The six most distracting mini-games in ‘Super Mario Odyssey’

Wave goodbye to your free time.

So, the world has gone absolutely potty for Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch console. It’s become the fastest-selling Mario game in Europe and North America, shifting 1.1 million copies in five days in the latter.

Bad dude Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach once again, meaning Mario must navigate various areas – such as the New York-like Donk City and snow-capped Shiveria Town – to rescue her. This time, our hero has a secret weapon: a cap named Cappy that he can throw at other characters in order to ‘capture’ them, which essentially amounts to possessing them to benefit from their life skills. Need to jump high? Capture a frog! You know it makes sense.

As is so often the case in modern gaming, there are plentiful incidental mini-games to enjoy as you take time out from the wider mission. These offer the chance to pick up Moons, the game’s valuable currency. Here are six of NME’s favourite ways to muck about on the brilliant Super Mario Odyssey.

Koopa Freerunning


You’ll have to be speedy if you want those Moons, as this cutesy mini-game involves out-running lil turtles and mushrooms in a bid to be the fist to reach a checkpoint. Ready… steady… go!

Trace Walking

You have to walk around in a circle along the lines of some arrows that appear on the ground. But there’s a catch! The arrows disappear after a while and you’re left to it from memory. If you were rubbish at tracing as a kid, this could be your touchest Mario challenge yet.

Jump-Rope Challenge


Wandering around Donk City, Mario happens upon some people playing with a skipping rope. If you join in and manage 30 jump, you get a Moon. Achieve 100, and you get another Moon and enter the hallowed ranks of successful rope-jumpers on the online leader board. That’s one for the grandkids!


RC Car Challenge


Drive round round a track in a little car and try to complete three laps in 30 seconds. You’ll be rewarded, of course, with a Moon and smug sense of self-satisfaction that money can’t buy.

Beach Volley Ball


If you’ve ever longed to kick it on a beach, playing volleyball with a giant snail thing – you’re in luck, and also extremely niche in your tastes. Rack up 100 hits to get that precious prize. It sounds easy, but be warned: Beach Volley Ball is much more difficult than the Jump-Rope Challenge.

Round Bowl Grand Prix

Found in Shiveria Town, this race is one the game’s cutest mini challenges, accessed by sliding down a little hole into a snowy landscape. You must capture a reluctant racer – and ride him to victory as only Mario can.