have anything else to play at the time. My whole family enjoys playing Mario (though my husband hates playing with me because I am so notoriously bad at it and constantly mess things up for him), so it seems inevitable that we will purchase it. 



Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Available October 16

This is it, my friends. The game I always wished I had as a child has gloriously manifested in a technological marvel that somewhat redeems the tire-fire that has been the year 2020: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. 

With this game—I cannot believe that I can type these words and they are real—you can build a racetrack in your home and control a real-life Mario Kart with the Nintendo Switch, which will project real-time video of your racecourse to the console using a camera behind the driver’s seat of the car, while on screen, you race against digital opponents and your cart reacts to what’s happening in the game. Get a boosting mushroom, and your real-life Kart speeds up. Get hit by a banana, the car slows down. IT’S AMAZING. 

The game kit comes with everything you need to play, including race course gates and arrows to set the boundaries of the race, a Mario or Luigi race car, and of course, the game itself.

You can even play multiplayer, but as a downside, only if each player has their own Nintendo Switch and race car. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to purchase an additional car and play together on the same system. However, as a slight plus, the game will work with the Nintendo Switch Lite, the smaller handheld-only version of the Switch, which is more affordable than the full console. 

I will be ordering this game the moment it becomes available for preorder. Mario Kart may be one of my favorite games ever, and the idea of being able to build a course in my house and race through it with an RC-car that projects what it sees to the console is the kind of content I signed up for.

I’m stoked.