Graphical and audio style
Mario's Adventuring School uses stylized 3D chibi graphics, unlike most newer games in the franchise. One inspiration for graphics are the classic Paper Mario titles, with character design and poses resembling the ones from this series. The graphics were also based on the bold colors, shading, and short character design of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong spinoffs.
Unlike most prior Mario games, with an exception in Super Mario Sunshine, Mario's Adventuring School features extensive voice acting. These lines are redubbed for most regions, and subtitles are also available.
The game opens to a morning in the Mushroom Kingdom, with Mario walking to the local Shroombucks for a cup of tea.
The serenity is interrupted by a Toad running up to Mario, flailing his arms, blinking rapidly, and telling the plumber their front yard was attacked by a gang of Shy Guys, to which Mario expresses concern. Then another Toad leaps out of a nearby bush, and begs and pleads for Mario's help in setting up his printer. Yet another Toad runs up to tell Mario a UFO landed near them on the way to work, though they concede that it might have just been a toy. A fourth Toad appears, exclaiming that the princess has not been kidnapped… yet. Mario begins rolling his eyes as more and more generic Toads circle around him to ask for his help. A record scratch sound effect plays as the scene freezes, and Mario silently contemplates what to do.
The scene cuts to Mario standing before a classroom of Toads. He explains that this incident sparked his idea to open an Adventuring School, assuring that "[t]his is a positive learning environment where anyone can achieve their inner hero!" Mario then begins accepting student questions one-by-one, and the game begins.
Mario's Adventuring School for the Rapidly-Blinking consists of 64 Lessons, levels where Mario helps one of his Toad students—controlled by the player—achieve bravery and self-sufficiency. After each Lesson, Mario gives the student a unique outfit to boost their confidence, and a humorous cutscene plays. Despite Mario's university being branded as an Adventuring School, the topic learned by each student falls into a wider range of knowledge, from sidescrolling combat to home security to plumbing to dancing to small business management.
Over the course of the game, the player can visualize the fruits of their progress by the visual diversity being adopted by his students, in contrast to their initially generic, identical appearances.
- The title of the game is a reference to Toads' surprised animation in the Paper Mario series. Following the creative stagnation of those games, this animation has only become more often displayed by useless NPCs.