Regular readers of the Rambling Brick will know I enjoy looking at the LEGO Super Mario sets. With the interactive digital brick bringing us favorite characters, Mario and Luigi. This year we see the arrival of Princess Peach. Frequently a target of kidnapping by Bowser, I was intrigued to see what sort of activities she would be engaged in.
I have been fortunate to receive some of the new wave of LEGO Super Mario sets for review, and today I would like to start with the entry level Princess Peach set, 71403 Adventures with Princess Peach. With 354 pieces, this set includes The Princess Peach digital brick, as well as several brick built characters and some new terrain elements. It will go on sale on August 1, 2022, costing $AUD89.99.
Inside the box are 6 bags, and a leaflet highlighting the sets still available in the Super Mario range, including some ideas for arranging the elements.
As with All LEGO Super Mario sets, there are NO stickers to apply.
Let’s take a look at what we get in the set: the characters, powerups and landscape elemements, including how scoring is allocated. At the end, I will include a video demonstrating gameplay for the elements of the starter set.
But First, if you are new to LEGO Super Mario toys: the sets provide interactive platforms around which you navigate your Digital Brick. There are now 3 different Digital Bricks: Mario, Luigi, and now Peach. The brick features Bluetooth connectivity (it can talk to the app on a phone or tablet; or to one other digital brick at a time), multi axis accelerometers (it can sense movement up and down,as well as round, and tilting), a barcode scanner (to read interactive action blocks – an integral part in identifying friends, enemies and other interactive elements of the came – power ups, hidden coins, start pipe, end of levels and more), as well as the ability to recognise different suits, which might apply different powers to the characters. The Brick also features a couple of screens – including the character’s eyes, mouth, as well as a small torso screen, which provides information about the biomes our characters are traversing; coins scored and powerups, as well as the timing of a level. The brick also has a speaker, used to provide dialogue, music and sound effects.
Building instructions are provided by the LEGO Super Mario App, which has 3 functions:
- Providing building instructions (including video demonstrations of different facets of game play)
- Updating the brick to recognise new action tiles/sets
- Engaging with LEGO Life – taking pictures of your course; as well as access to building and play challenges.
- The App is not essential to Play LEGO Super Mario, but if you run through a course while connected to the app, it will provide a breakdown of your score at the end.
When you receive a starter set ‘out of the box’ the Digital Brick recognises elements included in that set only (some may recur in other sets). As such, you need to connect it to the App, to update the firmware, and recognise the full library of LEGO Super Mario Gameplay elements.
You can play with two digital characters in the same level, by pressing the Bluetooth button on their backs: they will say hello to each other, and then be wearing a yellow scarf around their necks. When you have two characters in play, you score bonus points for performing the same activities in sequence, including taking it in turns to defeat a boss character. The base game also runs for 90 rather than 60 seconds.
Let’s take a look at the game elements included:
As we often do, I’d like to thank Ann for knolling out the elements supplied in this set. As you can see, we have the rounded plates in Green, blue and red: Woodlands, water and Lava, as well as similar elements in orange and light stone grey. Princess peach looks a little terrifying until you turn the brick on…
Princess Peach Digital Brick
The Princess Peach Brick is the tallest of the digital bricks, and slightly narrower around the body than Mario or Luigi. She has round azure tiles worn as earrings, and her lower screen displays a blue jewelled necklace, when not providing details of current game play.
She has a removable skirt which can be changed and replaced with the Cat Suit included in set 71407.
She also wears a small crown, which can be easily removed.
To get started, you need a small screwdriver and 2 x AAA batteries.
As previously discussed, the Digital brick makes sounds when you move it; recognises different colours, and keeps score as it engages with the environment, ideally gathering coins as the game continues.
Compared to Mario and Luigi, I found the power switch less intuitive to locate. The skirt also feels a little grippier than Mario and Luigi’s overalls (or other powerup suits.)
From here on, when I talk about actions that Peach takes, they apply equally to Mario and Luigi, as they function identically for the purposes of game play.
Yellow Toad features a delightfully coloured mushroom hat, and is putting his best foot forward. When the Digital brick steps on the speech bubble, Peach will speak to Toad, gaining coins, and showing a heart on her chest screen.
When Peach scans Toad’s tile, she speaks, and receives between 2 and 5 coins. She can rescan the tile for more coins during gameplay.
An inhabitant of the dungeon levels, the Lava Bubble has appeared in a number of sets over the last few years. You can scan the lava bubble’s action tile repeatedly in a timed game, gaining one coin each time.
