The Super Mario Bros. franchise is one of the most popular series of games ever to grace the planet. The brothers, who are plumbers by trade, seem to be regularly called upon to defeat the evil Bowser, and rescue Princess Toadstool (Super Mario 2 is different, as it was originally intended to be a different game). So get ready for a whole new adventure, of sliding down drainpipes, squashing Goombas, dodging Bullet Bills, discovering the secrets of the Ghost Houses, and the introduction of a new ally named Yoshi.
Super Mario World is a side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Nintendo, and released for the SNES in Japan in 1990, North America in 1991, and Europe in 1992. It would later be released for the Game Boy Advance in 1991/2. The version I chose to review can be found on the SNES Mini.
In Super Mario 3, Mario and Luigi saved the Mushroom Kingdom from King Bowser. In need of a vacation, they visit Dinosaur Land for some much needed R&R. During their vacation, Princess Toadstool disappears…again! While searching for her, the brothers find a dinosaur egg which soon hatches, and they are introduced to Yoshi.
The game begins on a map of the Dinosaur Land where yellow and red dots indicate the levels that need to be traversed before you can progress. If the dot is red, it means that there is a secret area or alternative route that once found, will open up another secret area. Ghost Houses also tend to have secret areas too.
The game follows the standard Mario gameplay of running from left to right and jumping over obstacles, and either evading or killing a variety of enemies. Power-Ups include the standard Super Mushroom, Star of Invincibility, Fire Flower that allows you to throw fireballs, and a cape that allows Mario to fly and/or descend slowly. Mario and Luigi can also perform a new spin and jump move which allows you to destroy blocks you are standing on (or next to if you’re wearing the cape).
Yoshi has his uses too. He can eat pretty much anything. Some of the enemies he eats will stay in his mouth and can be spat out at other enemies. Depending on what he eats will depend on what he spits out. If he eats a Koopa Troopa (green shelled turtle), he will simply spit out a green shell, but if he eats a Koopa Paratroopa (red shelled turtle), he will spit out fire balls. If you are hit when riding Yoshi, he will squeal and you will simply dismount him without losing any power-ups you have. Yoshi will continue to run until you re-mount him or he runs off screen.
Another new feature means you can now store a power-up in a blue box at the top of the screen. You can make the power-up drop down manually to change your ability, or it will automatically drop when you are struck by an enemy.
Coins and Yoshi tokens can be collected as usual to increase point and gain extra lives. Every time you collect 100 coins you will gain an extra life. Each level contains five Yoshi tokens. If you collect all five in one level, you gain an extra life.
Once a level is completed, you can still play it again, but with an addition that if you wish to exit the level before making it to the end, you simply pause the game and press select. You will then be taken back to the Overworld Map.
How Does It Handle?
It is not difficult to see why this game is considered one of the greatest. The controls are tight and there’s plenty of secrets to find. The game is easy to learn and fun for all ages to play. You will be drawn back to revisit the game time and again.
Brightly coloured levels with beautifully illustrated and animated sprites. The levels are challenging but fun, and look great.
The music will get stuck on a loop in your head. Interestingly, when riding Yoshi, extra drum beats are added to the music which is a cool little addition.
Super Mario World can be played in one and two-player modes which allow you to take it in turns to complete levels. As you progress through the game you will be given a percentage of how much the game is completed. However, you don’t need to have played all the levels and/or found all the secret areas to complete the game. For those of us that simply must find every secret of a game, this will add to the replay value, as you will be replaying levels trying to find alternative routes and secret areas.
Did I Complete The Game?
I have completed the story but have yet to achieve 100% on the game.
What The Critics Said:
Computer & Video Games: “What a truly terrific game! With seven worlds and over a hundred sub-levels, Mario IV has incredible depth of gameplay. Overall 96%.”
Electronic Gaming Monthly: “The ultimate Mario adventure! Super Mario World is a perfect subtitle, with 96 areas to explore. Everything just plain blew me away! Overall 9/10.”
Super Play: “An amazingly deep and playable platform game, and a credit to Nintendo. Unmissable. Overall 94%.”
Best Graphics and Sound (SNES) – Nintendo Power Awards 1991
“I had so much fun revisiting this game. It holds up very well. Beautifully illustrated and animated, and I love the music! There are loads of fun new features, and the game has great replay value. A true landmark of a game in the side-scrolling platform genre.”
What are your memories of Super Mario World? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.
 Glancey, P., ‘Review: Super Mario World’. Computer & Video Games. (March 1991). Issue 112:48-50.
 ‘Review Crew – Super Mario 4’. Electronic Gaming Monthly. (August 1991). 25:18.
 Brookes, J., ‘UK Review – Super Mario World’. Superplay. (December 1992). 2:84.
 ‘Nintendo Power Awards ’91 – For Graphics and Sound (SNES)’. Nintendo Power. (May 1992). 36:58.