[[caption-width-right:200:Mario (on the right) prepares to face off against Spike and his minions.]]

Creator/{{Nintendo}}, before making the ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1 "Super"]] but after having the elder brother square off against VideoGame/DonkeyKong, employed Mario and Luigi in ''Wrecking Crew'', a platform-based MazeGame released for the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem in 1985.

In this game, the brothers wield hammers (both the regular kind and the more powerful Golden Hammer), bombs, and falling oil drums as tools for demolishing various buildings. Posed against them is their mean employer, Foreman Spike, who sics Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches on the Bros. while chasing after them himself. Mario and Luigi must dodge these enemies as they smash apart the demolition sites one wall, pillar, and ladder at a time. Every fourth level, they must race against Spike in a search for a hidden coin for extra points.

Like several other NES games, it was adapted into an arcade game running on the Vs. System. However, it was one of the few Vs. System games to actually ''predate'' the home release, as it contains a 1984 copyright. ''Vs. Wrecking Crew'' is also quite unlike the NES game, and allows simultaneous multiplayer.

Nintendo released ''Wrecking Crew '98'' in Japan only as one of the last games for the [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Super Famicom]]. This was a compilation of the original ''Wrecking Crew'' with an all-new competitive MatchThreeGame. The story once again sees Spike, this time working for three-month younger Bowser, impeding Mario's demolition job. Foreman Spike himself would also reappear as an unlockable character in ''Mobile Golf'', a Japan-only UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor entry in the ''VideoGame/MarioGolf'' series. Later, this game would appear in VideoGame/NESRemix.
* BonusStage: The "find the coin" stage after every fourth level.
* CartoonBomb: Appears on some stages and can be used to demolish surrounding walls. The manual calls it "dynamite", however.
* CollisionDamage: Touch a Gotchawrench or Eggplant Man and lose a life. Touch Foreman Spike and just get pushed around.
* DubNameChange: In Japan, Gotcha Wrench was Spanner Gon, Eggplant Man was Nasubi Kamen (Eggplant Mask), and Foreman Spike was...[[UnfortunateName Blackey]].
* EndlessGame: ''Wrecking Crew'' loops back to the first level after the BonusStage following the hundredth level.
* EvilCounterpart: Foreman Spike.
* HeadSwap: Foreman Spike is a head swap of Mario (and Luigi).
* JumpPhysics: ''Wrecking Crew'' is a rare aversion for Mario, who has to climb ladders instead of being able to jump. ''Wrecking Crew '98'' has normal jumping controls.
* LevelEditor: Players can create up to 5 original levels.
* OurMonstersAreWeird: Living wrenches and eggplant people, this game is where the franchise's enemies started getting ''really'' weird
* PaletteSwap: Mario and Luigi are only differentiated in color. This also applies to Gotcha Wrench and Gotchawrench Jr.
* PowerUpMotif: A rather awesome one when you get the Golden Hammer.
* SpellingBonus: Players are rewarded with an extra life for finding the letters M-A-R-I-O (or L-U-I-G-I as the second player) in that exact order.
* SpinOff: One of the first ''Mario'' games where the Bros. starred in a non-PlatformGame spin off.
* StalkedByTheBell: {{Fireballs}} appear when Mario/Luigi is lingering on a floor.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: If one looks closely, neither Mario or Luigi appear to be wearing shirts.
* WrapAround: A horizontal wraparound passage on every floor.
* UnwinnableByMistake: Due to your inability to jump, if you walk off the wrong ledge or destroy the wrong ladder before destroying every wall on that floor it becomes impossible to get back up. For the same reasons it's common for the game to become {{Unwinnable}} by Foreman Spike.
** Unlike most NES games, pressing the select button returns you to the title screen, possibly because of this.