Super Mario Bros.

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North American box art.

Super Mario Bros., known in Japan as スーパーマリオブラザーズ [Supa Mario Burazazu], is an action platformer developed and published by Nintendo for the NES on 1985-09-13, and later released for several other platforms. The game extends the burgeoning Mario universe and begins the new "Super" series within it. In the game, Mushroom kingdom has been taken over by King Koopa (later called Bowser) and you play Mario or Luigi in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped Princess Toadstool (later Peach). You must run through eight worlds, each with 4 levels. While the first three levels will have various settings, the fourth level is always a castle level which ends with a boss battle.

Super Mario Bros. is a pivotal title in video game history not only because it broke all previous records of sales for a console game, but because it maintained that record for over 20 years until out-sold by Wii Sports. And while Super Mario Bros. is nowhere near the first scrolling platformer, it is the first hugely successful one.

The very first time I saw this game was shortly after it was released in the USA for the PlayChoice-10 in the acarde (around 1986). Having no idea how to play, and being afraid to touch the question mark blocks, I very quickly lost all my lives in the first level. Shortly thereafter, around 1987, I saw this game at my baby sitter's house. Not long after than, around 1988, my brother and I bought our own NES Action Set which came with the Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt dual cart, and we played the game many, many times. Even though this games was nowhere near the first video game I played (my family had an Atari 2600 for years prior), it still causes a great welling of nostalgia to play it. This is partially because it was the first NES game I played, partially because I played it so much, and partially because it's just a really well-made game.


I own this game as an individual cart and as a dual cart with Duck Hunt. I have beaten it without warping or mining extra lives.


  • Overall: 7/10
  • Best Version: NES


  • Over all, the game is a lot of fun with a challenge that slowly increases in difficulty over time.
  • Character control is pretty good. You can control your running speed, jumping height, and jumping distance intuitively. It's not as great as Super Mario Bros. 3, but still quite good.
  • The game has great level design which introduces you to new concepts as you progress, effectively teaching you how to play without needing a manual.
  • There is a lot of variation between the levels. As you progress in the game, there are new enemies and new environmental hazards, like platforms, springs, firebars, etc., and the levels vary from day, night, underground, underwater, tree tops, bridges, inside castles, outside castles, winter, etc.
  • For 1985, the graphics are quite good.
  • The music is nicely hummable, and each tune fits the theme of the level.
  • The addition of a harder second quest adds a lot of replay value to the game.
  • I am awed that the developers were able to cram the entire game into 32K!


  • I find the underwater music to be a bit grating.
  • The hammers thrown by the Hammer Bros. have really bad collision detection.
  • The ending is too plain for such a difficult game.


  • Nothing.

Box Art





Although the game doesn't contain credits, its popularity over the years has led to many fans to dig around and figure out who was involved in creating the game. I'm still amazed that such an amazing game was created with such a limited staff.

Name Roles
Hiroshi Yamauchi Executive Producer
Shigeru Miyamoto Director, Producer, Designer, Graphics
Hiroshi Ikeda Producer
Takashi Tezuka Assistant Director, Designer, Graphics
Toshihiko Nakago Programmer
Kazuaki Morita Programmer
Koji Kondo Music, Sound Effects, Audio Programmer