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Animal Crossing’s new Mario blocks open a world of possibility

Versatility and verticality, all in one go

Floating Mario blocks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via GulliverLemmy/Twitter

The Super Mario 35th anniversary set that recently dropped for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is more versatile than it might appear. Yes, you can use items like warp pipes and flagpoles to make your game look like a level out of the plumber’s popular platformers, but why limit yourself like that? As experimental fans are finding out, certain items lend themselves wonderfully to a wide variety of scenes.

In particular, the classic Mario block — which looks like a cube of red bricks — not only floats in the air, it can also hold small items as if it’s a countertop. So not only do you have a totally new type of storage option, but it looks really cool, too. In the image above, which hails from Twitter user GulliverLemmy, for example, Mario blocks are used to craft a mini floating town. Here are a few more angles on the room, which you can visit at the address DA-6643-5550-7269.

“Decorating in [New Horizons] is about disguising the fact that items are constrained to a grid in Animal Crossing,” GulliverLemmy told Polygon over Twitter. “The easiest way to trick the eye into not seeing a grid is to layer items of different heights in front of one another to create depth. The floating blocks are a gift to island designers in that they make this layering exceptionally easy.”

It’s still early days, but sure enough, fans are using the blocks in all sorts of creative ways. One common tactic is to use them as floating arches, which can then be decorated with things like plants or shells for added ambiance. Since they float, there’s an added sense of verticality to the designs that use Mario blocks — meaning that, in practice, they don’t necessarily scream “Mario” to the viewer. Here are a few of the best usages of the Mario blocks that we’ve seen so far.