Visually distinct from other sets in the theme, LEGO Super Mario 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set offers something unique from both a colour and challenge standpoint. With two villains and a tricky balancing game that offers decent coin rewards, it offers an intriguing expansion to 71360 Adventures with Mario Starter Course.
To use this LEGO Super Mario set, fans will first need 71360 Adventures with Mario Starter Course. That is the centre of this theme, with everything else offering the opportunity to expand the course and enhance the gameplay.
It is hard to remember what the LEGO design team did before roller coaster track existed, as it continues to crop up in almost every theme. 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set makes excellent use of it, as a few straight pieces are used on a seesaw construction. Some genuinely interesting LEGO building – largely absent from 71360 – is done to put the Piranha Plants together, but otherwise this is another simple affair.
That seesaw section is an excellent addition to the Mario course. Once he hops inside it, Mario can accrue coins by being tipped left and right – if he hits the fly traps, he grimaces and stops collecting coins for a short period – if he keeps avoiding them, the coins keep coming. Unlike some of the more simple aspects in the starter course, this feels like a real challenge and improving at it becomes really compelling.
To make sure that there is enough time to spend some time see-sawing, the set includes a time block, that rewards Mario with an extra 30 seconds on the clock.
Thanks to the plants, the set is immediately visually distinctive from others in the theme, with the desert setting definitely adding to this. Yellow is another colour that Mario detects, with his walking sound switching up to him trudging through sand. Combined with the starter set, the yellow contrasts nicely with the green.
Two villains also come in the box – another Goomba and a Koopa Troopa. The Koopa Troopa is a great little character, using the special shell piece that is also used for Bowser Jnr. Unfortunately, as with the starter set villains, it is just a case of knocking the Koopa Troopa over and bouncing Mario on his back. This is the part of the gameplay that feels the most unfulfilling, as it requires none of the skill or timing that a video game does.
One aspect of the set that doesn’t feel great is the value for money. As fun as the game is, it is essentially a balancing game – and $29.99 is quite a lot to pay for that.
With the skill and patience that 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set requires, those looking to expand their LEGO Super Mario level should definitely pick it up – as long as the price is not too off putting.
This product was provided by the LEGO Group.