Mario vs. Donkey Kong, one of Nintendo's most under-appreciated GBA classics, is making a comeback on Switch.
Announced during today's Nintendo Direct, the new iteration - simply titled Mario vs. Donkey Kong - appears to be extremely faithful to the puzzle-platformer gameplay of the original. Nintendo describes this as "an updated version of the game," with 3D graphics applied to the side-scrolling gameplay and fully-animated versions of the original game's still-image cutscenes.
The big new addition this time around appears to be local co-op, which will allow a second local player to join the game as Toad. That might trivialize some of the game's puzzle design, but hey, I've got nothing against the option of an easy mode.
The original Mario vs. Donkey Kong launched on the GBA back in 2004, but its roots go back to the heavily expanded Donkey Kong remake that hit the original Game Boy back in 1994. In all cases, these games are about exploring small, intricately-designed levels with a robust array of acrobatic moves rarely seen in Mario's 2D adventures. Mario vs. Donkey Kong puts particular emphasis on puzzle-solving, and the blend of quick action and cerebral planning has always made it a personal favorite of mine.
Here's hoping Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Switch does justice to the original when it launches on February 16, 2024. Between this and remakes of Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Nintendo's going all in to make sure nobody forgets about the plumber's greatest spin-offs.
We finally got an in-depth look at Princess Peach: Showtime! today, too.