How closely does LEGO Super Mario mirror actual gameplay of the Super Mario games?
It's quite a bit different from what you might be expecting but apparently it’s all part of the whole design!
LEGO design head Jonathan Bennink clarified that LEGO Super Mario ‘doesn’t die’ or lose lives like in regular Super Mario games. This is partly because Takashi Tezuka, who has produced many Mario games at Nintendo and partnered with LEGO on the project, advised the development team to keep Mario happy throughout the whole play experience!
“We simply couldn’t translate all of the main mechanics straight to Lego play — Mario games are often about skill and making it to the finish. So in that sense it’s more akin to Super Mario Maker, where you are intrinsically motivated to get to build levels. One of the decisions that we also made is that Mario doesn’t die or get hurt a lot, and this is mainly because of Tezuka-san saying ‘We want Mario to be happy, because if Mario is happy, kids are happy,’ which turned out to be very true.”
The playsets will hopefully inspire players to build many unique courses!
More info - here.