My overly difficult ‘Super Mario Maker’ levels aren’t the problem, you are the problem

Upon dying for the seventh time I began to wonder if I was the problem.

The response to my expertly hand-crafted Super Mario Maker levels were not going as well as I had planned. Created with all the love and finesse of an inebriated hippopotamus attempting to swallow a watermelon whole, the general consensus on my Mario levels was that they possessed a degree of difficulty that some may call … cruel. Some players thought my levels were hard.

fly fool

Really hard, in fact. The highest clear rate out of my three levels was ten percent. After having my seasoned gamer of a wife try her hand at my finger crampingly hard levels, I came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to take another look.

I was dismayed. It couldn’t be me that was the problem. No, it was everyone else who was wrong.

Filled with determination to prove my invisible internet detractors wrong, I launched into an aerial level I created with the Super Mario Bros. 3 tile set. I immediately flew into a cannonball.

And then a flying Koopa, and then a spike, and then another cannonball. After that, I missed a jump. In fairness, my cat had jumped on my lap, causing the last death. Of course, I then proceeded to get stomped by Thwomps.

wall hopper

Fourteen tries later, I cleared my masterpiece, thus giving proof to my harsh critics that tough love is the only true path in creating Super Mario Maker levels.

Surely I was on the true path to Mario enlightenment. No “don’t touch anything,” roller coaster style levels. No remixes of 1-1 where all I had added was a flying Goomba inside a Kuribo’s Shoe. None of this “make people feel good via creating a balanced and entertaining course” malarkey. 

Players are going to have precise and meandering fun on my courses, even if I have to take all of their extra lives to do it. I’m not the one who is wrong, it’s the Course World who is incorrect.

So … Why isn’t anyone playing my levels?

Oh well: Back to Disney Infinity I go. They love me there.

Will Harrison is a games critic from Toledo, Ohio that is published in The Blade, a daily newspaper. Contact him on Twitter @DoubleUHarrison or via email at 

One thought on “My overly difficult ‘Super Mario Maker’ levels aren’t the problem, you are the problem

  1. I feel you man! Most levels are made by 6 year old Asians with no knowledge of basic game design. The levels that are “Popular” are only from creators who got this game a week in advance.

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