Enough people missed out on New Super Mario Bros. U on the Wii U that Nintendo has brought the title to the Nintendo Switch with a number of improvements and adjustments to make the game even better and more smooth to play. Though the game is very much a traditional 2D Mario platformer, it has a lot of exciting secrets and levels to explore that are sure to keep Mario fans interested for some time. Plus, you can play with up to three friends in any of the game's levels!

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If you're just starting out, here's how to get started on your Mushroom Kingdom adventure with Mario and his friends:

Choosing your character

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has a total of five characters you can choose to play as: Mario, Luigi, Toad, Toadette, and Nabbit.

  • Mario is Mario, and has all his usual Mario powers of jumping, running, and obtaining power-ups. He is not available in New Super Luigi U.
  • In New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Luigi controls just like Mario. If you switch the mode to New Super Luigi U, though, Luigi can jump higher and has a bit less traction than his brother, making him more challenging to play.
  • Toad is, by default, Yellow Toad and will control the same as either Maro (in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe) or Luigi (New Super Luigi U). You can change Toad from Yellow Toad to Blue Toad by holding down the L button on the character selection screen.
  • Toadette will control similarly to the main character in whichever version of the game you're currently in, but as an "easier" character she will be a bit less slippery, with more traction on the ground and easier jumping. She also has access to the Super Crown power-up, which turns her into Peachette, giving her the ability to float in the air and an extra jump on the R button.
  • Nabbit is now playable in both versions of the game. He cannot obtain power-ups like the other characters, but he is immune to all enemy attacks. He can still die when falling in pits or lava, though. All power-ups he collects are converted to 1-Ups at the end of the level.

You can play with up to four friends, each as a different character, and you can swap characters each time you load a save. Collected 1-Ups and power-ups are saved to the character you obtained them on (so if you had collected ten extra lives as Toadette, you would start with the default five if you chose Mario on your next play, but you'd be at the same level you left off as with Toadette).

Collecting coins

Moreso than in earlier Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe makes it worth your while to pursue lots and lots of coins. It's easy to get tons of 1-Up extra lives by obtaining 100 coins throughout the stages or by finding bonus, hidden areas. There are lots of invisible caverns with coins inside, and giant Star Coins (three in each level) that you can track down to unlock secret courses later in the game.

Don't get hung up on coins, but don't skimp on collecting the ones right in front of your face. You'll want to mine those extra lives to make it easier to bust through the more challenging levels the game will throw at you later!

Using power-ups

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes the following Power-ups:

  • Super Mushrooms - Make your character larger and give them the ability to be hit once by an enemy or obstacle without dying
  • Fire Flowers - Your character can shoot fireballs to damage or destroy enemies
  • Ice Flowers - Your character can shoot ice to free enemies, then pick those frozen enemies up and throw them!
  • Super Stars - You'll become invincible for a short time, defeating all enemies in one hit for the duration of the Star
  • Propeller Mushroom - You'll gain a propeller hat that can be spun to shoot your character high in the air, then gently let them drift to the ground
  • Penguin Suits - These work just like Ice Flowers, but also give the character better swimming abilities and the power to slide on ice into enemies without being hurt
  • Mini Mushrooms - Characters will shrink, letting them fit into smaller spaces and run up walls
  • Super Acorns - Brand new in New Super Mario Bros U, Super Acorns turn characters into flying squirrels, letting them glide slowly after a jump to reach high-up areas more easily, or recover gently from falls
  • P-Acorns - These are similar to the Super Acorn, but the characters can glide an unlimited amount in a stage if they acquire one
  • Super Crowns - Only obtainable by Toadette, everyone else will pass through this power-up. Toadette will turn into Peachette, letting her hover in the air and gaining an extra jump

Overcoming danger

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe may start out fluffy and simple, but as the levels progress it can get complicated to finish them unless you're a platforming expert. But there are a number of things you can do to increase the likelihood you'll finish a level successfully.

The first is to come into the level with a good power-up to begin with. Normally, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe levels will begin by giving you a power-up, but not always, and it may not always be the best one to accomplish what you need to. You're best off if you can either acquire a power-up from a Toad House and use it before entering a level, or bring one with you from the previous stage.

Another good tip is to bring friends along. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a game you're meant to play with friends, and as long as others are around to collect coins and revive you, you've never truly lost the game. Playing with a group of three others increases your chance of survival and strength against bosses such as the Koopalings.

It's also recommended that you take the levels fairly slowly if you're struggling, or switch to Toadette or Nabbit. There's no shame in picking up one of the easier characters if you're having difficulty, and you can always return later to beat the levels as Mario, Luigi, or Toad once you have an understanding of what you're up against.

Hidden secrets

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is full of hidden secrets containing coins, Star Coins, power-ups, and hidden levels. Every level will conceal its secrets differently, but here are a few ways you can get ahead looking for them.

One way is to keep an eye out for any large cliffs or seemingly solid blocks of land that take up a lot of space on the screen. More often than not, there are hidden caverns concealed beneath them that are full of coins. You can usually get into these by finding a secret entrance in the side of a hill or cliff that appears solid but melts away if you jump into it. Though it seems ridiculous, try jumping into walls!

Another way to find secrets is to try to enter every single Warp Pipe you see. Not every pipe conceals a secret, but many do, especially if they're well-guarded by enemies or obstacles.

A less reliable way is to hit every block you see in hopes of finding a hidden Vine that will take you to a secret area. This is unreliable and can sometimes do more harm than good (if you break blocks that you'd otherwise need to reach high up areas) but if you notice blocks that are out of the way or appear unusual, give it a try.

Finally, get up high! A lot of hidden coins and secrets are in areas on top of stages and you'll need power-ups like the Super Acorn or Super Crown to reach them. Return to stages where you feel you may have missed out and fly high to the top to find goodies.

It's also worth noting that there are some hidden stages you cannot unlock without obtaining all the Star Coins in the game, so it's worth it to go out of your way to collect these.

Want to know more?

If you have any other questions about New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, let me know in the comments!

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