Last week, we took our first look at the 71360 LEGO Super Mario Starter set, Adventures with Mario. Today, we are taking a look at one of the expansion sets, which adds an exciting, dynamic challenge to any level: 71365 Pirhana Plant Power Slide.
This set provides two enemies, some desert landscape, and a Time Bonus box. We also have the eponymous Piranha Power Slide, which can be incorporated in a larger layout, or used on its own in conjunction with the start and finish points. But does that make it a worthwhile purchase? Read on to find out.
The box illustrates the contents of the box on the front, and includes an image of a ghosted out Mario, implying that he is not included. The starter set 71360 is required, as the only source of LEGO Super Mario, as well as the start and end action bricks.
The rear of the box shows the level used in conjunction with parts of the starter set, including a tower. We also see the action bricks outlined. We are reminded of the need for the Starter set, as well as the availability of the free app.
There are a few new moulds in this set: the shell and arms for Koopa, the turtle like enemy, as well as the 2×2 legs in green (available also in brown for the goomba.) We also see a return of the 2x1x 2 2/3 with 8 studs, used in building the Goombas. We also have the rounded square plates, 4x4x2/3, 6x6x 2/3 and 8×8 2/3: this time in yellow. The Mario Brick recognises these as dessert.
There are a number of recolours present as well: 2×16 plates in dark tan; the round 2×2 with spikes and axle hole become part of a cactus here; the 1x2x2/23 brick with 4 studs in cool yellow; the rollercoaster track in bright green; the pyramid ’tiles’ in white; the roller coaster car in reddish brown; 1×3 panel in reddish brown and the click hinge brick in bright green would be just a few of the recolours in this set.
There are two characters in this set: one we have met before – the Goomba. You cannot have too many Goombas in your Mario Level, so it is good to get another here. We also have Koopa: a turtle like enemy. His shell and arms are new, as are the printed elements involved.
Unlike Goombas, with a single strike to get coins, Koopa requires 2 hits from Mario, to collect the coins.
There is some desert scenery here, including a cactus, making good use of the spiked cylinder piece. There is also a small platform.
We also build a ‘teeter totter’ arrangement, with a Pirhana plant at both ends. the roller coaster car rides in between the two.
Besides the barcodes on the Koopa and Goomba, there are two more: one on the power slide, and a ‘Bonus Time’ Powerup
If Mario scans the Time Bonus box, he gets an additional 30 seconds of game play. This brick can only be scanned once in any given game. Like those seen in 71360, These ‘Action Bricks’ have pre-applied stickers, which are quite robust, geared for repeated striking by 6 year olds.
The roller coaster car also contains a ‘Slide’ Action Brick
When you place Mario on the slider, the music changes, and you then run the see saw, to encourage him to slide one way and back. If you repeat this several times, with out Mario hitting the Pirhana plants, then you start to get multipliers: 2x; 3x coins for every direction change.
But if Mario hits the plants at the end, he is stunned for half a second – unable to score, and he loses any multipliers.
One of the gift things with this set is that it provides a suitable challenge, that could conceivably last the duration of Mario’s time.
Between the desert landscape, as well as the enemies, this set provides a great addition to the LEGO Super Mario Starter pack. The fact that you can ‘ride it a bit’ or for the entire duration of your level is a bonus.
This is the level you might use for the Power Slider Challenge:
Take it in turns with your friends and family, to see who gets a high score. And don’t forget to touch on the goal action brick towards the end of your time: this will grant you an additional coin bonus.
I attended an online Fan Media Event for the launch of LEGO Super Mario and Jonathan Bennink, the Digital Design Lead on LEGO Super Mario said that there won’t be an online leaderboard for LEGO Super Mario levels, because it’s too easy to manipulate the way you might choose to play. He did offer some advice for playing this sort of level, however:
Piranha power slide is all about dexterity, and Mario gets coins by carefully sliding between the piranha plants. Now, if you hit a piranha plant, not only do you you get a half second time penalty, but you also get taken out of the multiplier. If you don’t hit the plants, you can get 2 coins at a time, and then 3 coins at a time, so then you are really raking them up. Finally, you want to be using most of your level time. Once you have 15 seconds to go, Mario enters Hurry up state: the music goes quicker, and if you then finish 13 or 14 seconds later, you get a huge finish bonus, but if you go overtime, you don’t get anything. Of course you get the coins you have collected, but you don’t get the finish bonus.Jonathan Bennink, LEGO Super Mario Digital Design Lead
Here is an example of LEGO Super Mario Piranha Plant Power Slide Challenge (I’m trying to up the standard of my videos… take a look, and let me know what you think):
The Pirhana Plant Power Slide expansion pack provides a great additional challenge to LEGO Super Mario. I would recommend it, if you are looking for a technical challenge, as a way to catch extra coins. It adds great functionality to a level, with 2 additional enemies for Mario to defeat, and the additional Extra Time Powerup Box gives you an extra 30 seconds of Game Play. This expansion pack provides a reaonsable challenge in its own right, providing a very LEGO approach to the gaming platform.
What do you think of this expansion pack? It will be available on August 1 2020, and cost $29.99 USD/ 29,99EUR / $AU49.99/$NZ59.99, and has 217 pieces. I have found this to be an engaging expansion pack to play.
Do we need to purchase every expansion set for LEGO Super Mario? I don’t think so. I would think most people might buy two or three expansions, and some of the blind bag characters, to extend the game play. Different expansions have different points of focus. If you want to include a definite dextrous challenge in your game, this is certainly worth a look.
I’d love to know what you think of this expansion: leave your comments below, or on the Rambling Brick Facebook page. I’ll have another LEGO Super Mario expansion set review up in the next week or so, as well as other content. Until then,
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.