When it comes to Super Mario Bros, I’ve lost count. It’s become a habit, an ingrained pattern. There are several Super Mario Bros. games strewn throughout my home, all of which date back to 1985. Playable on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch systems. Using a Classic NES. The company often re-releases its older games.
For Mario’s 35th birthday this year, a slew of new games and toys have been released, including Lego Super Mario, Super Mario 3D Classics, Super Mario 35, and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. The small Game & Watch I’ve been messing around with, though, takes the cake when it comes to authentically manufactured nostalgia. It looks like a portable Nintendo gaming system from the 1980s, but it really comes preloaded with a game from the 1990s. It’s a reenactment of a fictional past event. My ’80s-kid self definitely wouldn’t have been into the Super Mario Game & Watch.
The Super Mario Game & Watch
As a youngster, I loved playing with Game & Watch sets. I had a whole pile of them. When I was at summer camp and we didn’t have access to super mario bros phones or other technology, they were my saving grace for entertainment on the go. I listened to them constantly. I played games like Pinball, Donkey Kong, and Oil Panic on the basic black-and-white LCD displays, which beeped and flashed.
Playing a Game & Watch game may be both tedious and addictive, since they are rhythm-based, timing-heavy survival minigames. The goal is to find a rhythm that allows you to rack up a high score. Nintendo has re-released Game & Watch titles for super mario bros the Game Boy Advance and 3DS in the form of collections. I was anticipating something similar when Nintendo revealed a new Game & Watch in physical form.
This little plastic portable
What I got was a hybrid that worked surprisingly well together. This little plastic portable can only play two Super Mario games, one Super Mario Bros. spin-off called Super Mario Bros. It’s a genuine Super Mario Bros. arcade cabinet.
It’s not Nintendo’s tiniest portable system. Even smaller than the original Game Boy, I still have a working Game Boy Micro, complete with the Game & Watch Collection 4 cartridge. The Super Mario Game & Watch is less substantial and more plasticky than expected, but its screen is shockingly crisp and clear. I was reminded of my childhood spent playing Game & Watch games by the rubbery d-pad and A/B buttons. The rubberized game-selection buttons up top do, too.
The control pad and buttons
It’s a joy to play on and feels quite sturdy. The control pad and buttons are conveniently located. I slid into playing Super Mario and became lost in the super mario bros game while waves of anxiety hit me (something that happens a lot lately). Like having a worry stone in your hand.
The Game & Watch is powered by USB-C and includes a small cable for charging. The battery has survived hours of gameplay so far. There is a power button, a mechanism to cycle among the three games, and a clock on the minimal interface. The Game & Watch was never a true watch, though it could display the time. I can watch Mario bounce about for a while while the clock ticks away the seconds and the minutes. I can’t wake up to Game & Watch since there is no alarm.
The original Super Mario Bros
The original Super Mario Bros. game from 1985 is here, complete with a two-player swap-and-play feature. The Japanese version of Super Mario Bros., which appears in other Nintendo collections as Super Mario Bros. It’s like Mario: Superstar Mode, except you may also choose to play as Luigi, who has superior leaping ability. With a Switch and a $20 annual Nintendo Switch Online membership, you may play any of these titles.
The first and only authentic Game & Watch game was Ball, released by Nintendo in 1972. It’s a simple juggling game in which you control a blocky Mario character and direct him to collect incoming balls. The original was animated in a choppy fashion by flashing various segments on an LCD screen. This is an exact recreation, and it works just as well as I remember it doing.
The Game & Watch I was hoping for
A good feature of all three games is that they may be put on hold while you switch to another, saving your progress for when you return. It’s expensive super mario bros for what it is: three games for $50 (£50, AU$80). It defies logic. The Switch begins at $200, but Nintendo has discontinued the 3DS and 2DS handhelds. On eBay, a used Game & Watch system will cost you between $70 and $100. This new Game & Watch is a sobering reminder that Nintendo did, in fact, formerly produce other tiny portable devices.
Not the Game & Watch I was hoping for. I was looking for the one that could load up to 10 original G&W games. Or, a retro Game Boy with a ton of games would be awesome. Nintendo could earn a fortune producing this.
This Game & Watch is obviously a collector’s item, thus it won’t be used much. It’s a double dose of the past. This suggests that Nintendo has a firm grasp on mario game its core customer demographic.