Paper Mario Color Splash

Mark Nintendo, Reviews Leave a Comment

paper-mario-colour-splash-coverRole-playing and card battle games are genres that have largely past me by, such is my refusal to entertain anything beyond left, right and jump. But as a disciple of all things Mario and a sucker for a kidnapped Princess I’m always prepared to make an exception.

With a talking paint can for company, the basic premise of Paper Mario Color Splash is to restore colour to the land of Prisma Island and find its stolen Big Paint Stars.

What’s most notable when you first start the game is how beautiful the graphics and textures are. The Wii U might not have the processing power of its rivals but that doesn’t stop it turning arts and crafts into gorgeous level designs, doing with paper and cardboard what Yoshi’s Woolly World did so brilliantly with yarn.

As the title suggests, splashing colour plays a pivotal role in the game, a Paint Hammer being the tool of choice with which to do the splashing. You only have a limited amount of paint, although hitting anything and everything throughout the game refills your pot, as does defeating enemies or visiting the paint shop at Port Prisma, the central hub of the game.


There’s lots of white gaps to be painted as you go along if your aim is to complete the game fully, some of which aren’t immediately obvious … or, if you’re anything like my two boys you can just ignore lots of them, in much the same way they blatantly ignore my yells of ‘Why would you not colour that in on your way past? WHY?!’

And it’s not the only thing they choose to ignore. There’s some genuinely witty dialogue throughout the game, far more than you would necessarily expect from a PEGI 3 rated game. From pop culture to toilet humour, it’s all covered, although the boys trigger happy button pushing has long since skipped past much of it before I’ve had a chance to explain why it was so funny.


Defeating enemies requires Battle Cards. Much like with the paint, these can be found throughout the levels, often when you colour in one of the colourless spots my boys WALKED PAST TWO MINUTES AGO!?!

Once battle commences your battle cards appear on the gamepad, allowing you to choose which attack card to use. It’s a somewhat convoluted process and can feel a little repetitive, although there is an advanced controls setting that can speed up the whole process. After selecting your cards you move them up to your hand, add paint to increase their power if necessary, then flip them up to the TV. As you progress through the game different styles of attack are added, along with Thing Cards that bring 3D objects to the 2D world. Things that make little sense to the world in which they’re played, but are absolutely necessary to defeat certain bosses. And as my boys will attest, the peculiar and often bizarre cut-scenes are good fun to watch, none more so than the gigantic lemon that blinds the opponents and the Maneki-neko (waving lucky cat figurine) that squashes all beneath it.


Early levels are pretty straight forward and quintessentially Mario; you work your way through the levels and defeat the bosses. But from here on in things get far more interesting and varied, with the focus shifting more towards problem solving and puzzles. You soon find yourself returning to previous levels to cut, roll and fold scenery to reveal hidden paths and reach new levels, finding new and interesting objectives along the way. The level designs continue to surprise too, with new takes on old favourites.

If this is to be the last big Mario release before the launch of the Nintendo Switch next year then it’s a fitting end, showcasing much of what made the Nintendo Wii U a great if somewhat underrated console. It doesn’t sit right up there alongside Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart, but it’s not far behind and a worthy send off.

paper-mario-colour-splash-review-scoreSuper Mario Color Splash is out now for the Nintendo Wii U. Rating: PEGI 3.

For more information, visit the official Nintendo website by clicking here.

{I was sent a copy of Paper Mario Color Splash for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are honest and my own}

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