Mario Bros. Returns is a Mario platformer game for the 3DS and Wii U released on the 1st of August 2015 for both systems. Originally, it was meant to be released on the Game Boy Advance, but was scrapped in favour of Super Mario Advance. Returns is the successor of the New series, which ended with New Super Luigi U, having a total of 5 installments.
Mario woke up and realised he was not at home, but inside some dark cave. Swoopers flying above him, water dripping from the ceiling, ?-Blocks scattered around, but no sign of any other human being. Suddenly, someone's hand touched Mario's shoulder, sending shivers down his back. A voice then reached his ears: "You're alone. Your friends are gone. There's no one to help you. You must get out of here." When Mario turned around, there was nothing behind him. "I guess I really have to get out of here," he thought. And so Mario set off on his new adventure to get back home and find out, where have Luigi, Peach and the others gone.
After some time, Mario reached a tower, blocking the way out of the cave. Having nothing else to do, Mario went inside. When he reached the top, he was surprised, as Boom Boom was waiting him there. "Hmm, I guess Bowser is involved again." Mario easily defeated the burly koopa and went outside. After a short walk, he reached a tower with an airship circling around it. The airship had Lemmy's head. "Now I'm fully convinced - Bowser's kidnapped Princess Peach again and sent his puny allies to stop me! But nothing can stop me from saving Princess Peach again, not even Bowser and his Koopalings!" said Mario angrily and rushed to the top of the tower, where he defeated Lemmy, who then fled to his airship. Luckily, the red-capped man found a cannon on top of the tower, which he used to shoot himself over to the Koopaling. Being on board, he defeated Lemmy again, who, after his defeat, threw Mario off his ship and started fleeing. Mario tried to catch up to him, but he couldn't run as fast as the Koopaling could fly. And so, Mario climbed down the mountain using a rope ladder hanging in front of the tower and continued his adventure.
Many days have passed and Mario has finally defeated Iggy in his airship. A thought flew throw the hero's mind: "Whew, no more of this hot and dry place!" But after a few moments, Mario noticed an eerie looking castle, blocking his way ahead. Without any sense of fright, Mario went inside. He swiftly passed all of its traps and trials, but when he came to the final room before the exit, a shadowy figure appeared in front of him. "Wait a second, that's me!" screamed Mario, even though there wasn't anyone here to scream to. The shadow answered: "I'm not you. I'm me. And you're you. Now, I must test you, before you move on, to be fully convinced, that you're able to defeat Bowser and save us all." And so the two fought. Mario easily beat the creature. "Very well," it said, "Now you may proceed". The same moment, the shadow vanished into thin air. "Well, that was weird, but never mind - I have brothers and princesses to save!" said Mario and ran out of the castle.
When Mario reached the tower of Palm Tree Cove, he said: "Oh, Larry's airship! Now it's the small guy's turn to get beat up!" But how big was his surprise, when at the top of the tower he didn't see just Larry, but also some small Koopa girl beside him. "Finally you're here," said Larry, "Allow me to introduce our new little friend here, Dragonia. She's never ever fought you, so I think it would be fair if I joined here for a bit. Also, by the way, she doesn't have her own airship yet, so I had to bring her here." And so the three fought and Mario easily defeated the other two. After another fight with Larry in his airship, Mario wondered: "I wonder if there're more Koopalings I haven't seen yet. But I shouldn't worry, I'll defeat them anyway." With these foughts Mario continued his journey.
Mario Bros. Returns has a total of 7 worlds (so far), each of them having a certain theme (desert, water etc.), except the secret stages. At the end of each world you fight a boss and in the middle of a world you fight one, two or three more.