Man vs. Mario Maker: Some Of Our Favorite Courses From The First Week(ish) of Super Mario Maker 2

Man vs. Mario Maker: Some Of Our Favorite Courses From The First Week(ish) of Super Mario Maker 2

Some good times and some bad, bad times.

It's a wonderful time of year. Summer is in full blaze, the heat bearing down upon us, and so we retreat inside, to the comfort of air conditioning and the soft glow of our Nintendo Switch. It's that time of year for making Mario levels in Super Mario Maker 2, and even in the nascent days of course creation, there are some stellar creations floating around out there.

A good few of us have been playing in our spare time, and while this is only a smattering of what's out there among the hundreds of courses already uploaded, these are the ones that have caught our eye. Our own Mike Williams recorded himself playing through them so you can get an idea of what each one is like, especially on the difficulty scale. (Sorry, Mike.)

Here are the courses we think you should be checking out this week:

Shrine of the Sacred Stiletto


Celeste developer Matt Thorson has made a number of different levels, but the Shrine of the Sacred Stiletto stood out due to how much it feels like a Celeste game within Mario. It starts with a fairly basic tutorial of the mechanics you'll be using—namely, the shoe—before giving you a clear flag and laying out several challenge rooms. Each feels like a sequestered screen from Celeste, imposing a new twist on you to up your mastery with the level's mechanic. It's a great early use of the changes to room limitations and the addition of red coins to create stages within a level.

This really is, and I cannot stress this enough, a bad time. | Eric Van Allen/USG, Nintendo

Bad Time Forest


It's hard to make a list without mentioning one of Dan Ryckert's levels. The Giant Bomb editor also has a side hobby of enraging Super Mario Maker players with the levels he concocts, bolstered by his rivalry with Waypoint's Patrick Klepek. But Dan finds ways to build in small puzzles and sequences of events that need to be completed, like a Machiavellian lockbox. It's evil, and I love to loathe it.

Mario & The UFO Catcher Factory


We have to shout out one of our own, as Caty's level makes use of the claws and moving platforms to do some narrative work. Mario, trapped in the crane game factory, trying to escape, and maybe not waiting long enough after the Thwomp dropped. (That's a free tip for you.)

Galoomba Speedrun #2


Not quite an auto-runner, this one requires pinpoint speed and timing. But this speedrun course is also a cool example of a rising trend in Mario makers who are building some of the more difficult courses; they notate different areas where you're supposed to do certain actions using the line tool, so you can kind of sight-read and glean the movements you're supposed to be doing on the fly. It's a much more approachable course than some of the kaizo levels, and still makes you feel pretty cool.

It's like reliving my childhood. | Eric Van Allen/USG, Nintendo

Double Dare Mario


The course maker here uses the goal objectives to recreate the Double Dare television game show inside Mario Maker, and it seriously works. Diving into a sea of mushrooms, breaking down walls, and hopping across pits all feel like the real end-of-episode obstacle course run, metered by a ticking timer. This is a fun one to show to friends and watch them try to suss it out, as it's challenging without being mechanically overwhelming.

Follow The Coins


Another fun runner level, this one is a lot more straightforward than the Galoomba speedrun from earlier. You basically follow the coins... for the most part. While it's fairly straightforward, it's the end of the level that really makes use of all the new tricks and tools in Super Mario Maker 2's arsenal to end on a high note.

That Goomba Had A Family


Narrative levels are an odd duck in Mario Maker, but every once in a while, one comes along that really nails it. Chris Kohler over at Kotaku made this one, starting simple enough and then really going places. I'd feel a little bad for spoiling the twists and turns in this Mario course, or even that a Mario course has twists and turns, so I'd just say check it out. It's not that hard of a level, and it's pretty worth seeing through to the end.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

Read this next

Check Out This Super Mario Maker 2 Course From the Yooka-Laylee Developers

Playtonic is just the first indie dev Nintendo will shout out via Mario Maker 2.

Latest Super Mario Maker 2 Patch Finally Lets You Play Online With Friends

On top of this multiplayer and quality of life-focused update, Nintendo says new course parts are on the way.

The 25 Best Nintendo Switch Games

Our rotating list of the best games on Switch, now updated for the Nintendo Switch Lite release!

Where Nintendo Switch Online Has Gone Wrong

The reasons Nintendo's online service is flaccid, and what it can do to pump things up.

Nintendo Says There is No Switch Exchange Program

Nintendo of America denies last week's reports of Switch exchanges.

Man vs. Mario Maker 2: Hardcore Jumps, Airship Explosions, and Spiny Rescues

We're back with another round-up of some of the most interesting courses in Super Mario Maker 2!

More Opinions

Starting Screen | Starting Screen: Please Stop Putting Big Spiders In Video Games

I'm tired of it, and I don't have a good reason for it!

Blizzard's Very Bad October Just Keeps Getting Worse

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Blizzard's ban on Hearthstone player Blitzchung catches the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Baldur's Gate's Complex Interface Translates Surprisingly Well to Switch

Beamdog's Infinity Engine collections find great ways to bring those games to consoles.

More on Switch

The Glory and Carnage of Rocket League's Underground Fight Club

The unofficial league where pros and unknowns alike battle head-to-head for honor and viewer cash pools.

Doom 64 Port Gets New Trailer, Will Release as Pre-Order Bonus Alongside Doom Eternal

A delay for Doom Eternal on Switch also has ramifications for Doom 64 on Nintendo's platform.

The Outer Worlds Review: To Boldly Go Where Mega-Corps Have Gone Before

Seek out new life and new civilizations, and then steal stuff from them.

Monster of the Week: How Amnesia: The Dark Descent's Water Lurker Became the Scariest Nautical Nightmare Since Jaws

Co-designer Thomas Grip on sculpting Amnesia's scariest monster, which happens to also be the only one you never see.

Fortnite Medals Punch Card - How to Earn New Medals and Refresh the Punch Card

This is our full guide to the new Fortnite Medals system, including how to earn them, and times for the Punch Card refresh.

More Platformer Games

Interview: We Ask Atari's CEO About Lingering Questions Surrounding Its Retro Linux Box

The VCS is more like an "open PC," but recent controversies and delays paint a grim picture. We ask Atari's head where it's headed.

Okami Sequel Teased By Noted Twitter Troll Hideki Kamiya

I mean, it'd be nice if it were true.

The Good Version of Sonic the Hedgehog Is Coming to Super Monkey Ball

The HD remake of Super Monkey Ball's Wii installment is getting a classic, blue-quilled bonus.

Check Out Sega's Surprise Remix of a Classic Sonic Adventure Tune

Maybe don't get your hopes too high that this means anything, though.