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Mario is having a vacation in Dinosaur Land when he learns that Princess Peach Toadstool has been kidnapped by the evil King Koopa Bowser. When Mario starts searching for her he finds a giant egg with a dinosaur named Yoshi hatching out of it. Yoshi tells Mario that his fellow dinosaurs have been imprisoned in eggs by Bowser's underlings. The intrepid plumber has to travel to their castles, rescue the dinosaurs, and eventually face King Koopa himself, forcing him to release the princess.

Super Mario World is a jump-and-run platformer and a follow-up to Super Mario Bros. 3. The gameplay is similar to previous installments and includes fast-paced platforming in (mostly) side-view stages populated by various enemies and traps, which must be completed within time limits. Mario has access to his traditional power-ups — the Super Mushroom that makes him bigger, the Fire Flower that allows him to throw little fireballs at enemies, and others. A new power-up is the Cape Feather: when wearing the cape, Mario can spin to hurt enemies, and fly as long as the player is able to sustain his balance in the air. Another new feature is the possibility to ride the dinosaur Yoshi, who can eat enemies and gain special attacks from some of them. In order to unlock certain areas, it is sometimes necessary to physically pick up and carry items (e.g. keys) and use them in appropriate places.

The game's world is divided into several large areas, each containing a number of stages. Outdoor scenarios prevail, but there are also many underground and underwater levels. Each large area has at least one ghost house, typically containing more elaborate traps and ghostly non-destructible enemies. In order to venture to the next area, the player usually has to visit a castle (a more difficult stage with harder enemies and dangerous traps) and defeat the boss enemy guarding it.

Many stages have secret exits, which lead to optional areas, such as fortresses with recurrent boss enemies, interconnected stages of the Star World, and Switch Palaces, which allow the player to materialize specifically colored bricks in all the stages, gaining access to power-ups and other secrets. Secret areas may also open access to other dinosaur types, with different abilities such as breathing fire or flying.


Super Mario World SNES Yoshi's talented tongue
Super Mario World SNES There are a few variations of this sporty enemy
Super Mario World SNES Yellow stages have one exit; red stages two
Super Mario World SNES Bring a key to a keyhole for a secondary stage exit

Promo Images

Super Mario World Screenshot
Super Mario World Screenshot
Super Mario World Screenshot
Super Mario World Concept Art


Alternate Titles

  • "Super Mario World: Super Mario Bros. 4" -- Japanese title
  • "SMW" -- Common abbreviation
  • "スーパーマリオワールド" -- Japanese spelling
  • "슈퍼 마리오 월드" -- Korean spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the best platform games ever. Zamppa (102) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
A great game - possibly the best Mario Game ever! darthsith19 (70) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
A great Mario game. Classix (101) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
The king of platforms is back! BigJKO (71) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
The best platform game ever optrirominiluikus (118) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Nice game! But it's overrated. james bright (5) 3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars
Premium Mario Chris Wright (105) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
The greatest game in this universe. NovedSelim (221) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

Critic Reviews

All Game Guide 1998 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
The Retro Spirit Mar 21, 2011 6 out of 6 100
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Mar, 1991 96 out of 100 96
Power Play Mar, 1991 94 out of 100 94
VideoGame Oct, 1991 9 out of 10 90
Retroguiden Aug 13, 2010 9 out of 10 90
RetroGame Man Jul 23, 2018 9 out of 10 90
Digital Entertainment News (den) Mar 03, 2007 8.6 out of 10 86
Nintendo Difference Jun 22, 2003 17 out of 20 85
Entertainment Weekly Sep 27, 1991 B 75


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1001 Video Games

The SNES version of Super Mario World appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


This game took approximately 29,000 hours to program. (Sources: Nintendo, World Features Syndicate)


Super Mario World sold over 20 million copies and is,a so 2003, the second best-selling Mario game (only behind the original Super Mario Bros., which sold over 40 million), the best selling Super NES game and the best selling 4th generation console game ever. The reason for those huge sales: It was the original "pack-in" game for the Super Nintendo. A copy was included in the package when you bought a new SNES.


Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to have Mario ride an animal since Super Mario Bros. (among other discarded ideas), but couldn't figure out how to make it work within the limits of the Famicom's graphical capabilities. This was finally resurrected in Super Mario World as Yoshi.

Yoshi's arms in the game are orange no matter what color Yoshi you are riding. Art on the box and in the game manual portray only green Yoshi with green arms. The re-release on the Game Boy Advance now has each color Yoshi with arms matching the color of his skin.


  • EGM
    • Issue #200 (February 2006) – #88 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"
  • Game Informer
    • Issue #100 (August 2001) – #46 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1992 – Best SNES Game in 1991
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #2 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue #37 – #1 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll
Information also contributed by Big John WV, Echidna Boy, Marquerite Richardson, MegaMegaMan and PCGamer77

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (12706) added Super Mario World (SNES) on Jun 06, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Corn Popper (68945), Michael Cassidy (21110), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (459004) and Harmony♡ (20663)
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