Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move preview: it's Pipe Mania

The Mario vs. Donkey Kong series was essentially Nintendo's take on Lemmings. For Mario and Donkey Kong, it seems that Nintendo wants to take on another classic puzzle game: Pipe Mania. At the start of each level, mini Marios will begin marching. You'll have to lay down track in order to safely guide them to the goal, avoiding obstacles and collecting items along the way. Play too slowly, and the mini Marios will likely walk off to their doom. If your collection of boxes gets congested, you'll lose that way as well. All four main game modes play on that central theme, and vary by either limiting the number of blocks you have, or by challenging you to simply find the fastest route through a puzzle. Unlike Pipe Mania, however, there are a number of interesting twists that make each level unique. For example, you may need to route the Marios into a key before heading to the exit. You'll be able to use bombs to replace laid down track, or throw away unnecessary blocks in a trash. There are intersecting tracks, and switches that change directions.

It's Pipe Mania

There is no story mode this time around, if that bothers you for some reason. However, unlike most of the previous entries in this series, this isn't a retail release; it's an eShop downloadable. In addition to the 180 levels included in the game, there's also a built-in level editor to share new levels with the rest of the Nintendo community. Oddly, there's also four completely unrelated mini-games included, with most of them being a mini Mario take on Angry Birds. (You use the touch screen to manipulate a sling shot.) These games seem like an unnecessary distraction from the main game's puzzles. Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move will be available on the 3DS eShop on May 9.

Use the touch screen to fling Mario at objects