LEGO and Nintendo have shared more about that mysterious project they recently teased, and it’s not exactly what many people were guessing it would be. Yes, LEGO and Nintendo are teaming up to make LEGO Super Mario as some fans had previously guessed. However, this project is neither a video game or a LEGO set. It’s actually both…and neither.
It starts with a new Mario figure that LEGO will release. This Mario figure comes equipped with a built-in screen and speakers. The speakers produce the usual Mario sounds and quips that you’d expect from the games, while the screen relays information such as a countdown clock and images of coins.
That’s neat and all, but what’s fascinating is that it looks like you’ll be able to use this Mario figure as the star of your own LEGO Super Mario levels, building your own stages using a series of Mario-themed building blocks that LEGO will release alongside the aforementioned LEGO Mario figure. Think of it as a physical edition of Super Mario Maker.
Some of the blocks showcased in the first LEGO Super Mario trailer include everything from baddies like Bowser Jr. and Piranha Plant to allies like Yoshi. We’re sure that this is only a glimpse of the various blocks that will eventually be available, but the possibilities are certainly fascinating even at this early stage.
To be fair, we’re not entirely sure how all of this works. It seems logical to assume that there will be some kind of “start” and “end” blocks that you use as the basis for your custom-built Mario levels. It’s also easy to see that touching Mario against certain objects like coin blocks and enemies triggers unique visual and audio cues. How, exactly, things like the Mario figure’s built-in timer works remain a bit more of a mystery.
It does feel like the primary demographic for this collaboration is kids, so you shouldn’t expect anything too complex. That doesn’t mean this set won’t appeal to the kid in every Nintendo fan, but it’s obvious that some limitations will apply despite the impressive initial showing of this technology.
While it’s not quite the LEGO Super Mario Switch game some were hoping for or a LEGO Super Mario amiibo some were adding to their wishlist, this is a neat little project for both companies. There’s no word on the LEGO Super Mario set’s release date or pricing, but it sounds like you should be able to get your hands on all of this before the end of the year.