Super Mario! brings Mario (unofficially) to Facebook

Super Mario! is a Flash game adaptation of the famous Nintendo icon. It’s not a simple translation of any one Mario game, but rather it takes elements of several and creates new levels and challenges. Think of this as an unofficial Super Mario Bros 4 or Super Mario World 1.5.

But any way you slice it, the game incorporates many of the iconic Mario villains, powerups, and music to create a pretty deep game. In addition to a fixed world where players can try to advance through several levels, there is also a level editor for players interested in creating new levels or uploading their fellow Mario fans’ creations.

Developers can learn a great deal about customization from this game. The level editor makes this game much deeper and more appealing to experienced gamers than many competing Mario adaptations. Having said that, the level editor tab doesn’t do a great job explaining how to load the levels or how to create your own. The vibrant forums that are part of the application are an important feature and really allow players to take control of their gaming experience. But again, they could be better integrated into the system to make the level editor more approachable to casual gamers.

While the game will likely perpetuate on the power of the name “Mario,” the “Collection” tab that is locked is a good incentive to invite friends. The “Collection” tab offers even more levels of gameplay and further expands the Super Mario! universe. So the game does demand you help perpetuate it to get the deepest experience, but invitations do not disrupt gameplay.

Aside from the confusing level editor and the long load times, the big complaint that users will have with this game is that there is no save feature. Mario is traditionally a long game that requires players  to come back across multiple sesssions – rarely do casual gamers play for several hours at a time. A save feature is essential to hook casual gamers and experienced gamers alike. It’s about as important to the Mario world as fireballs, jumping, and mushrooms.

Gameplay: 7/10
Developer’s score: 5/10
True to source material: 7/10

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