Generally favorable reviews - based on 69 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 69
  2. Negative: 1 out of 69
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  1. Nov 19, 2012
    Another fantastic entry in its series, and easily one of the best 3DS releases of the year. The game retains the charm and wit of previous Paper Mario titles, and its new sticker mechanic makes combat even more engaging than before.
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    Overall, Sticker Star is as far removed from Super Paper Mario as that was from The Thousand Year Door. While you might lament the departure the series has taken from its original RPG roots, this hybrid of adventure and action found in Sticker Star stands out as one of the best entries in the series.
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    The experience is high on satisfaction and low on frustration, making it an undeniably perfect fit for the company's mobile console. It's not entirely flawless, but as Mario games go, it's one of the best.
  4. Nov 6, 2012
    One of the best 3DS games to date, Paper Mario: Sticker Star updates an already great series for handhelds by expertly cutting the fat to make for a digestible portable adventure. RPG lovers might balk at the changes, but after the first few hours they'll realize that this is just the next evolution in a series that was always quietly innovating its genre.
  5. Nov 6, 2012
    Sticker Star is absolutely worthy of the Paper Mario name.
  6. Dec 7, 2012
    Paper Mario debuts in Nintendo 3DS with a very original game, which changes its traditional gameplay adding stickers to the RPG system. The result is a game as funny and humorous as in past titles, but more innovative.
  7. Jan 29, 2013
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star does have some flaws, but the good does mostly out-weight the bad. The puzzles can be challenging, as well as the boss fights, but the normal battles as mostly there to suck up your stickers.
  8. Dec 18, 2012
    Paper Mario's flat sticker world makes for an enjoyable 3D game.
  9. Dec 4, 2012
    Sticker Star is not exactly what many expected. It's not a return to the origins in full rule, in that the RPG elements are sacrificed, but not even a real distortion. The substance is that of a Paper Mario, however, it has a setting that some may not accept, and some of the limitations in the structure. But if you will understand the nature, you will see exciting ideas in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, you will realize that, behind an experience sometimes fragmentary, it hides one of the best adventures of this year.
  10. Games Master UK
    Dec 18, 2012
    A rollicking good time. [Jan 2013, p.66]
  11. Like a pack of footy stickers, you'll find bits you want and bits you don't. Perhaps not the shiny Nintendo gem we'd hoped for, but a fun return to form.
  12. Nov 6, 2012
    The game's infectious spirit and sense of humour is irresistible, and it's big, too – you're not beating this one in a weekend. It's just a shame that putting stickers at the heart of the game didn't turn out to be the master-stroke it so readily could have been.
  13. Nov 19, 2012
    In the final analysis, Sticker Star is no Thousand Year Door, but don't let that turn you off – it's still a really good game, even if its RPG elements have been toned down.
  14. Dec 6, 2012
    A colourful, entertaining Paper Mario game with a clever battle mechanical and some smart 3D effects. Be prepared for the occasional frustrating moment and spot of aimless backtracking, though.
  15. Hyper Magazine
    Feb 10, 2013
    A great reinterpretation of what makes Mario work. [March 2013, p.72]
  16. Dec 21, 2012
    Paper Mario is something of a missed opportunity because it could become a much better game, but ultimately is very enjoyable and offers tons of fun.
  17. Dec 12, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a game that can easily be recommended to all kinds of gamers, but maybe especially to you who have been growing up with Mario from the very beginning.
  18. 80
    In developing its first Paper Mario games, Intelligent Systems could include all predicates of the previous games and even refined some aspects, particularly the turn-based combat, facilitated by the 3DS touchscreen.
  19. Dec 5, 2012
    Super Paper Mario on the Wii showed that Nintendo is unafraid of experimenting with the franchise, and although Paper Mario: Sticker Star has a few minor missteps and a few missed opportunities (where is the sticker collection StreetPass mini-game?) it is still an adventure of considerable charm and intelligence and is hugely entertaining throughout. It also does more than most to vindicate the 3DS's now much maligned 3D screen, proving that – if used correctly– it still has the ability to wow. Its hero may be flat, but Paper Mario: Sticker Star will leave you feeling anything but.
