Mario Maker preview: Building our own Mario levels, every Nintendo fan's dream

One of the more quirky Wii U titles trailed during the E3 special edition of Nintendo Direct was Mario Maker. Not just a game, it allows you to build and then play your own Mario Bros levels and, presumably, then share them with a community of other gamers.

The game/creation tool will not be available until next year, but we're not entirely sure exactly what else can be added, to the basic engine at least.

When in normal game mode, you play a typical sideways-scrolling 2D Mario platformer, with either 8-bit graphics from the Super Mario Bros or the more rounded, colourful graphics of New Super Mario Bros U. So far so traditional.

Where it changes is when you hit the menu button and choose to edit the level. That opens up a content rich game creation screen with Mario walls, enemies, pipes and the rest of the usual landscape objects all available to drop on the screen to alter a level entirely.

In addition, once editing mode has been initialised, subsequent arcade style plays bring up Mario trace graphics to show exactly where the moustachioed plumbing expert has jumped or travelled in order to let you see the typical or necessary path in order to rejig the level design to make it either more simple or harder.

There's not to much to Mario Maker other than that at present. It's still a fair way off, and we got to see and manipulate three custom levels made before the show. We would expect much more to be added, including the aforementioned community level sharing area and possibly other graphical styles from the rest of the Mario back catalogue.

It's impossible to say how popular Mario Maker will be, but creation games, such as Minecraft and Little Big Planet, have been hugely successful in recent times so this oddity has more than a fair chance.