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November 21, 2006, marked the 16th Birthday of the SUPER FAMICOM and SUPER MARIO WORLD. In my humble opinion, that day marked the birth of the best game system of all time...

I played a spot or two of SUPER MARIO WORLD around the system's 16th Birthday as a way to celebrate. It's amazing how 16 years later a large majority of games still can't touch SMW's playability/greatness

So it's fitting, then, to look at two Super Famicom-exclusives featuring that ole Mario chum


Written: 11.21.06
Acquired: 9.14.06
Status: CIB (including mouse)
Price: $6

Publisher: NintendoReleased: 8.27.93
Developer: Game FreakScarcity: 2.5

This is an action puzzler in
the vain of LEMMINGS or
guide either Mario, Yoshi or
the Princess to safety
through courses strewn
with hazards

    SUPER PLAY lends
    us its expertise

You control a fairy
named Wanda. The
game uses the SNES

To help me today is former SUPER PLAY editor James Leach (issue 13, Nov '93)


What's Mario & Wario like to play? Well, the graphics aren't incredible. They're not meant to be. The game's strength lies in its playability. It starts off really easy. All you do is click on some outlined squares in order. These fill in as you do so, allowing Mario (who's had a bucket placed over his head) to walk over them, instead of plummeting to his death. As you progress, the blocks you need to click on start to fragment, so you can't get too far ahead of Mario, else he'll still fall. It involves timing, a bit of planning and accurate use of the mouse

Yet further into the game, there's a neat twist. Before Mario starts his lonely, bucket-headed walk, you can scroll around the playing area (which is about four screens in size). You must memorize the positions of the platforms and spikey bits, and, once the timer starts, you've got to use your memory to aim Mario off bits of the screen and onto the correct (out-of-view) platforms. It's tricky and requires concentration

I've been saying Mario, but you can also play Daisy and Yoshi, who equate to easy and hard (Mario is medium), in your fight against the unspeakable Wario. And your mouse pointer is actually a fairy called Wanda. It's her helpful magic you're invoking as you slide around your mouse

Once it gets going, this game's tough. And having used Macs for years, you can't tell me I don't know my way around a mouse. It's got a great panic element when Mario teeters on the edge, and for much of the game there're no random elements, so when you cock up, you've only yourself to blame

So what about it, then? It's fun, it's simple to understand, but it gets tough and it's all a bit samey. Not a classic

Graphics: 68%
Sound: 64%
Gameplay: 88%
Gamelife: 74%

Overall Score: 70%


Bear in mind when it came to rating games, Super Play was notoriously hard. They factored in how expensive these games were, knowing the average gamer only buys 2 to 3 games a year. What most games receive a 70% in Super Play, GameFan, for example, has given 80-85%, some times even in the 90's...

So by Super Play standards 70% is considered a respectable score, whereas for the much more friendly GameFan, a 70 is a low-ish mark based on their generosity

I agree with SPlayMario & Wario is fun, but not a classic by any stretch of the imagination. You're not missing anything earth-shattering if you've never played it, but it's certainly worth a go if this strikes your fancy

Oh, and check if the copy you're
looking to buy comes with this
little mouse pad / card or not


Written: 11.21.06
Acquired: 9.5.06
Status: CIB
Price: $38

Publisher: NintendoReleased: 1.1.98
Developer: Pax SoftonicaScarcity: 4

An update to the '85 Nintendo game, it's Mario and gang in a more traditional puzzler (at least for the '98 version). Even then, it's not your average puzzle game

Yes, released in 1998!

                        For good measure, the
                        original version is thrown
                        in WC '98 as a bonus

The '98 version is vastly different. In
it you battle a CPU or 2nd player.
Wielding a mallet, you navigate
through your playing field smashing
blocks trying to create enough trouble
for the other player whereby his field
is cluttered senseless

Once a block touches "the line of death" up top, that player's screen will flash like crazy, accompanied by the appropriate heart-attack-inducing sound effect. When that happens, you have 3 seconds to bring the pile down or you lose. It adds a great deal to the anxiety level of the game

You connect 3 (or more) like colors in a row to eliminate the blocks. However, it is only with 4 (or more) that'll send varying obstacles over to the opposition. These obstacles depend on what color you've rid of. Chain reactions also does the trick. And when your field is lacking blocks, just hit "X" to drop a new row or two

Watch out for those green
guys the 2nd player just
sent over

If touched, you're temporarily

Players can climb and jump to higher floors via the girders. On the edge, handles can be used to slide the adjacent row, dropping unblocked pieces below to create potential matches

The computer is DAMN tough. I've yet to beat 'em. Matches can go 3, 4 minutes long. 8 characters are selectable (most have to be unlocked). 1P Story mode, 2P mode (or vs.
CPU) and an option screen with multiple "how-to-play" samples

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed;
it's certainly not the 1st puzzler I'd
reach for, but it's still a nice little
package of an old classic coupled
with a version for the '90s

Copies of Wrecking Crew '98 are rather hard to find and expensive; mine ran $38 and at that price was too good to pass on. Mario & Wario is much more common and cheap -- a measly $6 in contrast though I probably got a bit lucky with that one as well