  20. Dec 3, 2012
    While many expected recycling, Intelligent Systems has yet managed to get all his imagination to create the first Paper Mario on a handheld console. Sticker Star is a fabulous ambassador for stereoscopic 3D, as its paper universe is the ideal material to illustrate the aesthetic qualities of this technology. The scenario and fights are excellent too.
  21. Dec 3, 2012
    The lack of many RPG features might be somehow confusing, but it's fun and addictive. On the top of that, it makes us think, so we really recommend it for those looking for something different to play on the 3DS.
  22. Dec 3, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star has good exploration, platforms and RPG combat in a charm world. Effective gameplay, but too simple combat and some issues in level design.
  23. Nov 23, 2012
    It's a delightful game, with joyful visuals and some genuine humor, and Intelligent Systems should be praised for their original approach: however, some serious balance issues keep Paper Mario: Sticker Star from being a true classic.
  24. Nov 22, 2012
    Intelligent Systems takes great care to shape its RPG for portable play. The world is divided into Super Mario Bros-style levels that each pack a tidy little narrative. Levelling is removed in order to keep these vignettes grind-free. And it's all wrapped up in Nintendo's typically hilarious localisation.
  25. Nov 21, 2012
    Fans of the series have to forgo some typical elements, but in return they get quite amusing humor and stages, which want to be discovered.
  26. Nov 19, 2012
    Perfect for the handheld market, this new twist in the Paper Mario Saga is funny and compelling. Still, the overall experience is not perfectly balanced, and the combat system does not work well as the one of the previous chapters.
  27. Nov 19, 2012
    Though Paper Mario: Sticker Star may not be a game that I return to upon completion, I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend that fans of the series and those looking to enter into the Mario universe in a unique way on the 3DS pick this title up.
  28. Nov 13, 2012
    Sticker Star exhibits some growing pains, but the new direction pays off in spite of them. The lack of traditional RPG elements will take time to adjust to, but once you've cleared the hurdle, you're rewarded with a solid game that hones in on its clever puzzles and refined battle system to deliver an experience that simultaneously comforting and novel.
  29. Nov 12, 2012
    Even though Sticker Star has some problems, it is a very enjoyable adventure.
  30. Nov 12, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a solid game. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, but it more than manages to seal the deal.
  31. Nov 12, 2012
    If you can get past the repetitive combat and possibly even enjoy the grind towards the final boss, there's a lot to love in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. It doesn't hold up against the compelling experiences Fall 2012 is rife with, but it's another worthy entry to the ever-expanding 3DS software library.
  32. Nintendo Power
    Nov 11, 2012
    And it's an especially welcome addition to a library mostly starved for quality RPGs. [Nov 2012, p.74]
  33. Nov 6, 2012
    Though it looks like something that might run on the GameCube or the Wii, Sticker Star plays a lot more like something from the 8- or 16-bit era than most recent Nintendo adventure titles, which is a large part of why it's one of my new favorite 3DS games.
  34. Nov 6, 2012
    A fun, charming game that is befitting of the series' unique sense of gameplay. While an unfortunate amount of backtracking and a lackluster story halt the game from being flawless, these are just minor grievances in an otherwise fantastic game.
  35. Nov 6, 2012
    From the wealth of stickers to the challenging levels and creatures, it's one of the 3DS' more enjoyable RPGs, with adorable characters, catchy music and subtle yet effective 3D graphics. Our advice? "Stick" with it.
  36. Nov 6, 2012
    Often funny, thoroughly charming and a joy to play, but it is also just as often a touch too familiar, seemingly unwilling to really go out on a limb and do something crazy even if the potential to do so is immense.
  37. Pelit (Finland)
    Feb 21, 2013
    Brilliant humor and an interesting world won't save Mario's latest RPG offering. Even though the stickers add a lot of variety to the turn based battles, an RPG without any character development tends to turn repetitive eventually. Unfortunately for Mario such is the case with Sticker Star. [Feb 2013]
  38. Nov 6, 2012
    In keeping with the Paper Mario legacy, Sticker Star once again seeks to shake up the franchise template without betraying its common foundations. The result is a game which is thoroughly creative and sporadically impressive, but which is also surprisingly devoid of some of the common sensibilities of modern game design. Forgiving that, it's still a worthwhile romp for serious fans.
