Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move Review

MDKMotMMario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (Available exclusively on the eShop for the 3DS)
ESRB Rating: E
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo Software Technology
Release Date: May 9th, 2013
Download Size: 426 Blocks

Minis on the Move is a 3DS game released exclusively on the eShop. It’s inspired by the Mario vs. DK series, but with a huge focus on puzzles. It plays like the classic game Pipe Dream, only instead of water you need to navigate Mario (or any other mini) through a maze while trying to collect as many coins as possible.

The Great:

The level editor is definitely the best feature of the game. Right from the get go, you’re given all the tools necessarily to create truly epic mazes. What’s great is that you can then share them online. The game isn’t even one week old and already there are tons of awesome levels available for you to download. Someone who falls in love with this game could play this for ages thanks to this one feature.


The Good:

+ Good use of the franchise. Lots of characters from the DK and Mario series appear here which will please longtime fans. The music is also catchy and the visuals are charming with some nice 3D effects in the background.

+ Pretty lengthy game. With over 60 levels in the main mode, you’ll be playing this for a while.

+ Extremely challenging. I’ve never been good with puzzle games, but this one started getting frustrating not long after the tenth stage. Should push even puzzle veterans to their limits.

+ Fun simple gameplay. You get the hang of it pretty quickly, and it’s nice to see a toy Mario navigate labyrinths.


The Bad:

– A bit too simplistic. While the game does add many more obstacles along the way, the premise of Minis on the Move is very simple. It’s just not that exciting to begin with. I’m sure this will appeal to a certain niche.

– The mini-games are not worth your time. I tried each one once and never had any motivation to play them again. Boring stuff just thrown in there to fool people into thinking there’s more than just the main game.


The Lowdown:

While I’m sure there’s a audience for this game, Mario and Donkey Kong just doesn’t offer much to warrant a purchase. It gets old quickly and is something only hardcore puzzle fans should check out. I would wait until the end of the month when Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D hits the eShop for some DK love. At ten bucks, it’s not the worst purchase you could make. Just know that it doesn’t have much to offer besides the main mode. If that doesn’t seem appealing to you, skip it.

Final Score: 6.0/10


4 thoughts on “Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move Review”

  1. When I first saw this game announced on the Nintendo Direct broadcast I immediately said “nope, not for me” and now I can saw it yet again. This just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, as you would say. Maybe one day when the Miiverse arrives on the 3DS I’ll look into it for the social aspects, but for now I’d rather wait for DKCR 3D, which looks outstanding by the way.

  2. Yeah I got hooked into this game thanks to the traileds I viewed on my 3ds. The main game looked like something I would get tired quickly, but I thought the minigames would be entertaining at least. Hey it was worth a shot. The online aspects are fantastic though. If only as much effort was put in the pokemon franchise.

    1. Yeah you did the right thing. Sometimes amazing games are discovered by simply taking a shot with them and blind-buying them. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve done that with over the years.

  3. Good and fair review. Aside from the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the GBA, I’ve never been into the series puzzle-oriented structure since then. Honestly, this one looked like one I was going to try. I was thinking of downloading it later today for a breath of fresh air, but this review sort of dampened my spirits. Might give it a go later.

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