One of the Koopalings, children of Arch-Villain, Bowser, Lemmy is relatively skinny and has a multicoloured plume on his head. He wieilds a flaming staff. I really love his brick built design.
When knocked off his pedestal, he needs to be scanned 6 times, to deliver 10 coins. Subsequent scans will yield a single coin
Power-ups/ Bonus activities
The Flying Question Mark.
This functions as a regular question mark brick, which can return 5 different responses during the course of a game. On scanning, the Digital Brick starts a random number generator for the response (1-5) Each response can be awarded once, and if it subsequently comes up, you will instead receive a single coin.
The possible responses include:
- Super Mushroom power: increased resilience to injury/poisoning/fire
- 15 second time bonus added to the game clock
- 5 coins
- 10 coins
- Star Power: there is a chance of music; the clock is suspended for 10 seconds, and you can defeat all enemies with a single scan, including enemies such as ghosts and shockers, who you might not be able to defeat normally. You earn double coins while you have Star Power.
This is part of a new game mechanic introduced in this wave of LEGO Super Mario sets. Other colours of fruit are included in other sets of the wave.
Peach Scans the base of the red fruit. A picture appears on her chest screen. You can help her eat the fruit if you nod her forward, 3 times: each time a bite vanishes from the fruit, and ultimately, you receive 5 coins. Peach makes ‘Nom nom nom’ sounds as she eats the fruit. Eating the fruit also gives Peach temporary invulnerability to walking on lava (red plates), which also gains a 5 coin bonus.
If she does not eat the fruit: no points, no invulnerability.
Peach may pick up fruit on multiple occasions during a timed level.
Peach is not obliged to eat the fruit, however. She may turn it into a gift, by scanning the brightly coloured box.
It can be passed on to Toad by scanning the conversation tile (5 coins).
The present can be scanned by an active Digital Brick (ie Luigi, Mario or Peach) to grant 3 coins.
This green start pipe functions like other start pipes. Scanning the start tile sets the timer on Peach’s chest counting down from 60. If two characters have been connected, there are 90 seconds in play. Game play can be extended using a ‘time’ bonus, as well as the 15 second time bonus included in the ‘?’ brick.
Interestingly, my older Mario figure required a firmware update to recognise this tile, suggesting it uses a different barcode to previous versions.
During the game, landing on this tile will end the timed game, play the finishing music, and display the score in coins. If playing a two player game, you need to get the second character to the plate within a few seconds to earn full points.
Suspended between two trees, with a red bird in the branches, this tan swing give peach a place to relax. As the swing goes back and forth, we get a change in music. Meanwhile, Peach gains coins. There is a knob on the side that allows you to swing all the way around, should you wish. But, should Peach fall off, she enters a ‘no coin state’ where she cannot earn coins for 5 seconds.
This white box has a small lever next to the base, a a lid that rests on the tiled top of the box. The present is placed in the Gift Box. By slamming peach on the lever, the present knocks the lid off. A second slam results in liberating the gift, so that it can be scanned.
A simple white tower, this is a great place for Lenny to hang out and taunt peach. It features a white 2×2 inverse curved brick/arch.
Set on a lava biome, a grey 4×4 tile is flipped when Peach slams on a lever. This can be used to launch the Lava Bubble into the air, ideally to knock Lenny off the tower, so that peach can stomp and scan him.
Non Interactive Landscape Elements
There are a few elements of non-interactive landscape in the set, too. This includes two orange topped mushrooms, and a small table, with a checked table cloth and a couple of teacups in place.
Here’s a quick overview video of the game play. I didn’t do well.
I find this starter pack quite interesting: compared with Adventures with Mario, there are relatively few platforms to ride on, focussing instead on some greater challenges, such as the swing, and the introduction of the present Mechanic. I’d like to write about this a bit more once I have a better understanding of how it works, and to survey the feature with older characters, as well as the new. Peach seems to me to be wandering around, having a good time, rather than trying desperately to overcome traps and obstacles to reach her goal. Once again, the LEGO Super Mario range manages to keep things interesting, upping the ante on what has come before. Do you need it for completeness? Maybe. Is it essential? No will kids want it just because Peach is one of their favorite characters? Quite probably.
I’ll look at a few more of this wave over the next week or 3, and I haven’t forgotten to look at Luigi’s Mansion: I have managed to get the set I was missing in the range, and will get to it before too long.
Adventures with Peach will be released on 1/8/2022, and will have a fairly widespread release.
What do you think of the new ‘fruit and gift’ mechanic? The theme in general? Leave your comments below, and until next time,