SummaryGreat game, especially when you are playing with a friend
The GoodIn the early Eighties, Nintendo released their popular game Donkey Kong, their videogame debut that was a welcome relief from the many shooters that swamped the arcades at the time. It starred Jumpman, the protagonist who must rescue a damsel-in-distress in every level of the game. Two years later, Jumpman was renamed Mario, and he would feature in his own game, alongside his brother Luigi.
The game has you destroy pests known as Shellcreeper (turtles), Sidestepper (crabs), and Fighter Fly (fly) that emerge from sewer pipes, by bumping the platform they are on to flip them over. Once they are flipped over, they can be touched and they are gone for good. After that, coins will appear out of the pipes and you can get them for some bonus points. I managed to get to about level twelve, and I was lucky enough to see the Slipice, an enemy that looks like a blue flame, which turns every platform it lands on into ice. There are bonus rounds every now and again, and these involves you collecting coins before time expires, and this goes toward an extra life.
Of all the versions of Mario Bros. that I played so far, the NES version remains my favorite. There are smooth animations involving both you and the enemies, and everything as a whole looks good. There are two pieces of music that can be heard in the game, and both of them are well composed.
One of the high-points of the game is the ability to have two players playing at the same time. This type of “2-player mode” is not seen in other games of its time. Not only is this fun, but it helps ease the strain off each player and it helps finish each level quicker. The POW block can be used in either one- or two-player mode to help destroy the enemies, but this is not as effective as two-player mode.
The BadThere is nothing I didn't like about the game.
The Bottom LineSome reviews compare this game to Joust and I can understand why. The layout is the same, as well as the feature where enemies are incapacitated if they are bumped, and you have to make contact with said enemies to kill them. I am not a big fan of the game, as you are required to hit the flap key as fast as you can to deal damage with the ostrich, resulting in RSI at times. Mario Bros. makes my job easier.
There is a true sequel to this game, entitled Mario Clash, released only for the Virtual Boy Judging by what I have seen from the gameplay, I think it is much better, save for all the red. As with this one, the game gets difficult each time you progress through it, there are more enemies and plenty of ways you can dispose of them, and a time limit that counts down as you try to complete the level.