Mario leaves behind the Mushroom Kingdom and soars into space, of all places, for his debut adventure on Wii. Bowser is once again making trouble for poor Mario, snatching the persistently imperiled Princess Peach and stashing her somewhere deep within the cosmos. The plumber begins his rescue mission from the Comet Observatory, where beings known as Lumas require star energy to power their planet so Mario can reach Bowser. The hero must venture across multiple galaxies to collect stars, while mastering a mix of familiar and new play mechanics along the way.
The space setting introduces a number of changes to the classic Mario experience. Instead of running, hopping, and bopping on flat land, for instance, Mario leaps across spherical planets with variable fields of gravity. A new spin move has been added to his repertoire, allowing him to stun enemies, deflect projectiles, break objects, jump higher, and much more. Players will also rocket through space by using the Wii Remote to "latch" onto certain stars like a grappling hook or a tractor beam. Hidden throughout each world is stardust that can be used as a weapon or as a means to gain extra lives.
Collecting stars opens up more routes to explore and conquer, and players will visit more than 40 galaxies across six themed regions. Multiple objectives are available to complete within each galaxy, and several transformations are possible with the game's new costumes. The bee suit, for example, has the plucky plumber hovering and climbing sticky surfaces, while the "boo" suit turns Mario into an apparition that floats and passes through barriers. An assortment of racing and other whimsical mini-games are sprinkled throughout each region, and a friend can even join in on the fun by lending Mario a helping hand in the cooperative assist mode.