Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario Bros. features an enthralling combination of rock-solid gameplay, ingeniously designed levels, vibrant, colorful graphics and well-written music. The sense of excitement, wonder and most of all -- enjoyment felt upon first playing this masterpiece of videogame can't barely be put into words. And while its sequels have far surpassed it in terms of length, graphics, sound and other aspects, Super Mario Bros., like any classic -- whether of a cinematic or musical nature -- has withstood the test of time, continuing to be fun and playable.
Everything about Super Mario Bros. screams quality with a thick Italian accent. Each level turns trickier and more challenging as the game progresses, with a steady learning curve. The design of each leaves plenty of nooks and crannies for you to explore, while an array of baddies, such as the Spiny-tossing Lakitu, keep you on your toes.
If Adventure for the Atari 2600 introduced the concept of "Easter Eggs" in videogames, then Super Mario Bros. refined it and upped the ante; Warp Zones can be found, allowing you to skip worlds; completing the game once changes all the Goombas into Buzz Beetles the next time, while unintentional tricks such as the 1-Up staircase can be discovered and exploited.
The graphics presented in this world are vibrant and colorful, creating the atmosphere of a storybook land. Each world features a distinct look, whether it's an underground cavern filled with pipes and perilous jumps, to a sea filled with bug-eyed Cheep-Cheeps, these fantasy worlds draw you in, regardless of their simplistic visuals.
The music backing the action is simple, yet upbeat and catchy, and it's not uncommon to find yourself humming it afterwards in front of friends or coworkers while they question your sanity. Sound effects such as the trademark jumping "Boing!" smashing of bricks and squashing of enemies beneath Mario's girth are equally simple, yet effective.
The power-ups allowing you to defend yourself against the baddies littering each level are quite creative; Super Mushrooms increase your size and strength, while their green counterparts yield an extra life. Stars endow you with invincibility, while Fireflowers allow you to throw fireballs to toast your enemies.
In terms of length, Super Mario Bros. is quite the challenge for novice gamers and still presents a sizable adventure for run-and-jump veterans. Fully exploring the worlds for every trick and secret will necessitate clearing your calendar for a couple weeks at the least. Anyone who considers them self a gamer needs to play this game at least once, if not simply for a history lesson. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide
Excellent for their time, the visuals not only get the job done, but draw you in. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide
Super Mario Bros. features catchy music that'll have you humming along and possibly drive you insane as it stays in your head. That's good though, as it's well-written and whimsical, fitting the style of the game. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide
Top-notch gameplay and a fun adventure equals a very high enjoyment factor; you'll get sucked into this world and not want to leave. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide
Tons of secrets will have you coming back for more, as will the addictive gameplay. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide
A well-written storyline, amusing character descriptions, thorough control explanations, and colorful art makes the instruction booklet stand out. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide