Super Mario Bros. is a platform game developed by Nintendo and first released in Japan and North America in 1985 by Nintendo.
As the successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. this Nintendo Entertainment System classic started one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world.
With over 40 million physical sources sold, Super Mario Bros. will go down in history as one of the greatest 8 bit games ever released.
Some would say that Super Mario Bros. is the most important 8 bit game of all time and it would be hard to argue with them.
Releasing first in Japan and North American in 1985 before releasing in Europe in 1987, Super Mario Bros. would not only be one of the best games on the NES, but would start Mario’s rise as a cultural phenomenon.
The game is one of most well designed side-scrolling platform games to ever be made, with it’s simple two button setup and ultra precise controls.
You control Mario (or Luigi in 2 player mode) in a quest to save Princess Toadstool from the monstrous Bowser, traversing through different worlds and overcoming a range of adversaries.
Each stage you move from left to right, jumping over obstacles such as pits, collecting items to increase points, and finding power-ups to assist you in your journey
Mario’s main form of attack is to simply to jump on enemies and ‘squash’ them. There’s nothing quite like the satisfying sound of squashing enemy Goombas as they go ‘wu-wup’.
The goal is to reach the flag at the end of each stage before the timer runs out.
But of course getting a high score by defeating enemies, collecting coins finding secrets and finishing stages fast is the real challenge.
To help Mario on his way, floating ? boxes can be opened by hitting them from below with a jump. They can reveal the Super Mushroom, which increases the size of Mario and allows him to break bricks with his jump attack.
It also doubles up as an extra life, as Mario will return small instead of dying if hit by an enemy when in Super form.
Other power-ups include the Fire Flower, allowing Mario to shoot fireballs, and the Starman that makes him invincible and kill enemies on contact.
I have fond memories of playing this classic with my cousin and trying beat the later levels.
Taking on ‘Bowser’ at the end of each world stage, we were very nervous as you have to time you movements to avoid his attacks.
Of course, you find out that these Bowsers are fakes, and that your princess is in another castle.
We often found ourselves losing all our lives when we reached a new world, forcing us to restart from the beginning of the game.
However, the beauty of Super Mario Bros. is that as you practice stages, you become better to overcome the harder challenges.
It was also exciting when taking turns in 2 player mode when one of us found a new secret.
The first time we discovered the secret warp pipes that let’s you skip worlds, our minds were blown!
It allowed us to bypass the easier worlds and keep practising the harder content.
Eventually we managed to find enough of the secret warp pipes so we could get to the final world of 8 much faster.
This is where you find the hardest of challenges and face off against the real Bowser.
Victory was such a great feeling, but we didn’t stop playing – instead we wanted to perfect our playthroughs and achieve better scores.
Years later I would come back to Super Mario Bros. with the All-Stars edition.
The All-Stars edition was the same game but with updated graphics. It went from 8 bit game visuals to 16 bit, copying the art style of Super Mario World on the SNES.
Super Mario All-Stars also had a game called Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (also known as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan).
It features much more challenging levels and harder platforming sections over the original Super Mario Bros.
This includes a poison Super Mushroom that actually harms Mario if collected!
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is the perfect expansion once you have bested the original game.
While Mario had appeared in early games (such as Donkey Kong), Super Mario Bros. would be the start of an ongoing franchise.
With dozens of games and spin-offs, Mario is a key player in Nintendo’s legacy and ongoing future.
Even today, Super Mario Bros. is very much playable, going to show that good gameplay can stand the test of time.