In his latest adventure, Mario must save the universe from apocalypse. He seeks to stop the blue-faced Count Bleck, who wants to cram all existence into a rip in the fabric of space and kill us all.
This time, Mario is two-dimensional, merely an animated piece of paper running left to right, navigating secret tunnels and mazes of 2-D towns and deserts. How can a paper man save the universe?
The game cleverly reinvents Mario by giving him the miraculous ability to change the world from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. He'll be moving his little feet, looking like an animated slice of paper. Suddenly you press a button, and he will alter the world to 3-D so he can find hidden treasures and mysterious bridges to flatlands filled with clues as to where he should travel next.
This trick of perspective is enough to reenergize the series. And the game's look is a splendid paradise of hippie abstract-minimalism.