MARIO CAR­TOG­RA­PHY

EDGE - - PLAY -

The hand-painted world map bor­rows a trick from Su­per Mario World by turn­ing nav­i­ga­tion into its own lit­tle puz­zle. Pe­ri­od­i­cally, you’ll come up against an ob­sta­cle, for which you need to have un­locked a par­tic­u­lar spirit to get past: you’ll need a cer­tain Man with a bomb to re­move large boul­ders, for ex­am­ple. The clues are hardly cryp­tic – “If you knew how to pi­lot a boat, you could cross the lake” is one – but in these mo­ments it feels as if you’re be­ing tested on your videogame knowl­edge, or at least en­cour­aged to haz­ard an ed­u­cated guess to who might be able to help, be­fore head­ing off to find them. It’s a small thing, but the per­fect ex­am­ple of how Ul­ti­mate makes a game out of ev­ery­thing.

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