Super Mario Odyssey

LQ: 9.65


Brain grade: 9.4
Fun score: 9.9

Game Type: , , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D platforming game where the player controls Mario and moves him through various levels using either the button controls or physical movements using the Switch’s Joy-Cons. In the game, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach with the intention of making her his bride. He has also kidnapped Tiara, a sentient hat to be used as her crown. Mario needs to team up with Cappy, Tiara’s brother in order to catch up with Bowser and save Peach and Tiara. 

In addition to his normal move set of run, jump, stomp, etc. Mario obtains some new moves in this game with the help of Cappy. Cappy can be thrown in order to jump on him to reach new areas. He can also be thrown at enemies and inanimate objects to break them open. Cappy can also be thrown at other in-game characters to become them for a short period of time. This can be used to solve puzzles, break objects, or reach areas previously off-limits. Scattered throughout the land are coins that Mario can collect. Losing in a level is penalized by a loss of coins. These can also be used as a way to purchase items in shops you find as you move through the different worlds. 

The game also features a multiplayer mode where player one controls Mario and player two controls Cappy. 

Super Mario Odyssey is rated E 10+ for Cartoon Violence and Comic Mischief. LearningWorks for Kids believes that parents should take this information and compare it with their own knowledge of their individual child when making game selections for their family. To learn more about the ESRB and your child, please click here.

Super Mario Odyssey helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Working Memory: Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

In Super Mario Odyssey, players need to remember which buttons are mapped to which actions on screen. They then need to execute these actions by pressing the buttons in a timely manner. Occasionally failing to execute these moves on time will result in Mario being knocked out by an enemy, falling from a platform, or missing a necessary jump. Furthermore, if the player is using the Joy-Cons to execute physical actions in the real world, they also need to know what motions they make correspond to the actions on-screen in real-time. For players who struggle with working memory, taking the time in the earlier levels to get comfortable with the control schemes will come in handy for harder levels where decisions will need to be made quickly without thinking too much about button mapping. 

Flexibility: Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Each world in Super Mario Odyssey is different and requires the player to think of how Mario needs to navigate it using what is around him. This means the player needs to think about the type of world they are in, the creatures around them, and what their end-goal is. All of this information together should allow the player to make some choices about how to move forward. Being open-minded and not expecting to do the same move over and over again will help the player to find the solutions they need much more quickly. For players who struggle with flexibility, taking the time to move slowly through the first level of the game will allow them to get comfortable with exploring the world of the game and how to use Mario and Cappy’s moves to earn coins, explore, and take down enemies. 

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