As of this writing, a level called "Don't press anything" by Wii U owner Niramou is the most starred course on Mario Maker. It's been played a whopping 74,847 times already.
You can watch it below:
It's not alone, as you can see in the video above. Many stages of its kind are populating the "star ranking" tab on Mario Maker, a part of the game that sorts levels by popular vote. Five out of the top ten levels are a very specific kind of level — the kind that plays itself (aka an "automatic" level, or a "don't press anything" sort of level). Or, they are the kind of levels that might as well be a roller coaster (for example, a course where the only thing you do is run forward). You play them to experience a sense of bombast within Mario Maker, rather than challenge.
It's curious to see such particular trends take root so quickly in Mario Maker — the game hasn't even been out for 24 hours yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the levels in the video above stay in the featured tab for a long while. After all, most Mario Maker players seem to be in love with this sort of level, judging from the reactions within:
And judging from my experience with the press version of Mario Maker, once the snowball starts rolling, it's hard to stop. Popular levels only become more popular — they are the most visible, after all.
Out in the periphery, though, I'm starting to see some a tiny bit of pushback on these stages, too. I'm not surprised. Where most Mario Maker players appear to be happy to experience anything thrown at them, there are some Mario purists who don't care how flashy or novel something is — they just want to play what they consider to be "real" Mario levels. As in, levels created by people who care about game design.
It will be interesting to see how the community grows and evolves. As I wrote in my review, Mario Maker is a pretty raw game. You see a little bit of everything while playing, not all of which could be called "good." Don't get me wrong — I like that; I enjoy going along for the ride and seeing what silly things other people make. I enjoy all the auto Mario levels (even though there are a lot of them!), and I really love the gimmick levels people come up with. I live for that stuff. But I also know that, if I were to sit down and try to find some solid levels that scratch that classic Mario itch, I'd have a hard time right now. I'm more likely to find some sort of roller coaster level, or worse, a slight variation of 1-1.
All of this to say: do make sure to "star" Mario Maker courses that you enjoy! It's the only way we can influence the sorting on Course World, and hopefully bring more types of levels to the forefront — not just levels that play themselves. Auto levels are nice and all, but I want to see what else the community is capable of, too.