20 Minutes Of Paper Mario: Color Splash, Which Sure Is Pretty

Prediction: Below this article there will be comments lamenting that the new Wii U Paper Mario game isn’t really a role-playing game. Someone will complain that it is similar to Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Someone else will lament that it is not very similar to Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. These are sure things in life. Yesterday, we livestreamed 20 minutes of the new game, Paper Mario: Color Splash. You can see the archive of that above. We were playing a finished, retail copy of the game (the game’s been done for months), but because it isn’t officially out yet, Nintendo is restricting livestreams to 20 minutes. We paused a couple of times to answer questions because surely we were not going to go a second over that 20-minute limit. Nope. Not even a bit.

Things you should know:

  • Yeah, it’s similar to the controversial 3DS game, Sticker Star. It’s broken into courses that you exit by finding a star at the end (some courses have more than one exit). It has turn-based combat, but you don’t gain character XP from battles.
  • The battle system involves picking cards from your growing deck and playing them in turn-based battles. You find the cards by exploring the game world or by buying them in in-game shops. Early on, we could only play two cards in a battle at once. You can colour in cards to make them more powerful, but that costs paint.
  • You restore colour to blank spots in the world by smashing them with your hammer. Your hammer splashes paint, of course! While you don’t level up your character in battles, you do usually get some hammer XP pick-ups that slowly level up the amount of paint your hammer can carry.
  • Color Splash is story-light, so far, though we’re very early in the game here and can’t speak to how much more complex things get. The dialogue is funny, though talking to the dozens of Toad characters who dominate the early part of the game (all of it?) gets old fast.
  • Mario seems to mostly be alone. New partner character Huey the paint bucket mostly stays hidden away. You can get cards that represent enemies you fight in the game and summon them to attack other enemies.
  • The graphics are really great. This is the most paper-looking Paper Mario yet. And it better be. The other games were on weaker systems that couldn’t render virtual paper and cardboard as well.
  • You won’t see this in the video, but there’s a cut-out system that lets you delete parts of the background so you can access hard-to-reach areas.
  • We’re still very early in Color Splash, so there is probably plenty more to discover, but the video will show you a good deal of how the early game works. Enjoy!

We’ll have more about the game closer to its October 8 release.


  • I’ve tried the Paper games but always found them not to be my cup of tea. Returned Thousand Year Door after three days.

    Loved Bowser’s Inside Story but the other Mario & Luigi games were a bit on the nose too.

    This looks great, though. Maybe. I wish there was a demo.

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