Cost: Free with in-game purchases
Platform: Google Play Store
Requires Google Play Games app download.
Peach writes a note to invite Mario to a castle for a party. Before he could get there, Bowser kidnapped her and destroyed the castle she was in. So now Mario has to save her. That is the object of the game.
I found this game frustrating. I died a lot before I got the hang of it. It’s not like playing Super Mario Bros. on a game console. The last time I played Super Mario Bros. I remember having to jump over a the little turtles. This time, I didn’t have to. The game automatically takes you pass them. You have to jump to get coins though and you have to jump to avoid falling down a pit (which I did many times). In between screens, you get hints, which are helpful.
I finally got the hang of it by world 1 (my 3rd go round). After that I played with some of the other game features, like Toad Rally, a race for coins and extra toads. It was fun, but I wouldn’t play it again myself.
As far as educational value, I can’t think of any specifically for ELA. It’s fun. You do have to make decisions quickly and your hand-eye coordination has to be sharp. I also feel it’s appropriate for a wide range of ages.