From the Super Mario Wiki
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Color Switches, originally known as simply Switches, are objects found throughout the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. They come in red, yellow, or blue and require Mario or Mini Mario to jump on top to activate. They typically have the effect of enabling corresponding Color Blocks, as well as color-coded platforms, ladders, or horizontal or vertical gates. This also disables the other colors, although Color Switches may have secondary functions on other obstacles on the screen, such as Phantom Guys.