Back when Super Mario 64 was in development, nobody was thinking about Nintendo’s classic side-scrollers. In 1996, 3D was the future, and it was all we could see. But things balanced out again in the decades afterwards – the indie boom highlighting the inherent worth and untapped potential of 2D platforming, and Nintendo establishing two separate streams of Mario releases. With Sunshine, Galaxy et al, Mario continued to push at the boundaries of three dimensions – while New Super Mario Bros. introduced successive generations to the simple pleasures of sending a flat Italian man on an arcing trajectory across a television screen, as if painting a red and blue rainbow.
Right now, though, it feels a little like 1996 again. Every new 3D Mario game remains a real event, a source of wonder, surprise and endless playfulness, yet the 2D entries have grown staid and stagnant. In fact, it sometimes seems as if the river has stopped moving altogether – as if, by making Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo was giving up on 2D design and passing the tools to fans to have at it instead. It’s a shame, therefore, that this year’s Prime Day sales have highlighted precisely the wrong end of the spectrum.
There’s a deep UK discount available for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a rare creative retread for Nintendo EAD. Yet the revelatory Super Mario Odyssey, which has you play as not just the Mushroom Kingdom’s finest but also a frog, a t-rex, a set of binoculars and a manhole cover, is a measly 7% off in the UK. A boxed copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, meanwhile, will set British buyers back a full £69.99. Not many kids getting to play Mario 64 for the first time this summer, then.
If there’s a consolation, it’s that you can get a good UK deal on Super Mario 3D World and its acclaimed Switch expansion, Bowser's Fury. There’s a strong argument to be made that this is where the innovation of old-school 2D Mario has disappeared to – a game that blends the moveset of Mario 64 with the tightly structured level grammar of the early side-scrollers. A saving of 26% is not to be sniffed at, especially when flagship Nintendo games almost never go cheap. Especially not Mario, who is often seen raking in full RRP half a decade after a given entry’s release. I guess those designer dungarees don’t buy themselves.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo Switch):
£49.99 £36.99 at Amazon
Save £13.00 – Get 26% off a masterclass in taut, condensed 3D platforming. While Odyssey offers a wonderfully messy flight of fancy, Super Mario 3D World is the epitome of taste and timing, always switching up the action at exactly the right moment, and tossing out an idea just before it gets old.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Nintendo Switch):
£49.99 £36.95 at Amazon
Save £13.04 – The Wii U take on 2D Mario might not be a series high point, but that’s all relative. This remains a well-regarded platformer, accessible to kids but rewarding for adults. You could do worse than the Switch port, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, which we appreciated for its crisp textures and bundled-in DLC pack, New Super Luigi U.
If you’re in North America, and have a Switch with sufficient storage space, you’re in luck.
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch):
$59.99 $41.99 at Amazon
Save $18 – While there are no such deals in the UK, and the physical edition remains pricey on the other side of the pond, you can currently get a digital code for the marvellous Super Mario Odyssey at 30% off in the US. This is likely to be the cutting edge Mario game for years to come, and probably won’t get significantly cheaper during that time.
More Prime Day deals in the US
- Alexa devices: Fire TV Sticks from $12 and more
- Adidas: 50% off sneakers and sportswear
- Apple: Apple Watch 7 at cheapest price yet
- Back to school: backpacks and stationery discounts
- Cell phones: $100 off the Google Pixel 6
- College essentials: bedding, decor and cleaning sale
- Cooling: portable fans from $16.99
- Fashion: 66% off clothing, shoes and jewelry
- Groceries: up to 40% off coffee and food essentials
- Headphones: up to $125 off Sony headphones and earbuds
- Home: Levoit Air Purifier for $42.49
- Instant Pot: up to 29% off
- Kindle: up to 50% off ereader bundles
- Kitchen: up to $120 off blenders, coffee makers and more
- Laptops: $200 off 14-inch MacBook Pro
- Mattresses: $490 off Casper mattresses
- PS5: register for the next PS5 restock
- Security: Blink Home Security bundles from $44.99
- Smart home: Echo Show 5 smart display for $34.99
- Smartwatch: Amazon Halo View up to 55% off
- Speakers: JBL portable speakers from $29.95
- Storage: up to 39% off Samsung SSDs
- Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 - save up to $120
- TVs: Smart TVs from $89
- Vacuums: save on Shark, iRobot and Bissell
More Prime Day deals in the UK
- Amazon devices: up to 65% off Echo Dot and Fire TV Cube
- Adidas: 30% off some sportswear and trainers
- Apple: save up to £150 on iPads and Apple Watches
- Back to school: backpacks and stationery from £1.50
- Beauty: save on Rimmel, Revlon, Olay, and more top brands
- Coffee machines: starting at just £19 with up to 60% off
- Cheap Fire tablets: Amazon Fire tablets starting at £34.99
- Dental: 57% off Oral-B and Philips electric toothbrushes
- Fashion: 40% off Vans, Hugo Boss, Wrangler, and other brands
- Fire TV Stick: lowest price yet on all models
- Groceries: £10 off your first three grocery shops
- Grooming & hair care: 60% off Philips, Remmington shavers & straighteners
- Headphones: Sony and Bose headphones at lowest-ever prices
- Kindle: 25% off Kindle ereader bundles
- Laptops: 15% off Microsoft, Huawei, Acer, and Asus laptops
- Phones: Google Pixel 6 lowest ever price, OnePlus, Motorola
- PS5: Dualsense deals, plus savings on leading games
- Security: £180 off Ring Home Security bundles
- Smart home: £144 off Ring and Echo bundles
- Smartwatch: up to 50% off Garmin watches and trackers
- Tablets: 41% off Samsung, Lenovo, and Huawei tablets
- Tools: 49% off some Bosch tools and garden items
- TVs: 4K TVs starting at just £199 with half-price deals
- Vacuums: 35% off Shark cordless vacs
- Xbox: Xbox Series X in stock for £449