|Predecessor||New Super Mario World (chronologically)|
|Successor||New Super Mario Bros. Wii (chronologically)|
The story will have storytelling and emotion refined to the same level as its gameplay.
Flint controls similarly to, but more precisely than, Boo Mario. is used to move through the XZ plane, and and to move along the Y axis, though Flint automatically moves downward unless he is close to a solid platform. shields Flint in flames as a form of defense. Finally, is used to activate items before they expire.
Flint is thus guided by the player through a number of levels, while avoiding being attacked too much. Enemies that are vulnerable to fire can be attacked, while other enemies and obstacles must be avoided entirely. Also, as Flint is a Boo, he will lose a life instantly if too much light touches him. This makes him vulnerable to lava even if he isn't touching it.
|The tutorial level, in which players learn the basics of controlling Flint. It starts with an empty hallway so that the player experiments with the controls and learn how to move Flint before anything meaningful happens. At the end of the hall, there is a balcony of sorts with an open door. The staircase leading to it is broken, so the player must learn to move up by pressing the A button.
In the next room is a Checkpoint Flag and not much else. The player will most likely move Flint into the flag, whether intentionally or by accident, due to the size of the room. At the other end of the room is another open door.
The third room is very large, but it also contains the game's first hazards, in the form of a bottomless pit and several Light Blocks. Flint will be instantly defeated if he goes near either, sending him back to the checkpoint in the last room. If the player successfully crosses the room, which is not an exceptionally tricky feat, they will be able to pass through another Checkpoint Flag and continue.
Flint goes down a smaller hallway with some torches inside, then through two large wooden doors, ending up outside in the garden. He contemplates all the plants for a second before noticing one that does not fit in. Little does he know that it is a Flare Flower. He reaches at it hesitantly and makes the mistake of touching it. The fiery power of the flower evaporates into his ectoplasm, sending levels of energy throughout his being that only certain species are known to be able to handle. Being undead, however, Flint cannot die, so he blacks out instead, ending the level.
|Flint wakes up shortly thereafter, but he doesn't feel right. He realizes that he has become orange, and accidentally burns a nearby plant with his new pyrokinetic abilities. Flint thinks he's become "a freak" and decides that the best course of action is to run away through the surrounding forest.
The next area has rivers of poisonous water that are harmful to the touch. It is easy to avoid touching the water, but Poison Podoboos jump out on occasion which may catch the player off-guard. The Fireball power-up is introduced here. Flint must use it to burn wood planks covering the entrance to the next area; using the fire shield move will merely char the wood's surface.
The third area is more vertical than the others. There is a Checkpoint Flag near the entrance. Flint must ascend around a tall tree, and can use Fireball power-ups scattered around to burn enemies and obtrusive foliage. Koopa Troopas are first found here, climbing vines attached to the tree. Goombas can also be seen at the forest floor. The area's exit is embedded in the face of a cliff nearby the tree.
In the following area, the sun is rising, sending crepuscular rays filtering through the tree leaves. This beautiful komorebi spells bad news for Flint, as touching sunlight is fatal for him. A Checkpoint Flag can be found in the center of the area.
- The game appears to begin in World 5 of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
- It is suggested that the events of the game are a result of the end of New Super Mario World, in which Flare Flowers are scattered across the Mushroom Kingdom before the player is told how to start Story Mode+.