  39. Jan 19, 2013
    The bottom line is that Sticker Star is a generally enjoyable experience filled with long stretches of utter rage induced by poor game design.
  40. Dec 13, 2012
    Paper Mario Sticker Star is a pleasant surprise with its great visuals and its great sense of humor that players will certainly enjoy. Thanks to improved environment interactions, introduced by the use of stickers, the game is fun to play despite some RPG and platform elements not so interesting. Too easy, Paper Mario Sticker Star lacks a good enough story to be fully entertaining.
  41. Nov 25, 2012
    For what you get, this is a pretty big deal. The game is not short by any means, and there are always different paths to take on the world map. This game can easily last you into the 15-20 hour mark depending on what you want to do. The combat is still fun, and at times, the puzzle solving is enjoyable when you actually know where you should go. Paper Mario is still not back to what I want it to be, but Sticker Star is a step in the right direction.
  42. 75
    I want to love Sticker Star. The game looks great, the localization is top-notch, and, when things are moving along, it all feels so right. The sticker economy is well realized and forces you to manage your sticker collection well. But the game's obsession with "things" brings it to a screeching halt all too often. This hurdle is easily sidestepped by bookmarking your preferred walkthrough, but it's a shame the game couldn't simply be less obtuse in its puzzle structure. So, instead of loving Sticker Star, I'm left to simply like it.
  43. Nov 19, 2012
    The newest entry in the Paper Mario series is an enjoyable game that looks and plays amazing, but it does have a few flaws. The lack of a experience system made us skip battles, and when you get stuck there is no hint system to help you out. This doesn't mean that Sticker Star is a bad game, it's just not what you may have hoped for from a new Paper Mario game.
  44. Nov 12, 2012
    Sticker Star falls into a rut at times and may even drive you crazy, but in the end, Paper Mario's unwaveringly cheerful attitude, and fond memories of the game's many great moments, will be what stays with you.
  45. Nov 6, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star's few problems are written into its very structure as an amalgam of genres. If you go in expecting an RPG, you're apt to be disappointed by simplified battles and stats. If you're in it for the puzzle solving, the frequent combat breaks may get on your nerves. But if you can accept those conditions, Sticker Star has something special buried beneath its covers. Nintendo tends toward smooth, straight-forward design, but Sticker Star is the opposite of that. It's a flawed, offbeat, endearing little game.
  46. Feb 7, 2013
    Unfortunately for it, Paper Mario: Sticker Star has to deal with being a “pretty good” entry in a series that is usually considered amongst the best games on their respective consoles. While I did have fun with it, there were times when I felt like I was just going through the motions, and very little of the innovation or character of previous entries shone through.
  47. Jan 24, 2013
    Fans of the series may want to pick this up to get another taste of what used to be an amazing franchise, but be forewarned that it's not what you're hoping it to be and that you should probably steer clear.
  48. Jan 16, 2013
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star's pop-up book, papercraft visuals retain the series' classic charm and allows the developers to play around with the construction and development of their game world. While using stickers in combat and puzzle solving is a neat idea, players will usually end up hoarding their stickers for fear of needing them later on. This makes overall gameplay feel a bit slow and uninspired, but Sticker Star is a fun game to play regardless.
  49. Jan 2, 2013
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star is clever and fully committed to its paperized setting. That's not enough to excuse its biggest flaws. You'll spend time backtracking and getting stuck on puzzles that require too much guesswork.
  50. Dec 19, 2012
    Small problems notwithstanding, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is easy to recommend to any 3DS-User. Just crank up the excellently utilized and in no way distracting 3D and don't expect the role-playing experience earlier games in the series offered and you get a refreshing take on the familiar formula.
  51. 70
    It's far from a bad adventure, but it's also not as cozy or cohesive as the previous Paper Mario games, or the sublime Mario & Luigi series of RPGs. There's plenty to enjoy, but Mario has done better as an RPG hero before.
  52. Dec 6, 2012
    A blend of genres that can be straightforward and fun, but also anodyne and tedious.
  53. Nov 27, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star sure isn't like the Paper Mario games that have come before it. So much so, that's it's hard to think of Sticker Star as a role-playing game. If role-playing is defined as collecting and using stickers, then it would fit, but it doesn't.
