71398: LEGO® Super Mario: Dorrie’s Beach Front [Hands-On Review/ Playthrough]

Today we continue our exploration of the 2022 LEGO Super Mario releases by looking at 71398 Dorrie’s Beach front. The Dorrie in question is a pleisiosaur like sea dragon, who first debuted in Super Mario 64. This expansion set brings us a little scenery in fitting with that biome, as well as hidden treaure boxes, a new mechanism to knock over an enemy, as well as a Huckit Crab.

Here are the elements:

We have a number of Sand and Water Rounded square plates. Medium Azure has been used to represent the sky in some sets, but here it is used with underwater scenery elements such as coral. We have a number of the ‘Water Burst’ elements in transparent light blue, as well as some 2×2 round bricks in that colour. A variety of curved sloped elements in bright blue, as well as some inward curved slopes, and some plain old plates are present. A coral reef would not be complete without elements in vbibrant coral, and we also have some palm leaves. There are two of the 2×3 plates with a cutout. which are relatively uncommon elements, along with a 2×2 coupling plate in reddish brown. There are also two 1×3 plates with 2 offset studs in tan. As always, the barcodes are preapplied stickers, with a protective coating. It was explained that these stickers are used because they are actually more durable than the standard ink used for printing on LEGO elements.

The Build and the App:

If you have not yet updated the app for the latest releases, you will need to do so. You will need to pair Mario (or Luigi) as well, as he needs a firmware update to be able to recognise Dorrie. If you have already played with Luigi’s Mansion or Big Urchin Beach ride Expansion beach ride expansion, then all should be fine.

The build proceeds, as do all LEGO Super Mario sets with entering the LEGO Super Mario App, and selecting the field. In the top right corner is the ‘Add set’ icon – a grey brick, with a ‘+’ attached. The building instructions will open, and guide you through the first bag. After completing the construction of Dorrie, the remaining instructions for the set are unlocked, and the set is added to your digital collection.

The App is only really necessary to download the latest firmware into Mario. Everything else is essentially garnish. Instructions can be downloaded from the LEGO Website, if you prefer to work from a simple pdf rather than the Instructions plus platform offered in the App [Instructions plus allows 3D manipulation of the model, as well as zooming in and out, to get better detail of what is changing with each step.]

I do appreciate the video demonstrations that the app provides for different play mechanisms, however.

The build is reasonably straight forward, with no complex techniques, but there are some interesting aspects of the landscape which tie into play features. So let’s look at the ways in which Mario interacts with the set

Friend: Dorrie

Dorrie the Sea Dragon is a four flippered friend to Mario. He has an action tile on his back, which when scanned will prompt Mario to say ‘Hello’, or another phrase while a heart flashes up on his chest. Dorrie squeaks back in response. You can re scan Dorrie, once the sound from the previous scan has completed, for more points. This is a reasonably efficient way to earn extra coins.

From what I have been able to elicit, the phrase Mario says when scanning the barcode on Dorrie’s back is selected at random, after the initial ‘Hello.’ Each Phrase has a designated score.

PhraseScore (Coins)
Hello5
Here We Go5
Me Again3
Hi3
Okey Dokey3
Time to Play1
Ha Ha1

To be honest, simply mashing Dorrie does not feel like the most efficient way to generate coins in the game, due to the total time before Mario can scan again. That said, I was able to earn a total of 73 coins doing just that in a standard (green tube) game.

But there is more to Dorrie than just jumping up and down on his back, while he hands you coinage. Mario can also ride on Dorrie’s back. If, after scanning, you hold Mario on Dorrie’s back, you will notice the music change. At this point, if you slide Dorrie around on the play surface, you will hear Mario accumulate coins. Extra coins are awarded for changing direction. While it does not feel as efficient, after the inital greeting, I was able to accumulate a further 58 coins in a level, simply by sliding and spinning.

Enemies: the Huckit Crab

The Huckit Crab is a repeat of the creature seen in the third set of buildable figures. The tile has the same barcode as other single-scan, single-coin land-based enemies. It is rescannable, and the turnaround to score again is faster than with Dorrie.

Landscape

There are seven landscape nodes present in this set:

These two are pretty inactive: a simple moss on a rock, poking above the water line, as well as water washing over the top of some coral.

This mechanism is a nifty way to knock over the huckit crab, lodging a Koopa shell inder a hinge. It does take a strong downwards strike from Mario to get this result. You do also need to ensure that the plates are adequately lined up, but this is not too challenging, if you have plates joining the nodes.

The next 3 parts are interactive, to reveal the 1.2.3. Blocks

First, the Sandcastle: the sandcastle can be knocked down by having Mario or Dorrie swing the shovel from side to side

The box hidden under the water is revealed by jumping on a lever around the back of the reef, flipping the box over.

Finally, there is a palm tree, which can be knocked from side to side, causing the final box to fall to the ground.

I’ve done a bit more investigation into the 1.2.3. Box Mechanic, as far as the way to maximise your score.

When you scan the box, there is a chime, followed by the sound of coins dropping. The scans are worth 3 coins each, so long as you wait to hear the coins drop before scanning your next tile. To get a points bouns, you must scan the boxes in order. You can scan other items in between the boxes, as long as you wait to hear all the coins drop before the next scan. Scanning 1…2…3 will give you a total of 16 coins. This sequence can be repeated, but there is a delay in how long you can wait before scanning the next tile.

Playthrough

So, there we have it. As an expansion set with a treaure hunt, and the new mechanic of scoring both by jumping onto Dorrie and riding on his back is appealing, and a reasonable way to earn coins. The 1.2.3. bonusblocks have only previously been seen in 71368 Toad’s Treasure Hunt. One of the first wave sets, it is due for retirement soon, and is currently discounted at LEGO.com. The ability to knock over Huckit crab with the aid of the shell is also a fun new mechanic. I appreciate the fact that you can use the 123 bonus multiple times, but there is a limit to how quickly it can be done, preventing the player from just ‘mashing’ the barcodes in rapid succession.

If you are just getting into LEGO Super Mario, and not planning to invest in the entire back catalog, then I would certainly recommend this expansion set in conjunction with 71400 Big Urchin Beach Ride Expansion. While I suspect there will come a time where new game mechanics might be somewhat limited, I am impressed at this current wave so far, and its ability to breathe fresh life into the license. I give this expansion 4/5 arbitrary praise units – it is fun, but perhaps priced a little higher than it should be in Australia. ($49.99AUD translates to 45.15CAD; 35.89 USD and £26.49 – thats over $20 more than the CAD RRP!).

If you would like to pick this expansion set up from LEGO.com, please consider using my affilliate links: the Rambling Brick might receive a small commision based on any purchases made.

Did you find this review useful? Is this an expansion you will be picking up? I’d love to know what you think: why not leave your comments below.

Dont forget to follow the Rambling brick – either on Facebook, Twitter or wordpress to keep up to date with all our news and reviews. We have some reviews coming up from Monkie Kid, Ninjago and Luigi’s Mansion, so be sure to follow the blog to keep up to date. After a christmas break, Jay from Jay’s Brick Blog and I are back with our podcast Extra Pieces, on your favorite player.

Until next time,

Play Well!

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for revieew purposes. All opinions are my own.

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