The New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS is similar to the previous installments of Super Mario Bros games but there are some changes and improvements. One of the most significant improvements is the graphic presentation, and others are miscellaneous character dances or animations and even a 3D effect that can be turned on whenever the player likes. When the player begins the game, they will make their way to the end of the level as normal while stomping on enemies, collecting gold coins and getting various powerups along the way. There are also golden rings in the game which reward the player, when collected, by allowing them to earn extra coins from defeated enemies. A new addition to this game is a mini-boss battle at the end of each level before continuing.
During gameplay, coins can be salvaged and collected from multiple places. For example, when enemies are defeated they will leave behind gold coins for the player to collect or there may also sometimes be moments in the game when gold coins are emitted from pipes or even from Mario himself. One of the new powerups included in the game is a Golden Flower that turns Mario into the legendary Midas character. As such, while Mario has the Golden Flower powerup, blocks and enemies will be transformed into collectible coins. Besides the Golden Flower powerup, there are other powerups like the Mini and Mega Mushroom as well as the traditional ones.
The story of New Super Mario Bros 2 involves Bowser's Koopalings trying to stop Mario in his tracks by challenging the player to a fight once they have reached the end of the current level. During the game, the player will encounter more than one castle to keep things interesting. Besides castles, there are other switch ups throughout the level that will keep gamers surprised. Along with variations to the map, secrets and hidden doors to other Mario Worlds are also present. The player may spend a lot of time just trying to find the secrets and hidden doors within the worlds. Other factors that are developed into the game aim to also help those players along who may be having a hard time. For instance, there is the Tanooki Suit that the player may wear to become invincible so that they may get past the part they're stuck at in a level.
Multiplayer is another returning side of the game that seems to also work well on the 3DS. Gamers are allowed to play levels together cooperatively so that they may help one another in finding out gameplay secrets or accessing hidden rooms. Another gameplay option, Coin Rush gives gamers the option of a sort of free-for-all against other players in hopes of collecting the most coins. While the New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS may not offer a whole revamp in gameplay, there are still many new features, gameplay modes and levels for the player to experience.