  54. Nov 20, 2012
    Frustrating at times and vague to the point of being obtuse, Paper Mario: Sticker Star still shines where it counts.
  55. Nov 20, 2012
    The latest Mario papercraft adventure delivers an enjoyable and easy-to-play platform RPG, with some uninspired and sometimes frustrating design elements.
  56. Nov 13, 2012
    Although it would have been nicer to see Nintendo pick one of two directions rather than offer something that perches on the fence between platforming thrills and RPG depth, Sticker Star is nonetheless a beautiful and eventually engrossing adventure, once it hits its stride.
  57. Nov 13, 2012
    Sticker Star has two sides. One is a world that's a simple, vibrant joy to be in. The other is a set of systems so pared back that they waver between easy and tedious, matched up to a badly signposted set of puzzles. There's just enough adventure and charm to mitigate the latter, but that's the shame of it; Sticker Star squeaks a pass when it could, and should, be spectacular
  58. Nov 12, 2012
    An enjoyable, usually easygoing, funny RPG, with some unfortunately frustrating elements affixed to it.
  59. Nov 6, 2012
    I can overlook a lot because of Paper Mario's charm. I really enjoyed a lot of it in spite of it committing the terrible sin of wasting my time.
  60. Dec 8, 2012
    The presentation is cute beyond believe, the music is great, the fighting system is as simple as varied – it sure sounds like a winner. But at its core there are too many weaknesses on display, most notably the absence of RPG elements, which makes the fights too monotonous in the long run.
  61. Nov 14, 2012
    The game's superfluous combat and unforgiving puzzle-solving mechanics only serve to bog the experience down; I can only assume that, without them, Sticker Star would have been infinitely crisper and more enjoyable.
  62. Dec 19, 2012
    Paper Mario's first outing on a handheld device is pretty charming, but the paper is starting to tear. The lack of RPG-elements make the fights feel pointless and some strange decisions lead to frustrating moments. Despite all the stickers, his game doesn't stick.
  63. Nov 6, 2012
    The plot and adventure are both more than worthy of the Paper Mario name, and the game is set in a massive, beautifully designed world for gamers to explore. Still, these aspects can't hide the fact that the sticker fighting system is flawed and removes a lot of the fun from the RPG combat.
  64. Dec 11, 2012
    Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a worthy successor in the Paper Mario-series that will probably satisfy both veterans and newbies. Most of us will unmercifully get stuck within a puzzle or a dead end, but do know that there's no shame in looking for answers on the Internet.
  65. Dec 3, 2012
    Much of what made Paper Mario charming in the first place still remains with Sticker Star. However, this 3DS game can be pretty tedious to play. The sticker system is a fresh and interesting idea, but ultimately, too many problems bog the game down and what's left is a lacklustre installment.
  66. Nov 30, 2012
    Sticker Star's lavish tapestry of neat touches keeps you pushing forwards in spite of the wonky puzzling and boring combat, and its vibrant, buoyant world marries so well with the script's deliciously wry take on Mario's classic tropes. It's just a real shame that the rest of the game feels paper thin.
  67. Nov 30, 2012
    For all its beauty in the presentation stakes, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is certainly not the RPG than many fans of the series in general were expecting. It does prove to be a satisfying enough adventure after becoming accustomed to the mix and match of gameplay styles included, but the back-tracking and frustrating limitations of the sticker battling system fail to impress. The whole package feels a bit 'lost and confused.'
  68. Nov 16, 2012
    Sticker Star is an odd beast, and its RPG aspects are actually the most problematic. Many of the most enjoyable parts come when it can be played as a straight platformer, only to be interrupted when aggressive enemies force the player into another battle without a worthwhile reward.
