Super Mario Land

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North American box art.

Super Mario Land is a platform action game with scrolling shooter levels created by Nintendo for the Game Boy and released in 1989.

Not owning a Game Boy, I remember watching some friends play it at school before Game Boys were banned, and wanting to play it really bad. Not owning a Game Boy myself, I only ever got a few chances to play when I was younger. It was many years later that I decided to make a serious attempt at the game, and the beat it after a couple hours.

Status

I do not own the game, but I have beaten the game, and can beat it in a single sitting.

Review

  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: Game Boy

Good

  • The game is pretty fun, and the designers did a good job of adding new aspects to the game while still keeping with the Super Mario theme.
  • I like how each world has a unique theme to it: Egyptian crypts, Easter Island statues, etc.
  • The scrolling shooter stages are actually a refreshing change of pace that keeps the game from getting stale.
  • I like that the bosses are all unique.
  • Even on the weaker audio hardware, the music is quite catchy.
  • The entire game fits into a shockingly small 64 KB!

Bad

  • The game is too short. Even for a Game Boy game, 12 levels isn't enough.
  • There is too much repetition in the levels. Nearly every level in the game repeats a section or two.
  • It's not obvious which block Mario is going to hit due to the size difference between his sprite and the blocks. This causes a fair amount of having to jump multiple times to hit the block you intended to hit.
  • What's the point of Princess Daisy? Is Mario just meant to be a professional princess rescuer?

Ugly

  • The player controls are pretty bad. Nintendo usually polishes player control really well, but this game is not good. It is very common to under-jump and over-jump in this game and a lot harder to change direction mid-air than it should be.

Media

Documentation

Maps

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Super Mario Land
Japanese スーパーマリオランド Supa Mario Rando Super Mario Land

Links