Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 10/30/09

Innovative & addictive but also annoying & boring

Mario Bros was an Action game developed by Nintendo. Mario Bros is the game before the big game, before Super Mario Bros. First came out in the Arcades and later in numerous ports, it is a part of the ancient history of videogames… but is it good?

Gameplay: 7/10
Replay Value: 4/10

The purpose here, like in all old classics, is very simple. Run around the screen and turn enemies upside down by knocking the floor from below by bumping it with your head and after that kick him in order to knock him out. Enemies spawn in the top of the screen and after some time fireballs spawn and hunt you down. The gameplay was quite innovative for the time and quite addictive too. The basic enemy the turtle is the simple one, turn him upside down, kick him, end of story, but the others are more tough. Crabs get angry when hit once and get faster, bugs jump around and a strange blue item that moves around freezes the floor and makes it slippery.

So that’s about the game. Now what about the problems that prevent it from being a true classic? First of all the controls. I personally hate them and yes, I know, I know, I know! It’s an old game and all BUT that’s not an excuse, the controls could be better. Mario either slips away when you run and try to stop, but when you stop you really stop!!! What I mean is that the stop of Mario is too damn… sudden and not only that but when you jump without accelerating a bit, it’s impossible to maneuver him while on the air. Finally, another thing that decreases the overall score is the replayability of the game. After playing the game for a couple of hours of reaching level 12 it becomes too damn repetitive. One final advantage of the game though, is when you play with a friend, because you can either cooperate, (which makes things very easy), or just compete with each other, (which is too damn fun!).

Graphics: 6.5/10
Design: 6.2/10

For a game that old it actually looks good! Simple like Donkey Kong and other games of the era, but good. Mario is one step closer to his Super Mario Bros design, has very good animation and in this game we see for the first time his brother Luigi. The enemies are simple but for the time they looked ok and had a nice variety. Finally the blocks in each stage have a different look and look quite cool when you hit them from below distorting them.

Sound: 6.5/10
Music: N/A

Back then there was no music in games, as far as I remember at least, so we only have some Sound Effects. I have no complains here either. SFX where good, very retro-ish and not irritating at all… nothing more to say about them

-Great when playing with a friend
-Innovative for its time and quite addictive for a while

-Bad controls
-Repetitive after a while

Also Play:
Super Mario Bros 1-3 (NES)
Super Mario World 1 & 2 (SNES)

Overall: 6/10

So let me answer my own question in the introduction. Is it good? Well yes it is! And yes I’ve gave it a 6… and believe me I’ve judged it in comparison with games of its time and not modern games. The problem here is whether this game is your cup of tea… I personally played it for 2-3 hours and that was it… others are totally addicted by its simplicity. It’s your choice…

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Mario Bros. (EU, 09/01/86)

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