Video Game: Mario Pinball Land

It's Super Mario 64 with flippers!

Mario Pinball Land (also known as Super Mario Ball) is a "pinball adventure" game for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, starring the world-famous plumber. It was developed by Fuse Games, who (as Cunning Developments) previously created the critically-acclaimed Pro Pinball series of Digital Pinball Tables.

In Mario Pinball Land, Koopa King Bowser has used a hijacked carnival gadget to kidnap Princess Peach (again), so Mario gives chase using the same gadget. Since the invention smushes people into living pinballs, Mario must now bounce, roll, and smash his way past Bowser's obstacles, collecting Stars to confront various Bosses until he can unlock the final confrontation with the Koopa King. Fortunately, Mario can use various power-ups to help in his quest, and Yoshi's eggs are sometimes available for multiball action.

Game-wise, Mario Pinball Land is divided into more than 30 screen-sized pinball tables, many of which are connected to each other by various doors and chutes. As with Fuse's Pro Pinball games, each table uses pre-rendered graphics and sprites, making this one of the most beautiful Game Boy Advance titles. Unfortunately, the game received mixed reception from most players; while Pinball Land is fun and not too difficult, it is also relatively short, and the biggest challenge is the game's annoying tendency to completely reset a table's status if Mario leaves it even for a moment.


Mario Pinball Land demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: The beehives, an igloo, and a hole inside a pyramid, which requires Mario to use a Mini Mushroom and shrink himself before he can enter them.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Everyone in the game.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All of the bosses.
  • Be the Ball: The main premise of the game.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: These three bosses would be unbeatable if:
    • The Cheep Cheep Pufferfish did not stay in an area that had Bob-ombs.
    • King Tut did not have growing pillars in his tomb.
    • Bowser did not have Twomps who can be pulled up and be dropped with two wheels and a switch.
  • Boss Room: Unlike other rooms, these do not reset if Mario fails to collect the key.
  • Bonus Boss: Harder versions of the four are available if you use the two rooms next to Bowser, which their star requirements is higher than Bowser himself (he requires 15 stars out of 35).
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Except the pits are not bottomless, still, the blue pipes keep Mario from falling off the screen.
  • Damsel in Distress: Who else?
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Requires to hit them while tripped, and they can trip other penguins while in this state.
  • Fake Difficulty: Comes from the game resetting a table's status whenever Mario leaves it. You can clear a playfield's enemies and have a star waiting, then get an unlucky bounce that sends Mario out of a door to a different table — and when you return to the original field, you have to fight the enemies all over again.
  • Flip Screen Scrolling
  • Flunky Boss: The Cheep Cheep Pufferfish.
  • Guide Dang It: Frosty Frontier has a star which does not require defeating every enemy on the screen, instead Mario has to switch out Shy Guys so that all four have the same color.
  • Homing Projectile: King Tut shoots balls that will turn Mario mini if he is hit by one of them.
  • Interface Screw: Bowser can disable your flippers
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Starman.
  • Pinball Spinoff
  • Pinball Scoring: Each world except the carnival has a jackpot meter (indicated by the Gold Yoshi Egg), which increases by the stars and points collected in each world. Bowser's Castle's jackpot is based on the overall game instead, and it can reach up to 100 million points.
  • Save the Princess: Wouldn't be a Mario game without it.
  • Smart Bomb: The lightning bolt turns enemies into coins.
  • Snowlems: Can only be stunned.
  • Suspend Save: Turning the system off before saving will reset the game back to the beginning.
  • Time Trial: A Time Attack mode is available after playing through the game's first few tables.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Mini Mushroom and Super Mushroom, which temporarily makes Mario smaller or larger, respectively.
  • Turns Red: Bowser curls up into a ball in his second phase and must be pushed with the flippers to slam him through the castle walls.

Alternative Title(s):

Super Mario Ball