While New Super Mario Bros. Wii is seen in 2D, some of the characters and objects are 3D polygonal renderings on 2D backgrounds, resulting in a 2.5D effect (also seen in New Super Mario Bros.) that visually simulates 3D computer graphics. Players can play as either Mario, his brother Luigi, or two Toad characters: one blue and one yellow (with the first player always as Mario). Controls are similar to those of New Super Mario Bros., albeit with the added abilities of spinning in mid-air by shaking the Wii Remote, and picking up, carrying, and throwing other players. In multiplayer mode, players can play up to four players simultaneously. If a player character loses a life and has at least one life, he will re-emerge encased inside a bubble, and can resume play once another player frees him by touching the bubble or a fire/ice ball (the player can shake the Wii Remote to move his bubble closer to an active player, but cannot free himself). If a player loses a life and does not have any more lives, he is dead until 100 coins are collected. Players can also encase themselves inside a bubble by pressing the A button while a more skilled player traverses a difficult segment. If every character in a co-op session enters bubbles at the same time (whether through death or pressing the A button), the level is lost, and they must restart.