Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! review

The best Mario Vs DK game yet...

Did you buy Mario Vs. Donkey Kong 2: March Of The Minis? How about Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again on DSiWare? If not, you should buy the fourth game in the series, which is the best of the lot so far.

It plays similarly to previous Mario Vs. DK games. Each level consists of a number of Minis, a goal and a bunch of obstacles in between, the aim being to get the Minis through the goal. There are loads of coins and bonus items in each level and to get a trophy and finish a level properly, you'll need to find a route to the goal that takes in all the collectibles.

Click to view larger image
Once the first Mini goes through the goal, a timer appears above it and if another Mini doesn't enter within eight seconds, the door locks, leaving the other Minis stranded. So you can't work with just one Mini at a time - you'll need to keep them all together.

Whereas in March Of The Minis you could swipe across a Mini to make it walk and tap it to make it stop, this time there's no stopping them until they fall in a pit, hit an enemy or reach the goal. This makes the pace much more frantic, since you're no longer able to stop a Mini at a safe location and gather your thoughts. It's like Lemmings with Mini Marios!

Also new are the boss battles with Donkey Kong which use the same gameplay mechanics as the standard levels, with some interesting twists to keep things unique. The first battle has you trying to get three Minis from the bottom of the level to the top, avoiding Donkey Kong's barrels, while he presses a switch that messes up some of the platforms you've placed. It feels like a puzzle game version of the original Donkey Kong and it's great fun.

The music also features nods to the past, with new takes on some of the best themes in Nintendo history such as the World 1 theme from Super Mario Bros. 2 or a brass band version of the original Donkey Kong title screen music, it's a real treat for long-time Nintendo fans.

Mini-Land Mayhem! is a must-have for puzzle fans who want something requiring the same frantic, lightning-fast reflexes of Lemmings and the like. Later levels are proper head-scratchers and it'll take many hours to clear every level with a trophy, yet it has that classic one-more-go formula to ensure that you do.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the February issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. For more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, buy the magazine here.

Want to see the game in action? Here's a Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! trailer

Comments

19 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. MarioMagic Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 12:31

    I've only ever played the first one on the GBA.
    Would anyone say it's better than that one?

  2. wewantkirby Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 12:48

    hav'nt played DK v MARIO yet so i might pick this one up on the weekend, great review guys :D

  3. Ai64 Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 13:19

    While not too different, it's still the best in the series. I have the DSiware version, though I'm not sure of getting this though.

  4. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 13:23

    I have the DSi ware one and I really enjoyed it .
    I might pick this up at the weekend but I rather save up for a 3DS and Pokemon Black.

  5. KMcD Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 13:53

    Played all three games so far, with Minis March Again on DSiware my favourite. Been looking forward to this since it was announced, picking it up tomorrow.

  6. Super Andre Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 18:31

    I got my copy today through the post.

  7. LaytonMario3 Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 19:30

    Ironic that a Mario?DK DS puzzle game gets a higher score than a fully-fledged, obline Mario sports game :D

    Might get this if Febuary is a slow games month

  8. Empress Bulblax Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 19:52

    Only ever played the original. Should get back to this series. It looks great.

  9. KokiriThreepwood Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 22:21

    Haven't actually played these, but considering it greatly.

  10. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 at 23:31
  11. Super Andre Friday 4th Feb 2011 at 11:42

    I think this is a brilliant game it really makes me feel good and makes me feel like i've achieved something when completing a level, Definetly worth 90%.

  12. oh dae su Friday 4th Feb 2011 at 18:38

    I think this is a brilliant game it really makes me feel good and makes me feel like i've achieved something when completing a level, Definetly worth 90%.

    This

    Oh and the soundtrack is amazing . Go buy this game.

  13. ploiper Friday 4th Feb 2011 at 20:05

    got the first 3 m vs dk games so shall certainly be buying this one as well as soon as i can get my hands on it.

  14. Johny G Sunday 6th Feb 2011 at 16:48

    I purchased Mario VS Donkey Kong Mini Land Mayhem for the Nintendo DS on the day of release.

    After leaving the store where I had made the pruchase I carried on to the bus station to get my bus home. My DS Lite was with me and I decided to try the game while on the bus. Instead of loading Mario VS Donkey Kong Mini Land Mayhem, it brought up a game called Feel the Magic (a title I had previously never heard of before). I got off the bus at the next stop and I was back in the store within 10 minutes. I told a shop assistant what had happened but he did not believe me. After examining the cartridge, the shop assistant came to the conclusion that I had changed the sticker on the front of the game myself and thus refused to give me a replacement or a refund. I asked to see the manager of the store and the shop assistant left; when he returned he said he had discussed the matter with the manager and that nothing was open for discussion.

    I have now contacted Nintendo and they are currently looking into it all.

  15. kirby711 Sunday 6th Feb 2011 at 17:08

    I have the DSi ware one and I really enjoyed it .
    I might pick this up at the weekend but I rather save up for a 3DS and Pokemon Black.

  16. Gordon Ramsey Sunday 6th Feb 2011 at 23:22

    I've only ever played the first one on the GBA.
    Would anyone say it's better than that one?

    The 1st one on the GBA is actually quite different to all the other MvDK games, it played like a platformer, whereas the 3 sequels (this new game included) are puzzle/strategy games at heart. I actually think the 1st game is the best, but, like I said, the sequels are different types of games though still very enjoyable.

  17. Marzy Wednesday 9th Feb 2011 at 11:26

    This is definitely going on my wish-list.

    Looks and sound absolutely fantastic. I loved the GBA one, but March of the Minis never really kept me interested very long. The controls were also fiddly.

  18. Nintendoman1987 Sunday 13th Feb 2011 at 12:39

    While not too different, it's still the best in the series. I have the DSiware version, though I'm not sure of getting this though.

    DSiWare version isn't a shortened version or a demo for this knew one you know! They are different games! Still plays the same, but different levels, different gameplay! This is the best in the series!

    To those who only played the GBA original, the series is different now, 2,3 and 4 are all more like puzzle games! The first game was awesome! And even those these are different! They are awesome also with this one being the best out of 2, 3 and 4. Cant really compare it to the first one!

  19. zapper01 Wednesday 9th Mar 2011 at 21:28

    I rented this game, it was good at first but got boring near the end. I hated how they kept changing the game play in every world by adding new gimmicks, which was annoying because it made me feel like I wasted my time learning how to use the other gimmicks. The GBA game is better.

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.