Super Mario Land

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Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land - GB - USA.jpg

Game Boy - USA - 1st edition

Developer Nintendo R&D1
Publisher Nintendo
Published 1989-04-21
Platforms Game Boy
Genres Action, Scrolling shooter, Platformer
Themes Cartoon, Surreal
Series Mario, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land is a platformer video game with scrolling shooter levels developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy on 1989-04-21. The Super Game Boy supports the game. Although part of the Super Mario series, it has several notable differences from the earlier games. It has a sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

The game takes place in a new realm called Sarasaland which is ruled by four kingdoms, however, a dangerous space monster named Tatanga has hypnotized the people of the land in order to conquer it. he's trying to marry Princess Daisy and force her into being his queen, but Mario is on the scene ready to stop him.


Not owning a Game Boy, I remember watching some friends play it at school and wanting to play it really badly, but, unfortunately, Game Boys were banned in the school before I got a chance. Since I didn't own a Game Boy myself, I only ever got a few chances to play when I was younger, but I remember the game feeling a bit cheap. It wasn't until many years later that I decided to make a serious attempt at the game, and the beat it after a couple hours. Then, after learning it unlocked a hard mode, I played and beat that too on 2020-08-10.

I own a loose cartridge of the game.


Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
5 4 6 8 5

Best Version: Game Boy

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game is pretty fun, and the designers did a good job of adding new aspects to the game while still keeping with the Super Mario theme.
  • I like how each world has a unique theme to it: Egyptian crypts, Easter Island statues, Chinese folklore, etc.
  • The scrolling shooter stages are actually a refreshing change of pace that keeps the game from getting stale.
  • Even on the weaker audio hardware, Hirokazu Tanaka's music is really good.
  • The bonus game is a nice reward for ending the stage on the upper platform, even if it's a bit too easy.
  • I like that the bosses are all unique.
  • The entire game fits into a shockingly small 64 KB!


  • The game is too short. Even for a Game Boy game, 12 brief levels isn't enough.
  • The game is too easy. Thankfully, you unlock a hard mode upon beating it to give a slightly more reasonable challenge, though it would be nice if there were some indication in the game or manual that this happens.
  • Due to the size difference between Mario's sprite and the blocks, it's often not obvious which block he is going to hit. This causes a fair amount of re-jumping to finally hit the block you intended to hit.
  • Due to memory constraints in the ROM, a lot of the background had to be repeated, but it happens so much, it's quite obvious.
  • The Super Ball is a poor replacement for a fireball. While I like the fact that it can collect coins, and having it bounce up into the sky is occasionally useful, most of the time I would prefer it bounce along the ground like the fireballs. When you miss, and there are a lot of wall, it usually sticks around for much longer than you'd want it to, preventing you from throwing another.
  • Why did the designers create a new princess? Why create Princess Daisy when Peach already existed? Is Mario meant to be a professional princess rescuer?
  • The manual strangely doesn't translate any of the monster names.
  • Without a save feature or password, there is no way to pickup the game where you left off. On consoles this was acceptable at the time, but for a portable game that was meant to be played in car rides, it's a problem since you have to beat the game in a single sitting.


  • The player controls are pretty bad. Nintendo usually polishes player control really well, but this game has some serious flaws. You will find yourself under-jumping and over-jumping a lot, and it's harder to change direction mid-air than it should be. There is also an odd problem with forward momentum when hit a wall. Run into a short wall and then immediately jump, and you'll find yourself moving forward over the obstacle even if you're no longer pushing forward.


Box Art




US commercial.
Review - Game Boy Works.
Review - Game Boy Works (Remastered).
Brentalfloss music video.
Longplay - 1st playthough.
Longplay - 2nd playthough.


Strong female character?FailThe only woman is a damsel in distress and reward.
Bechdel test?FailThere is only one woman.
Strong person of color character?FailEveryone is white.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.


Roles Staff
Producer Gunpei Yokoi
Director Satoru Okada
Designer, Graphics Hirofumi Matsuoka, Masahiko Mashimo
Programmers Takahiro Harada, Masao Yamamoto
Music, Sound Effects, Audio Programmer Hirokazu Tanaka
Amida ? Masaru Yamanaka
Special Thanks Y. Taki, Takehiro Izushi, Hideo Nagata, Makoto Kanoh, Nishizawa


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Super Mario Land
Japanese スーパーマリオランド Supa Mario Rando Super Mario Land


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