Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Review
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Box Art
System: Wii U
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: March 5, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Fantasy Violence

Once you've unlocked what you want, designing levels is easy and intuitive. Level pieces are simple to place and manipulate, and you can't share your level until you have successfully completed it while gathering all collectibles. It's also relatively quick and simple to browse and play user-created levels, but as with many games like this, the sorting options are insufficient. The only way to sort is by popularity. There isn't even an option to indicate difficulty level, so dead simple levels based on popular topics like “Flappy Mario” tend to float to the top. Still, some users have done some impressive things with the simple tools at hand, making me anticipate what we'll see when Mario Maker comes out.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Screenshot

Unusually for a Nintendo game, Tipping Stars suffers in the production department. The graphics are nothing particularly special and the music sounds like Mario themes infused with the soulless cheer of the tunes that play while you're standing in line for rides at Disneyland. Most unforgivable, at least in the Wii U version of the game that I played, are the loading times. Even playing the offline levels requires waiting far longer than you should for brief levels that use simple assets.

The best part of playing Tipping Stars is finding a devilishly clever community-made level to enjoy, but is that good enough? The basic gameplay in this entry just seems uninspired, especially its main campaign. It feels like Nintendo's famed devotion to fun first is simply missing from the game, which merely ports a too-familiar formula to new devices. It's time to just let these lemmings jump off the cliff.

Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: March 10, 2015

On the upside, you won't feel like you're missing anything by playing on the Wii U GamePad.
The level creator is easy to use, but the stylus controlled gameplay isn't anything particularly special.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Mario meets the music of Disney's teacup ride.
Play Value
Letting players create their own fun is all well and good, but the base game itself is lacking.
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • More than 80 puzzling stages to solve and master.
  • Create your own levels and share them worldwide with others through Miiverse!
  • Reward creators who make your favorite levels using the all-new tipping system.
  • Unlock additional workshop tools using tips received from other players.
  • Share and play levels cross-platform between the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions.
  • Players who buy one version will receive a free download code for the other version!
  • Earn special stamps to customize your posts in the Miiverse community.

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