10 Things Nintendo Needs to Add to Super Mario Maker

It’s been out for over a month now, but if you’re anything like me, you’re still wildly addicted to Nintendo’s new create-your-own-level game Super Mario Maker. As you might expect with even the best level editor, however, there are some questionable omissions from Mario Maker that may warrant some nitpicking. This is my personal list of 10 things I would love to see in the future for this wonderful game. Some of these could be implemented through simple patches while others are more ambitious and would likely be downloadable content, but all would help make an already great game greater. Without further ado, here we go!


Remember these?

Let’s get Mario Maker’s cardinal sin omissions out of the way first. As someone who very much enjoys longer levels in platformers (and who has already made a ton of lengthy levels in this game), the lack of checkpoints is Super Mario Maker’s most glaring and questionable missing item. Checkpoints have been in Mario since the very beginning; we’re talking Super Mario Bros 1 here. And they’ve been in every 2D Mario since. A game celebrating the best of 2D Mario leaving out checkpoints is not only bad from a design standpoint (those who want to make long yet challenging levels now risk alienating their audience when doing so), it also makes little sense from a series history standpoint. Nintendo, hear us out: Super Mario Maker is in dire need of some checkpoints!

Dynamic ? Blocks

Back in the day, you had to work for those fire flowers.
Back in the day, you had to work for those fire flowers.

Ah, cardinal sin number two. It’s not even something I consciously thought about before this game, and I bet you didn’t either, but it’s a Mario staple that is now missed. By “dynamic ? blocks,” I’m referring to the blocks that dispense super mushrooms when small, but fire flowers or other more powerful power-ups when already big. This makes every hit matter all that much more, and can make fire flowers or the stronger power-ups harder to earn and thus greater rewards.

More level variety and the ability to change backgrounds

NSMBU Snowy Night
Ah, the starry night sky.

As much as I love being able to play Super Mario World-themed airships and Super Mario Bros-style ghost houses, there’s still an inability to change the background itself in Mario Maker independent of the level type. This is the last of the mechanics I naturally expected to be in the game, and it’s one that would add a lot of variety and uniqueness to every level, even if only aesthetically.

Why can’t I make an airship or ground level with a night time background? The castle levels in New Super Mario Bros U had lots of background variety, from multiple indoor backgrounds to more open “sky” castles – why can’t I use those, so all my castle levels don’t look the same? And what about the general, more “traditional” level themes we see all the time in Mario games? Where are our forest stages, our desert stages, our snow or full-blown ice stages? Even if these were primarily aesthetic differences, they would all be great additions to have.

The ability to shift full levels

Mario Maker creation
Because no one wants to move all that.

Unlike the first three gripes, this is one I haven’t really seen anybody talking about, but it’s absolutely killing me. When I say “shift” a full level, I mean giving the player the ability to move the entire stage to the left or right. This would allow you to easily change the beginning or end of a course, or ideally perhaps even let you to split the level at any section and drag and drop it as you please.

Often when I’ve finished a course, I realize that the beginning doesn’t really give you a good sense of where the level is going, or it simply no longer fits with what I ended up doing with the level. The only way to do anything about this is to drag and drop as many objects at once as you can (not a whole lot) and move them all a few spaces over. For longer and more complex levels, it’s pretty much an impossible task once the level is far along in development.

Filters for searching levels

Mario Maker level search
The search options are lacking just a little.

I take back what I said earlier; this isn’t as big of a deal as the first three, but this should have also been in Mario Maker to begin with. For a game all about creating and sharing your own levels, it’s particularly odd that you can’t filter a level search by those on your friends’ list without having to play one of their levels first. Now, once you put in one level code, you can fortunately click on that person’s mii/name and see all of their uploaded creations (and even follow them so you can always pull them up), but why can’t you do that to begin with? It’s time to patch this feature in, Nintendo! Oh, and what about searching simply by level name? That would be nice.

More power-ups

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Hammer Suit
The long-forgotten hammer suit – such a classic!

While it’s great to see the return of fan favorites like the Cape and raccoon-morphing Super Leaf, there’s still an abundance of Mario powers we’ve grown to love over the years that one can’t help but miss. From the newer Ice Flowers and Mini Mushrooms to Super Mario Bros 3 classics like the hammer and frog suits, these would add more variety to a game alright bursting at the seams with it. Imagine too, if items like the Hammer Suit and Tanooki Suit were usable in all game types! Because… who wouldn’t want to see those in NSMBU or SMW graphic styles?

More classic enemies – Chargin’ Chucks, anyone?

Chargin' Chuck
Still chargin’

Other popular enemies that would make great additions: Boom Boom, other “bros.” enemies like Fire Bros and Boomerang Bros, other forms of boo – perhaps including King Boo because the game needs more mini-boss type enemies – and last but not least, that good ol’ Angry Sun. There are of course so, so many more, but these would be a good start. While adding a few could be reasonable in a patch (though that may be doubtful), adding a lot could definitely warrant paid DLC, and I don’t think anyone would complain.

The ability to place water and lava anywhere in a level

SMB 3 - World 3

In Mario Maker, unlike in normal Mario games, we’re forced to either make a whole area of a level water-based, or have no water at all. Players can make an underwater sub-world while having a different type of level as the primary world, or vice versa, but you can’t place little sections of water by themselves. This is another feature that has existed in the series since way back when, but is strangely absent here.

Slopes and ropes – oh, and fences!

SMW - Fence
There’s no de-fence for this one…I’m sorry.

I’m combining these together because they’re all simply specific objects that were left out for one reason or another. The lack of walkable tightropes is understandable, because it wasn’t until the NSMB series they started popping up, but slopes were a huge thing in Super Mario World! And fences, while not as common, were just ridiculously awesome. Come on, Nintendo, we all know this to be true.

Vertical levels

Going up

This one I don’t even have to explain. Nintendo, why can’t I make that dream tower level I’ve always wanted to? Vertical levels have existed since Super Mario Bros 3, and the new tower level types of the NSMB series would make for an excellent addition to the selection already in Mario Maker.


I don’t want to harp too much on a game I’m having such a great time with, but the very nature of Super Mario Maker makes wish lists an expected endeavor. I’m sure I’m missing a few, and there are even some I’ve thought of but purposely left out for one reason or another – Koopalings, anyone? If you liked this list or have any suggestions of your own, be sure to let us know in the comments!


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Tags : NintendoSuper Mario MakerWii U
Chris Botsis

The author Chris Botsis

Nourished by a healthy diet of Nintendo games and eclectic music during his upbringing, Chris has devoted himself to writing about his two favorite forms of art during his adult life. A lover of video games and a musician himself, Chris can often be found jamming on his guitar, indulging in the latest gaming masterpiece, or playing with his dog Sushi.