Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Game Poster Image
Classic adventures get new life in updated portable device.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While Mario and Luigi are trying to defeat Bowser and save the princess, there's very few messages apart from persevering against seemingly impossible odds.

Positive Role Models

Mario and his brother Luigi are two guys that try to help others, but no character development or activity occurs at all.

Ease of Play

Gameplay across the two Super Mario Bros. games are easy to grasp, but become challenging over time. The second game immediately throws players into the deep end, and expects that players have skills to meet challenging game levels. The Ball games, by contrast, simply rely upon a player's reflexes.

Violence & Scariness

Players stomp on enemy creatures, use fireballs, or invincibility stars to eliminate enemy creatures, but no blood or gore's shown when they’re defeated. Instead, creatures bounce off the screen or fade away.

Language
Consumerism

This features two classic Super Mario Bros. games. The first game by itself helped to launch a world famous franchise that created TV shows, toys, movies, and more.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros is a separate stand-alone handheld device that features some of the most recognizable titles ever made. The biggest title in the group, Super Mario Bros. Is one of the most recognizable games worldwide, and has influenced toys, TV shows, movies, and more. While players stomp on creatures, use fireballs or invincibility stars to eliminate creatures, no blood or gore is shown during this constant action, and defeated enemies fade away or bounce off the screen. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found. The game does rely upon ever-increasing challenges to a players skills, which will require perseverance and repeated play to be successful. One of the games is infamous for its difficulty, which will tax their skills on each stage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySauradip November 28, 2020

It's rated for everyone

Rated for everyone because it can contain violent references like if you use fire flower and koopa if you kill it kills lots of enemies at once and promoting vi... Continue reading
Adult Written byHolly R. March 28, 2021

More of a collectors item then something for small children

The gameplay can be enjoyed by the youngest of children but the Game and Watch device is very small and more suitable for older children or Nintendo fans than v... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 12, 2021

Good game

This is a good game, but it's really hard. 10 year olds can overcome the difficulty though.
Kid, 10 years old October 1, 2021

Super Portable!

This is even more portable than the Switch! With 3 games, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, (The Lost Levels in America) and Game and Watch Ball Starring... Continue reading

What's it about?

GAME & WATCH: SUPER MARIO BROS. is the latest product from Nintendo to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise. But this time around, everyone's favorite plumber is getting a bit of a retro presentation by returning to Nintendo's early digital roots. This standalone device packages the classic Super Mario Bros. along with Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels in a device with a color scheme that evokes the classic Japanese Famicom system (known as the NES in the West). The devices also include the much older digital game Ball with a Super Mario Bros. twist. Here, players try to keep a series of two or three balls up in the air by juggling them across the screen. Rounding out the features is a digital clock, featuring scenes from Super Mario Bros as a method of passing the time.

Is it any good?

This small device is a great way of tugging gamer's nostalgic heartstrings, even if its limited availability and price are a bit of a hurdle for some fans to clear. Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. tips its retro hat to the 80s by packaging two classics (and a rarely seen game) with a vibrant LCD screen and a control scheme reminiscent of the classic NES controller. Virtually nothing needs to be said about Super Mario Bros. – it's one of the most classic action platformers of all time. The Lost Levels, on the other hand, demands your best skills as a gamer due to its incredibly difficult play. Its stages are full of split-second jumps, invisible blocks, and even poison mushrooms that shrink Mario or potentially kill him outright. This missing classic that only migrated to the West via eShop or older collections is an excellent addition to this package, and will keep testing players that think that they've fully mastered the plumber's play. That's especially true thanks to the differences in gameplay, with Mario being fast, but Luigi being able to jump higher than his brother.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Game & Watch without a true game from that series, and Ball, where players juggle two or three constantly accelerating balls across the screen, will test your reflexes. It's cute, but it's probably not going to keep your attention like the classic NES games will. Finally, it's nice to see that Nintendo invested in the Watch side with platformer inspired clock scenes, and even a hidden song that teaches you to draw Mario. It's great, it's kitschy, and it's a nice extra when you're not playing the game. There's not really a lot of issues with the Game & Watch. It would've been nice if it included Super Mario Bros. 3 or another title, or even some of the other classic Game & Watch LCD games. Similarly, paying $49.99 for these classics may be a bit much given its limited availability (only sold until March 31, 2021) and especially since the games are available on the eShop for a fraction of the price. But if you overlook these issues, Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. is a great way to get a sense of nostalgia in a small, pocket-sized package.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about nostalgia. What's the appeal of games like Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.? Does the gameplay simply shine, regardless of the platform it's on or the person playing the title? Why do you think these games are classics?

  • What makes a hero? Is it the willingness to help others? Being willing to face danger to do what's right? Can anyone do heroic things, or are some people better suited to being heroes?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

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