Super Mario is one of the biggest franchises around. It’s been going for over 30 years now and shows no sign of going anywhere. The fact that the series is still going strong says a lot about the ingenuity of Nintendo, as well as the strength of the games in the franchise. Of course, we wouldn’t have titles like “Mario Kart” and “Super Mario Odyssey” if it wasn’t for one of the games that started it all – “Super Mario Bros.” It’s one of the most iconic video games ever made, but why exactly is that?
A revolutionary game
Most new Mario games are based on the format established in “Super Mario Bros.” The title took platforming to the next level. It’s not just Nintendo’s biggest IP (intellectual property) that was inspired by “Super Mario Bros.” though. Thousands of games that have come since were all inspired by the design that “Super Mario Bros.” first put in place. If that doesn’t make a game iconic, we don’t know what does.
A new way to play
“Super Mario Bros.” was such an effective platformer because it didn’t just throw you into a challenge like many other games released at the time. The difficulty level ramped up throughout the game in a way that was easier for players to adapt to. The opening levels would teach you the skills necessary to get you through the game, but not by holding your hand. It wouldn’t give you instructions on what to do, because the design of the game made it reasonably intuitive. Again, this structure is something which has now been picked up by many developers when it comes to making their games.
Testing the player
The release of “Super Mario Bros.” came at a time when arcade games were still the norm, although they were slowly heading on their way out. These machines were often a huge challenge to gamers, because they were designed to make you fail and continue paying to play. “Super Mario Bros.” sought to change that. It didn’t necessarily lessen the challenge and make it easier, but the faults were now your own. The platforming was all about precision, and if you couldn’t time your actions correctly, you would fail. This resonated with players who were happy to prove they had the skills capable enough to make it to the end.
Saving the industry
Could you imagine a world without video games? Before “Super Mario Bros.” came out, the industry wasn’t doing too good. Revenue was falling significantly, and analysts had video games down as nothing more than a fad. They nearly became the fidget spinners of the ‘80s, at least until Nintendo went above and beyond with their new title. The release of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and “Super Mario Bros” changed the landscape of gaming, because things became less about high scores and more about exploration and adventure. The title was so popular that it had the highest sales record for several decades. Next time you want to criticise Nintendo, remember that they kept video games alive.
Hidden easter eggs
Easter eggs in games existed before “Super Mario Bros.,” but they were never prevalent until this game was released. Anyone who’s played the title probably remembers all those hidden warp pipes that allowed you to advance forward several worlds. This was truly a game changer. It prompted players to start exploring everything they could in the hopes of finding secrets, something that many developers have now taken advantage of. Finding collectibles and discovering secrets is the norm in gaming now, and it’s all thanks to Mario.
“Super Mario Bros.” might not match up graphically with the games released nowadays, but it’s important to remember how we got to this point. The roots of many of our favorite titles can be traced back to “Super Mario Bros.” because of its iconic influence. For that reason alone, the game should always be treasured.