Hands-On: Bowser’s Fury is an unexpected Mario mash-up

Bowser’s Fury is absolutely not what we expected from add-on content for Switch‘s Super Mario 3D World port.

Described as a ‘short free-roaming adventure’ by Nintendo, the standalone game has Mario visiting Lake Lapcat, a world where everything is cat-themed and Bowser has gone berserk.

Players must team up with Bowser Jr – who can be controlled via a second player in co-op – and travel to various islands to collect Cat Shines, which reignite lighthouses and clear darkened terrain.

In terms of gameplay, it feels like a mash-up of Mario Odyssey’s open-world adventures, and the more linear platforming of the main 3D World game.

As you can see in our footage above, the opening sections of the game – which is all we can show right now – essentially take the form of 3D World courses connected together as a series of islands. Players collect Cat Shines at the end of these courses, which then activate lighthouses which keep the monster Bowser at bay.

There’s clearly much more to this, however, with additional Shine challenges unlocked with each revisit to specific islands on Lake Lapcat. We also can’t yet discuss the battles with Fury Bowser, nor the appearance of Plessie who is shown in trailers helping Mario to traverse the giant lake.

Set for release on February 12, 2021, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury features both online and offline co-op, as well as a new standalone adventure which lives alongside the original Wii U game. Watch our full video preview above for more impressions.

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