Release Date: June 1986
This may be my smallest review to date. There really isn’t a lot to say about Mario Bros. on NES. It’s another arcade port in the summer of Donkey Kong. However, it’s very easily the most barren of games up until the point on the young system.
You play as Mario (and Luigi in 2-player). Your goal is to clear the sewers of weird creatures and make them safe for hobos and tramps once again. The game is set over numerous phases where you have to knock the enemies from below to flip them over and then run into them to kick them off the stage.
There are four enemies, the Turtle (koopa troopa), Crab, Fighter Fly, and Freezie. The Turtle walks normally, the Crab takes two knocks from below to flip over, the Fighter Fly jumps to move, and the Freezie appears to freeze a portion of a platform on the stage. Also appearing as you clear most of the enemies are fireballs. A green one that flies across the stage like in Wrecking Crew, and a red one that is more persistent in killing you.
Every few phases, you’ll find yourself in a bonus round. There are several coins placed throughout the stage and you have to collect them before the time runs out. If you’re able to, you get a 3000 point bonus. Later bonus phases give frozen platforms to make it more difficult.
Mario moves totally inconsistently with any way we’ve seen him move so far. You had more control over him in Wrecking Crew. You’re unable to give him a little nudge in his jump after taking off. He always feels like he’s running on ice, despite that being an actual obstacle in the game that is supposed to make your life more difficult.
Nintendo must have had a lot of difficulty finding quality third party games at this point, having to rely on software ports that were multiple years old. We’ve still got until October before we see third party games open the floodgate. The summer of Donkey Kong may well be renamed the summer of old arcade ports…
These are the worst graphics on any game we’ve looked at so far. We’ve already had Super Mario Bros. eight months ago. We know graphics can be way better.
The sound is grating and shrill. Again, Super Mario Bros. did it better in every way.
The gameplay is awful. Like, horridly bad. It’s way better as a minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3.
The only thing that makes this game difficult are the terrible controls. If Mario was more responsive, this game would be a snap.
Fun Factor: 0.5
Not fun. I would have been livid if I got this game back in the 80s.
Overall Grade: 0.8
Mario Bros. gets a low D as a grade. Man, it’s bad. Like really bad. Like don’t play this at all. I’m irritated I spent as much time as I did on it.