This game adds several new things. One such thing is the addition of Yoshi. Yoshi has been kidnapped. When Mario releases him, he can then ride on Yoshi. Yoshi also has several other colored friends – blue, red, and yellow – which Mario must also free. While on Yoshi, Mario can make Yoshi swallow things. If Yoshi holds a blue shell, he gains wings and Mario can fly for a short time before Yoshi swallows it.
This game also has a new item called the cape. When Mario gets a running start, he can fly in the air and hang there for a short period of time. He can twist the cape to also knock out enemies. He can also come down at a steep angle and pound the ground to knock enemies out.
Finally, the inventory system has been changed. Mario has one box at the top of the screen where he can store one item. If Mario goes back to small Mario, the item will start dropping right away.