On the back of the box for the UK release of Super Mario 3D Land, Nintendo describes the game as ‘A Pick-Up-and-Play 3D Mario’. As far as promotional statements go, this seemed a little unnecessary – haven’t Mario platformers always been ‘pick-up-and-play’? Isn’t accessibility in a Mario game a given? It’s not until you actually start playing that the significance of this hits home, as you realise that for Mario’s first platforming adventure on the 3DS Nintendo have gone back to basics, stripping away many of the embellishments that have attached themselves to the series since the plumber first appeared on the NES all those years ago. In stripping away so much, is the resulting game a lean, mean platforming machine or just rather emaciated?