Mario can become Link in the new Mario Maker 2 update

Do you wish Nintendo would let you make Zelda levels in the same way you can make Mario courses? This might be the next best thing. The company has lifted the lid on the version 2.0 update for Mario Maker 2, and its most eye-catching feature is the Master Sword power up, which turns Mario into Link.

In the original Mario Maker, you could get similar with a magic mushroom, but that was purely cosmetic. This time around, you get the sword, bombs and arrows – and each of them can be used to take down enemies and solve puzzles. One caveat: Link is only available in Super Mario Bros. courses, so you won’t see an HD Link jumping around, alas.

Related: Best Nintendo Switch games

It’s not just a Zelda update though, and committed course creators get several new toys in their creative chest. There’s Spike, for a start – that’s the little green monster that lobs spike balls at you. It’s not just designed to inflict damage, though: Spike’s ball can destroy blocks, activate question mark blocks or as a weight on levels with platforms.

Pokey will be more familiar: that’s the enemy made up of spiked cacti parts in desert levels that can only be destroyed by fire balls or by the asbestos mouth of Yoshi, who seems unperturbed by all the spikes.  

Related: Best upcoming Switch games

There are a few new level parts too: frozen coin blocks, indestructible P Blocks and Dash Blocks for speed boosts. 

Finally, there’s a new game mode: Ninji Speedruns. This is essentially a challenge mode where you’re pitted against the Ninji ghost versions of other players who’ve completed the level. Crucially, you’ll be pitted against players who are roughly the same ability as you, so it shouldn’t prove too dispiriting.

It’s coming on Thursday December 5 as a free update, so keep an eye on Switch later in the week.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor