Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis Reader Review
Pros: Addictive gameplay; fair learning curve; level designer Cons: Mini games get repetitive; weak multiplayer component
MotM is a obstacle based puzzle game that draws its influences from classics such as Lemmings, Bolderdash and, of course, Super Mario Bros. The basic plot has DK and Mario opening a factory to make Mini-Mario toys: wind-up, clockwork Marios. But DK is overcome with jealousy when he sees Peach and Mario together at the opening and kidnaps Peach, escaping into the Factory.
You have to get your Mini-Marios to the exit in each of the 80 rooms across 10 floors of the Factory, plus beat DK in a series of boss battles. Various obstacles obstruct your Mini-Marios, and you must work out the best way to use your clockwork Marios.
In each room your Marios must collect coins, avoid nasties, unlock mini-games (collecting cards) and find the safe route to the exit. Combo-bonuses are awarded for getting all your Marios to the exit in sequence.
The stylus is used to start and stop the Mini-Marios, as well as operate some of the room objects such as lifts, poles and springs. MotM is a deceptively simple game that often requires a great deal of planning and thought on the sequence in which you move and use your Marios.
Graphically, the game is as you would expect: cute, bright and functional. There is some FMV included, which is a nice touch on the DS. The music too is suitably Mario-esque, and some of the plumbers little sayings make it into the game too.
Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer -either download or multi-card-, but you can design your own levels are share them with friends over the wireless link. The level designer is solid, and inspires you to complete the game to get all of its features.
MotM is a fairly short game (8-12 hours), but as with all Mario games you need to work hard to get the gold star rank on each level. The difficulty is just right, and the challenge increases at a linear pace as you advance through the game.
Overall, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis is a great little puzzle game, and a nice variation on the Mario formula. If you have a DS, I can definitely recommend this game.
8 / 10