Power Star Frenzy is an incredible Mario fan game with massive secret-filled levels, a large world map to explore and a level of creativity and attention to detail that you’d only expect to see in an official Nintendo product.
Mario fan games are nothing new but Power Star Frenzy goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a fan game. Gameplay-wise it’s most like Super Mario World, but it borrows features from Mario games from all through the franchise and adds a lot of great ideas of its own too. It features a 3-hit life meter as seen in the 3D Mario games, a massive variety of power-ups taken from across all the Mario games, the ability to pick-up and throw things as in Super Mario Bros 2 and a whole host of familiar faces from across the franchise (including Sunshine!).
Power Star Frenzy features a single-player adventure mode, co-op multiplayer and a multiplayer battle mode. It has a large Super Mario World-esque world map that contains 10 large levels (and one tutorial level) and lots of Toad houses with item shops and lucky dips.
The level design in Power Star Frenzy is more focused on exploration than making it from A to B, with each level packed full of secrets to discover and containing multiple Power Stars to collect, much like in the 3D Mario games. Collecting Power Stars allows you to access more levels on the world map and you can even collect Chaos Crystals which can randomly activate and totally transform the way you play through a level.
Sadly development has now been stopped on Power Star Frenzy as RandomNICK is moving on to creating his own indie games, but the current build is packed full of creativity and content that will take several hours to play through fully. It’s a remarkable game that not only feels like a love-letter to the entire Mario franchise, but also a blueprint of what a modern 2D Mario game should be. Highly recommended.