Challenges (クリアゲッター, Clear Getter) are a gameplay component from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward. On a rectangular grid of boxes, the Challenges give players hints at attaining the various unlockable components of the game.
In Brawl, the Challenges made its debut as a way to show players the various ways to unlock trophies, music, characters, and other aspects of the game. Upon completing a criterion in-game, the player is taken to the Challenges screen in order to show what they have accomplished, what they have unlocked, and, most importantly, what they can do afterward: Upon clearing a box, some of the adjacent boxes and their criteria become partially visible.
Brawl features 4 rows of 32 categories, for a total of 128 Challenges; upon clearing a challenge, the two boxes to the left and right become partially visible. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS features 3 separate panels of Challenges, each with 5 rows of 7 categories, for a total of 105 Challenges; upon clearing a challenge, the four boxes above, below, and to the left and right become exposed. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U features 14 rows of 10 categories for a total of 140 Challenges, many of which are significantly more difficult than in the 3DS version.
To potentially prevent spoiling the game's unlockable content from players, some challenges' criteria do not immediately identify certain elements. For example, a challenge may say "Complete ????? with ?????", if it refers to "Complete All-Star Mode with Mr. Game & Watch" and both All-Star mode and Mr. Game & Watch have not been unlocked yet.
To assist players in completing the grid, the game occasionally rewards players with a Golden Hammer for completing certain challenges, with a maximum of five obtainable. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, 3 special Challenges on each panel award a Golden Hammer to use on that panel only. A Golden Hammer can be used once to immediately break any challenge box, which rewards the player with its contents and exposes the adjacent challenge boxes as usual. When the Golden Hammer is consumed, it's permanently erased from the player's Golden Hammer total and can't be unlocked again. However, some Challenges in each game are unable to be broken by a Golden Hammer, such as for example those involving plot elements in The Subspace Emissary in Brawl. (However, this only applies to the NTSC region of Brawl; the PAL release of the game allows all challenges to be broken open by a Golden Hammer.)
While hosting some differences from the mode's introduction in Brawl, Kirby Air Ride featured a "Checklist" mode that acts similarly to the Challenges in Brawl. In the game, players are given a Checklist that shows the player what they can do in order to unlock various gameplay elements in the game's various modes, similarly to the achievement systems in non-Nintendo games; upon completing the requirements in one check-box, the boxes above, below, left, and right to the cleared check-box would give players further goals to complete. Additionally, among the unlockables given to the player included violet "filler" boxes that could be used to complete any check-box and gain their potential rewards. Unique to Kirby Air Ride's checklist was that not all check-boxes featured rewards, a feature that was not retained for Brawl. In Super Smash Bros. 4, challenges are also shown above and below, similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising. Challenges would later become a staple in games that Masahiro Sakurai directed.