Super Mario Bros. Nintendo (1987) Nintendo


It might not be the first Mario game, but it is the first “good” Mario game, and yes, I am including Donkey Kong in that.

But more importantly, how does OG Super Mario hold up?

The Game

Originally released in 1985, SMB made it’s way to the PAL regions in May 1987.

You’re aim is to run, jump, and flower power your way through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser (also known as King Koopa).


Image borrowed from JagoDibuja

Maybe this is surprising, but SMB is still pretty solid. There are 32 levels, split into 8 sets of 4 level(s). Underwater, and underground levels give you slightly different platforming, while night/snow levels give variety in the visual style of level meaning the game is always flowing.

The 4th level of each zone is a castle, where you find your secret love interest, Toad.

The platforming is tight, and you use Mario’s momentum to make long, harder jumps. The jump button is pressure sensitive too, this means you can control the height and distance of jumps. Once these are mastered, you are able to pull off some fairly complicated jumps to avoid obstacles on later levels.

Other than that, there are plenty of secrets to keep you going. Shortcuts are abundant, and there are a number of secret warp zones to let you skip stuff or speed run.


This bit still catches me out if i’m not Super.


There is already tonnes written on SMB, so I won’t clog the internet writing much more. If you do a full run it’ll take you about an hour, a speed run is sub 10 minutes, with a really good speedrun coming in at less than 5 minutes.

It takes me about 20 minutes to brush off the cobwebs and be able to run Mario in about 8 minutes, and I can remember the level 8-4 maze without thinking about it.

Having said all this, SMB isn’t the best. It is absolutely solid at what it does, but it is the 4th best Mario on the NES if you include the Lost Levels.

Pros: Introduces most of the good Mario music

Cons: It is basic


Back in the day

Super Mario reviewed well. It currently holds around 82% on Metacritic.

I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Nintendo Entertainment System
22 comments on “Super Mario Bros. Nintendo (1987) Nintendo
  1. Great review! You put me in the mood to dust of SMB now. Also, that comic was hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Every Gamer's Review says:

    Great review! Super Mario Bros. is still a classic and still fun to play if a bit dated for a lot of reasons. My favourite 2D Mario game will always be Super Mario Bros. 3


  3. LightningEllen says:

    Those comics made me laugh way too hard 🙂 Such a great game but I wish it had a save battery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Particlebit says:

    One of my first games and I always enjoy watching speedruns of it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the original SMB! Each and every time it’s just incredibly satisfying to blast through, like you, trying to do it as fast as I can. That does mean unfortunately skipping many of the levels, but hey. Interesting that you consider the Lost Levels a better Mario game… I really like it but most people are put off by the difficulty and, frankly, the sheer dickery that game subjects players to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like SMB and there are levels I still don’t think I’ve played more than twice (any of the 6-worlds). If I’m trying a full run I usually die in the 5/6s. As I’m running too fast to get extra lives or learn the levels. I know the speed run route blind, but I’m not good enough to learn the slight glitches to shave 3 minutes off my time.

      I like lost levels for its dickishness, I’ve not played it much and not for ages, so when I connect the SNES I’ll play it, I might hate it. But in my memory i loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. SMB is a classic and once you’ve mastered jumping…you can run the game easily! TBH, I don’t think I could do it if you plopped an NES pad in my hands and said DO IT NOW! (Preferably, in your best Arnold voice.) But with a couple hours, I’d have it beat to death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DO IT, DO IT NOW!

      If you know the warps, it makes things easier, getting the right warp on level 4-2 is the key.

      Other than that, you just need to remember the awkward bits on world 8, and final castle maze. Took me about 6 attempts to get all that down.

      I still don’t know how to do the fancy backwards jump all the speed runners use to take extra seconds off.

      Oh, and welcome back. You’ve been missed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhh….THANK YOU THANK YOU! It’s good to be back. Had to take that personal time and I wasn’t gaming as much. That and I kind of getting frustrated with blogging. I still remember the 1-2 warp location. The 4-2 one, well I know it now, so yeah I might have to now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I quit my job at christmas. so am enjoying unemployment and lots of gaming. Got a payoff, so will start looking for jobs in a few weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I’d not procrastinate of the job search. Good advice from me to you, if you catch my drift. Glad you got to enjoy the down time. I miss those days of gaming marathons. *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know… I’m just enjoying life too much. Lost 2 stone in weight since Christmas, and been super productive with life stuff.

        And tonnes of gaming in your absence, gone from 2-3 posts a month to 8…


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