The game is played like Super Mario 64/Sunshine/Galaxy/Galaxy 2: the characters have a healt bar like in these games with 5 parts, and each character has a direrent special move. The "main hub" of the game is Mushroom City. Here, the player may acess levels and buy things from the Mushroom Shop using both coins and Star Coins. However, each level has 3 Star Coins like other platformer Mario games and is similiar to them in that power-ups are obtained from blocks instead of being there laying in the ground.
Peach was bored, so she invited Mario, Luigi, Toad and Yoshi to her castle to eat some cake and talk. When they arrive, Toadsworth says Peach has been captured. Suddenly, Bowser appears and captures Luigi and Yoshi, but Mario and Toad escape and go in a quest to save their friends.
When Mario and Toad rescue Luigi from King Boo, he tells them that Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Birdo were captured too.
When the player defeats Bowser and saves Peach and decides to continue playing, a cutscene will play. Bowser says the quest is not over, because he captured Daisy and Rosalina too. He captures everyone except for Peach, who escapes and goes into a quest to save everyone from Bowser. The player will play as if it was the same game, but it will have completely diferent worlds and levels, and Peach is the default playable character. When Daisy and Rosalina are rescued, they will become playable characters too, and the player may play in any level of the two quests any time he wants. The game is 100% complete when the player collects every Star Coin from every level and buys everything from the Mushroom Shop.
Click here to see detailed information about each character, including stats, special ability and how to unlock them.