It’s October 1st and not only does it mean the start of the Halloween Season, but also Super Mario Bros. 35 hits the Nintendo eShop today for free, for Nintendo Switch Online customers. If you’re not familiar, Nintendo announced Super Mario Bros. 35 early last month in celebration of Mario’s 35th anniversary as a 35-player competitive game. Think: Super Mario Bros. + Tetris 99 (Check out our Tetris 99 review).
I am an absolutely huge fan of the original Super Mario Bros. as it was the first video game that got me into console gaming, just about 35 years ago. To bring back the original game in a competitive battle style game is an ingenious way to get younger folks back into a classic. Do not misconstrue this, as it is by no means a platformer in the normal sense. Let me explain, as there are two modes: 35-Player Battle and Special Battle.
The first mode of Super Mario Bros. 35 is a 35-player battle style game where players run through levels collecting coins and stomping on Goomba’s, Koopa Troopa’s and the like, while sending these defeated enemies into other players levels, causing them extra trouble, which in turn can cause them to lose a life. (Oh, and you only get one life.) Once you die, you’re eliminated from the game. Players can choose who they send enemies to: to Attackers, Players with Most Coins, Players with Least Time, and Random. The idea is to knock out the other 34 players, and take the top spot of the match. In this mode, the game is linear, just like the original Mario, but with the exception of the warp pipes, which don’t show the same warp levels as the original.
The other mode, Special Battle, is the same as above, except that the game has a predefined set of levels that must be navigated. For example; the game may start at World 4-2 and once completed go to World 3-3. This keeps even the most experienced Mario players guessing.
Both the 35-Player Battle and Special Battle modes are timed, just like in the original game, though much shorter than the original. More time is given based on the number of enemies defeated, the type of enemies defeated, and the number of multiple enemies defeated in a row without touching the ground. An experienced player will have little to no problem with time, especially as more enemies are being added by other players. Each of these modes also includes a coin ranking section that resets every couple of days to keep players fighting for the top spot on the leader board for coins.
As you level up by winning matches, unlocking levels, and collecting coins, you will unlock different icons to represent you in-game, which feature numerous characters and items from Super Mario Bros. Decent enough for all of those 100-percenters, but I don’t see this as a much-needed feature to the game. If you’re like me and like “big data”, you’ll be thrilled to see the stats page that gives you all the details on things like your Total Time Played, Number Courses Played, Number of First-Place Wins, Streaks, and much more. Nintendo also included a graphical representation of each enemy killed and how you’ve ranked from match to match.
There is also a practice mode that allows you to brush up on your Super Mario Bros. skills. In this mode, you can only practice in worlds that you’ve unlocked in the main two games. Playing Super Mario Bros. on a Nintendo Switch is much different than playing in on an NES, so if you haven’t played in a while, you certainly want to brush up.
Conclusion – Super Mario Bros. 35 is a lot of fun
I’d definitely give Super Mario Bros. 35 my recommendation without question, to any Super Mario Bros. fan. It’s a fun way to show off your skill and compete against some really incredible players. Each match is hair-raising and always new and different as attackers continue to add more enemies to your map based on their progress. Super Mario Bros. 35 will keep even the most experienced player on their toes, as this no longer is a matter of memorizing timing, but a test of your ability to adapt and react very quickly.
Super Mario Bros. 35 is free for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers starting today, and will only be available through March 31, 2021. Do not miss this game before it goes away! For more information regarding Super Mario Bros. 35 check out Nintendo’s product page.