New Super Mario Bros. U is a five player game that lets Mario transform into a flying raccoon and grants players the ability to help and harass with the GamePad's touch screen.
While the first Mario game for the Wii U looks a lot like a much more beautiful New Super Marios Bros. Wii, up to four players control characters with a Wii Remote as they traverse a 2D platform-laden world, the game does have some new tricks as well.
In Boost Play a player can tap the gamepad to drop platforms into the game. The platforms, players can drop up to four at a time, shrink away once a character lands on them. Double tapping the screen drops a smaller platform that spews out coins when a character lands on it.
The game can be also be played traditionally with the GamePad using either the TV or the GamePad's screen.
The three levels we played looked like classic Super Mario Bros. gameplay. When we played, we had a chance to control a Mii dressed up as Mario. Other players took on Mario and Luigi.
The game, we were told, will feature new power ups and new transformations, though we only saw one of each.
A super acorn transforms gives your character a new flying squirrel suit. Once donned, the suit grants the wearer the ability to soar up into the air and then glide across the sky with a shake of the controller.
We also saw a new use for Kirby. If you find him in the game, you can grab him and by shaking the controller shake him to inflate him and use the critter as a balloon.
The game is also certainly the prettiest Super Mario Bros. created to date.