Stomping Through the Past: Super Mario Bros. NES Review

Super Mario Bros., released in 1985, is one of the most significant games in the history of video gaming. Developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), it was a revolutionary game that set new standards for game design and storytelling. Super Mario Bros. was one of the first platformers ever made, and it introduced many features that are now considered standard in the genre. The game’s success helped establish Nintendo as a major player in the video game industry, leading to the development of many iconic franchises. Super Mario Bros. paved the way for many future games and inspired countless gamers and developers around the world. In this article, we will examine the impact, legacy, and critical reception of Super Mario Bros., with a particular focus on its gameplay, design, and cultural significance.

Gameplay and Design

Super Mario Bros, the iconic retro game is filled with brilliant level design, mechanics, and power-ups that have made it a staple in the gaming world. The side-scrolling gameplay mechanic is intuitive and simple, but it is the level design that made Super Mario Bros a masterpiece.

The mechanics are simple: jump, run, and stomp. Controlling Mario feels natural and precise, which makes the difficulty of the game perfect for experienced and inexperienced players.

The level design in Super Mario Bros is where the game truly shines. Each level possesses a unique challenge that needs to be overcome to progress to the next level. The levels are demanding but not impossible, as they become progressively more challenging. The mechanics of the game put pressure on players to overcome these challenges, making it one of the most satisfying games of the 90s.

The game’s soundtrack and visuals add to the overall gaming experience. Memorable tunes, like the nostalgic Overworld Theme and the menacing Underwater Theme, made Super Mario Bros an even better game. The visuals, from the green fields and blue skies of World 1-1 to the perilous Bowser’s Castle, also add to the game’s charm and have become iconic parts of the franchise.

Super Mario Bros is a testament to good game design, thanks to its great mechanics, level design, and aesthetics. The combination of these elements creates an engaging and fun experience to be had by players.

Impact and Legacy

Super Mario Bros. revolutionized the gaming industry and raised the bar for all future game development. Its impact is evident in the numerous sequels and spin-offs that have followed in the decades since its initial release. Here are just a few ways that Super Mario Bros. has influenced the world of gaming:

– Innovations in Game Design: Super Mario Bros. introduced new concepts to video games like non-linear level design, power-ups, and secrets. These fresh features proved to be immensely popular and set standards that other games would follow.

– Spawning New Forms of Media: The immense popularity of Super Mario Bros. led to the creation of TV shows, movies, comics, and merchandise. It’s rare for a game to extend beyond its original format, but Super Mario Bros. went on to become a pop-culture icon.

– Fostering New Generations of Gamers: Super Mario Bros. introduced a new level of accessibility, with intuitive controls, and immediate rewards for successful gameplay. This made it an inviting game for young players and contributed to a new generation of gamers.

Super Mario Bros. emerged as a world-changing video game that influenced the game development industry in countless ways. Despite many advancements in the gaming world since its release in 1985, Super Mario Bros. remains a classic, defining a generation of gaming enthusiasts.

Critical Reception

Super Mario Bros. attracted critical acclaim soon after its release in 1985. Critics hailed it as an innovative, groundbreaking game for the NES system that perfectly showcased what video games could be. Along with its sequel, Super Mario Bros. 3, it remains one of the best-selling video games of all time.

Looking back at contemporary reviews, one can see that the game received high scores from publications like Electronic Gaming Monthly, VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, and Joystick. Reviewers praised the game’s gameplay, level design, and graphical capabilities. Many also noted how intuitive the game was, making it easy for anyone to pick up and play.

Today, the game is considered a classic and is often cited as one of the most influential video games ever made. It’s still held in high regard by both critics and gamers alike, and has been re-released on numerous consoles and handheld devices. The game’s impact on the gaming industry is immeasurable, and it still serves as a benchmark for platformer games to this day.

Super Mario Bros.’ critical success impacted the future of the franchise, leading to the creation of various spin-offs, sequels, and re-releases. It paved the way for similar games in the platformer genre, with developers often drawing inspiration from its level design and gameplay mechanics.

Super Mario Bros.’ continued popularity today is a testament to its status as a classic video game. Its critical acclaim and influence on the gaming industry make it a must-play for any gamer, casual or hardcore alike.


In conclusion, Super Mario Bros. is a timeless classic and a significant landmark in the gaming industry’s history. The game’s gameplay mechanics and level design set a new standard for the industry, which is still held up today as the benchmark for platformers. The game’s soundtrack and visuals were revolutionary for its time, providing players with an immersive and enjoyable gameplay experience.

Super Mario Bros.’s cultural significance and legacy cannot be ignored. The game’s impact has spanned across generations and has influenced game development and design in immeasurable ways. Games like Super Mario Bros. would pave the way for the industry to bloom into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.

Overall, Super Mario Bros. remains a beloved classic that people enjoy to this day. The game continues to influence and inspire game developers, and its mechanics and level design are still studied by aspiring developers worldwide. Super Mario Bros.’s impact on the gaming industry and culture is here to stay, and it will continue to shape the industry as it moves forward into the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Super Mario Bros.?

    Super Mario Bros. is an iconic platform game developed and published by Nintendo in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It features Mario, the protagonist, as he navigates through levels, dodges obstacles, and fights enemies to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist, Bowser.

  2. What are the gameplay mechanics of Super Mario Bros.?

    Super Mario Bros. is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player controls Mario, who can jump and run left or right. Mario must navigate through levels, collect power-ups, and defeat enemies to progress through the game. There are eight worlds in total, with four levels each, and a castle or fortress at the end of each world.

  3. How did Super Mario Bros. impact the gaming industry?

    Super Mario Bros. was a groundbreaking game that paved the way for the modern video game industry. It introduced many gameplay concepts that are now standard in the platformer genre, such as power-ups, hidden secrets, and boss battles. It also established the Mario character and franchise as one of the most recognizable in all of gaming.

  4. What did critics think of Super Mario Bros. when it was released?

    Super Mario Bros. was universally acclaimed by critics upon its release. It received high scores and praise for its gameplay, level design, and graphics. It was also praised for its accessibility, with reviewers noting that it was easy to pick up and play but challenging enough to keep players engaged.

  5. What is the legacy of Super Mario Bros.?

    Super Mario Bros. has had a profound impact on the gaming industry and popular culture. It has inspired countless games and franchises, and its characters and music are instantly recognizable around the world. Its legacy continues to this day, with new Mario games being released regularly, and it remains a beloved classic among gamers of all ages.

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