Reviews: Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bro video game analysis review

"Super Mario Bros" is an electronic game about a the mushroom-fueled psychadelic dreams of an Italian midget. The player controls the titular Super Mario Bro as he travels through a bizarre world pieced together from medieval fairytales and acid nightmares. The drug symbolism is very strong with the use of mushrooms for both the power-ups and the enemies. Touching good mushrooms let's Mario Bro achieve his secret dream of being a "normal" height man, whereas bad mushrooms make him shrink or eventually drop out of the dreamworld entirely, grasping at nothing.

Although slightly dated, the game is impressively realistic, thanks to its brown art style. The art director includes several clever nods towards The Hills Have Eyes, strengthening the game's underlying horror theme. Like the trial of Sisyphus, Mario Bro is forced to continually repeat his draining quest. Every time he reaches his goal, it is pushed back again. This comes to a head at the finale where even after finishing the dream eight times, the damsel informs our hero that he is still lacking and must repeat the adventure again. It's an engaging psychological analysis of the fear of never being able to live up to ones' expectations.

Overall, this is an excellent example of the thinking man's game. An engaging story with depth and complexity that'll have you come back time and time again, looking at the story from different perspectives. Due to the drug messages, this game is not recommended for younger players without parental supervision, of course.


Oh, like you were expecting a serious review of Super Mario Bros. This game defined video game culture, and you already know it inside and out. It's a timeless classic, just as fun on Wii virtual console today as it was when I played it as my very first video game twenty-two years ago. Few modern games have ever given me the level of satisfaction that is reaching World 8-4 and beating Bowser in one afternoon. It's a-him, baby!