Super Mario Land review - Nintendo Gameboy

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Weather is a funny thing - ask Michael Fish. Storms, hurricanes, and heat waves occur with no real reasons. Yet it's a lot worse in Sarasaland, where the clouds brought the arrival of Tatanga, a monster who has taken over the place. He even wants to marry Princess Daisy - gasp!

Needless to say, Mario is none too chuffed at this prospect, and it's your job to guide him as he attempts to free the land and rescue the girlie.

If you've played any of the Mario games (and who hasn't), then this game will hold no surprises. The played guides the hero through the lands, collecting bonuses and mashing monsters as he goes. Super flowers, hearts, and coins are among the goodies to be had.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Playability to the nth degree! This game is guaranteed a semi-permanent place in my Game Boy, along with Tetris of course. They don't come much better than this, with great graphics and a tough challenge. "

" I agree - this is brilliant. It doesn't take long to finish the game, but there's loads of secret things to uncover if you do! A must "


Overall Score90%

Retrospective comments


This alongside the excellent Tetris was one of the first games I got for my trusty GameBoy. It was a great game with catchy tunes and fun gameplay. I wouldn't say it ever felt like a true Mario game though. There was a bit of an alien theme which didn't seem to suit the series well.

It was also very easy and suffered from blur quite badly on the dot matrix screen. I don't know what I would say about the game now. A fun little title but in retrospect not really a classic and perhaps not worth the 90% it was awarded.

Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 02:47 GMT

Very playable but very cruel. In Japan the game may have been packaged with telescopic contact lenses to see what was going on - but unlucky westerners had to make do with toilet tubes and parcel tape.

Dan - 19 Feb 2009, 10:45 GMT

Daz's + Tris Wicks comments are both bob-on, there was a good game in there, but the blurry screen and un-roundedness of it pissed me off. An 80%er methinks.

Matthew Taylor - 30 Aug 2009, 23:48 GMT

I'm quite surprised to read the retrospective comments in this review. However I must admit that not only was the Gameboy my first foray into consoles, it was my first experience of a Mario game. For this reason alone, the game holds a strong sense of nostalgia for me so forgive me if I go all dewy eyed when talking about Super Mario Land. The game blew me away when I first got my Gameboy, and its still a great title, with some inventive spins on the traditional Mario formula and even a couple of shoot 'em up levels thrown in for good measure. The reservations of the screen blur and reworking of enemies etc. aside this does deserve its place as a classic. If you need testimony to this statement, just check out the 2nd hand cartridges of this game nowadays, along with Tetris, its the cartridge most likely to have the ink on the label worn down to nothing from the hundreds of times this little gem was plugged into Nintendo's little grey brick.

Andreas Åkermark Wernlund - 28 May 2015, 12:12 GMT

What can I say, its Super Mario on the game boy! Characters are a little small. But everything else is super! Its a fun game where you jump on platforms while you try to avoid dangers. with good controls and excelent music. Overall score: 100%

Mean Machines Issue 2 - November 1990
Platform Game Nintendo Gameboy
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Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land

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