  69. 40
    A horrible disappointment that not only fails to capture the magic of its predecessors but seems oblivious to what made them popular in the first place.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 586 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 29, 2012
    Paper Mario 64 and Paper Mario The Thousandth Year Door will always be classics games, as they have expanded the mario universe by settingPaper Mario 64 and Paper Mario The Thousandth Year Door will always be classics games, as they have expanded the mario universe by setting grand, deep adventures revolving around interactions with its inhabitants. Super Paper Mario is more so a completely different game than a direct sequel to these two games. Despite being a sequel nominally, Super Paper Mario features a completely different gameplay style, with nearly as much depth as its prequels. However, Super Paper Mario fell short of matching the greatness of the first two Paper Mario games. Then there's Sticker Star. Sticker Star began in development as a conventional Paper Mario game in the style of the first two games, but Miyamoto insisted that the game be playable as a handheld. Although change is often good for sequels, for Paper Mario, this may not be the case. Sticker Star lacks depth of any sort. The story is.....big surprise: Bowser kidnaps peach..... and that's all there is to it. There are few interesting side characters, no party members, and little dialogue. These factors are what made the first three Paper Mario games so memorable. Rather than having story based gameplay with the inclusion of puzzles, Sticker Star consists solely of puzzles revolving around the newfound ability to "stickerize". This does make for some creative puzzles, but these puzzles alone do not justify this game being called a Paper Mario game. I am tempted to rate this game lower, because I am stubborn and disappointed that this game lacks the depth of the prequels, but I must admit that this game does succeed on some levels. The sticker battle system forces you to allocate your stickers appropriately. However, this is the only strategy involved in the whole game, and it is rather thin strategy. You will surely lose to a boss if you do not, by sheer chance, guess its weakness. There are over 60 possible "thing" stickers to choose from, and certain bosses can only be defeated with a particular one, and it is hard to guess which one it is, until you die several times and the game gives you a hint. To wrap this review up I'll conclude by summarizing the games pros and cons. A pro are that it once again attempts to keep the Paper Mario formula fresh by changing up the gameplay. A con is that is also gets rid of the characters, story, and atmosphere that made the other three entries in the series so great. Another pro is that, once you get used to the sticker system, collecting, and puzzles, the game is often pretty fun at times. A con however, is that the battle system is flawed, especially for boss battles, and there is little depth to anything in the game. However, this game's not all that bad, I just hope that the next Paper Mario game actually has a soul. Full Review »
  2. Nov 11, 2012
    Ah, Paper Mario. It reminds me of my first time getting a Nintendo 64. Now, if you were looking forward to a Paper Mario game that containedAh, Paper Mario. It reminds me of my first time getting a Nintendo 64. Now, if you were looking forward to a Paper Mario game that contained aspects from the original Paper Mario, then you're going to be disappointed. I was a little upset that this wasn't the original Paper Mario, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed Super Paper Mario, because it was well made. Sticker Star works in an original aspect that no other Paper Mario game has done. This game lets you attack by getting "stickers" which you may use as attacks. How do you get stickers? You can buy them, find them, and get them as rewards. While the idea itself sounded stupid to me when I first heard it, I realized that this game actually makes up for it on how fun it is. It almost feels like playing Paper Mario all over again. The sound in the game is great, and it fits the theme of the game pretty well in my opinion. If you enjoy jazz and relaxing music when you're going through some zones, then you are definitely going to enjoy all of the music in this game.

    The story in this game is pretty good. It's nothing spectacular, but it IS a Mario game, and they tend to just have an okay story behind it. It's pretty much about Bowser stealing the Royal Sticker from the princess, making it so everyone and everything is made out of stickers. It'll catch on, I promise.

    The battles were surprisingly fun. I enjoy almost every moment of the battles. There's a big variety of stickers you can collect and a ton of fun enemies to fight. The battles are turn based, just like the old Paper Mario games, but you get to use stickers to fight. The only gripe that I have with this game is that they took out a lot of fun systems that the previous Paper Mario games contained. I was disappointed to find out that you never get any partners nor badges. They were completely wiped from this game. So if you were looking forward to those, then sadly, you're out of luck. But this game makes it up in it's originality and just basically how fun it was. I was keeping my standards a bit low after hearing this idea. Clearly, I have been blown away by how much fun this game is.

    I definitely would recommend at least trying this game. I'd even pay $60 if that was the release price. You can buy it from select retailers or from the Nintendo E-Shop for $40.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    Pure brilliance. This is the 4th entry in the Paper Mario series, and possible the best one yet. This game introduces an innovative stickerPure brilliance. This is the 4th entry in the Paper Mario series, and possible the best one yet. This game introduces an innovative sticker system that's a lot of fun to use. You collect stickers and use them to do various attacks on enemies. Very good use of 3d, and very good value. This game will keep you busy for weeks. Full Review »