Why Super Mario Odyssey's Cap Matters

Image: Super Mario Odyssey

When you really dig deep into a Mario game, it's kind of incredible how many things can be impacted by a single mechanic.

Elegant design has always been a key tenet of Nintendo games, and that's the focus of Mark Brown's latest video: analysing the design philosophy of Super Mario Odyssey.

For Odyssey, the central mechanic is the cap throw. Rather than jumping, throwing a cap is how you predominately interact with your environment - from hitting blocks, capturing enemies, to allowing yourself to hover in mid-air just a fraction longer.

Mario, after all, doesn't have 12 different button inputs. He's not an assassin, and he's not a super marine. So Cappy has to fulfil a wide range of roles, and Brown does a good jump of breaking down how Nintendo implemented one of the Italian faux plumber's most extensive movesets in Mario history.

It's no wonder Nintendo games are the sort of stuff that kids and adults can play alike. It's all in the design.


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