New Super Mario Bros. U

LQ: 9.2


Brain grade: 8.6
Fun score: 9.7

Game Type: ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 5+ Thinking Skills Used: , , ,

Mario and his pals set out for their first HD adventure in New Super Mario Bros. U. Travel through the Mushroom Kingdom on a quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser, the King of the Koopas. Players guide Mario, Luigi and the Toadstool gang across various side-scrolling landscapes as they battle enemies, navigate dangerous terrain and pick up power-ups to help aid them in their journey. The game supports up to five players simultaneously, with the Wii U Game Pad allowing one player to manipulate the game world by adding in terrain and power-ups. Each of the 8 “worlds” in the game are made up of several levels for players to explore, each of which contain stars that must be collected to unlock more portions of the game. At the end of each world, players take on one of Bowser’s castles and airships, defeating the boss awaiting them at the end of the level. Due to the inoffensive content, simple controls and ease of play, New Super Mario Bros. U is recommended to players ages 5 and up.

This Game is good for kids who need help with:


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

This new iteration of the classic Mario franchise features the same kind of tricky level design, perilous jumps and slew of enemies for players to battle, requiring them to remain alert and focused at all times. Player will have to run and jump with precision, look out for obstacles and nimbly maneuver Mario and his friends as they battle foes. The game constantly presents new and increasingly difficult challenges, meaning as the game goes on, players will have to increase their concentration and attend to multiple gameplay factors at once, dodging attacks, landing jumps and keeping an eye out for secrets and Star Coins. Remaining attentive to Mario’s abilities and power-ups can mean the difference between beating a level and succumbing to the hazards of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in her mind while working.

Some levels within will likely give players a hard time, due to their sheer challenge. In order to conquer them, players often must replay them several times in order to succeed, memorizing the locations of enemies, hazards and pitfalls in order to successfully defeat or avoid them. As the levels get harder, players face stronger enemies, trickier traps and more challenging platforming segments that require memorization and precision to overcome. By memorizing facets of the environment, players can be better prepared to recall information like the locations of traps and types of enemies encountered in order make it through safely. Furthermore, the locations of Star Coins -- valuable hidden items that unlock more content -- must be recalled when replaying a level to ensure it isn't missed on the next attempt.


Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings. Improving social skills.

Games with a heavy focus on multiplayer action and team work such as Super Mario Bros. U offer many opportunities for players to work together and engage socially with others. Players play side-by-side, giving them the opportunity to talk about how to best cooperate and help each other through tough parts of the game. Aside from this social aspect, players should also understand their own capabilities and skill level, asking for help if they are struggling or offering help if they are the most proficient player of the group.


While playing New Super Mario Bros, players will be sometimes become "stuck" in very challenging levels of the game. The platforming and jumping mechanics of Mario games are difficult to master, and player will often have to retry a level several times before overcoming it. During these times of struggle, players must maintain control of their frustration and not adapt an overly aggressive play style. Doing so requires players to maintain control of both their character on screen as well as their emotions about the game. In order to progress through each world, players must use caution and not become discouraged by multiple failures. Cool-headed players who are able to stay positive and "stick to it" will eventually find success in New Super Mario Bros.

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