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Mario Bros. (NES) Retro Review

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Game Name: Mario Bros.

Developer: Nintendo Research & Development 1

Release Date: June 1, 1983

Platforms: Atari, Nintendo Entertainment System, Arcade, and many others


When you look up the definition of old school platformer, the cover to this game is in the dictionary. I think that they may have been one of the first arcade video games that I saw when I was really young. Like every old retro review that I do, let us see if this game holds up after all of these years.


This game is very simple. You play as Mario (or Luigi) and you try to eliminate the turtles, crabs and whatever other character that appears on the screen. The game starts pretty easy as turtles are very slow. When you get to the last "kill", the sprite goes a lot faster. It makes it slightly more difficult to eliminate the enemy. Some would say that it is pretty lame for gameplay, but back in the day, this was tough in the arcades. However for me a quarter would go a long way. :)

Unlike the future iterations of Super Mario Bros., you cannot jump on the enemy. You need to hit beneath them. In some cases, like the crabs, you need to hit them twice. This adds an extra level of challenge.

There are extra levels where you can collect coins for bonus points. The bonus level is a time trial, where you have a set amount of time to get all of the coins.

Sample Gameplay

As you can see, there is nothing to it, but it can get pretty challenging once you get far in the game. Also it is a great game to try to get a high score. It is however, not a good game to have a speed run. :)


Unlike many old games, I think this one does hold up. The reason for it, is at first it seems like easy peasy to get through the game. However, this is pretty challenging. You keep playing the same level over and over again, but they change it enough to make it interesting. Donkey Kong had 3 levels but they were not that challenging after a little while.

May be Nintendo will release this as a mobile game at some point. I can see people buying this for 0.99$. Look at what Sega is doing with Sega Forever. I think that model that could work. Time will tell if this is the case, but I think that it is something that people can support. You are not forcing the user to pay.

Now back on track with Mario Bros.. So do I think that this game holds up? Actually it holds up surprisingly well. I think that it is a hallmark of a Mario game. Many of the Mario games are fun even years after their best due date. This is a testament to the Mario games.

Rating: 8 turtle squashes out of 10

Have you played this game? What do you think? Did I miss the mark or hit the nail on the head? Let me know below.

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