News Article

Super Mario 3D Land Clone Hits iPhone, and Looks Rubbish

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Making Mario mad

While the iOS and Android platforms have some blockbuster downloads that have been downloaded millions of times, they also have quality control that's as effective as a Power Glove. We present to you 3D Cartoon Land: Safari, which is a rather blatant copy of Super Mario 3D Land, the same in everything except graphics, design, tight controls and fun, we suspect.

Despite seeming to lift assets from the 3DS title and make them look about ten times worse, this happily breezed through Apple's checks and is now published for $0.99. Of course, this has happened before, as just last week we showed you a Pokémon clone; there's also the infamous Mole Kart that ripped off Mario Kart Wii. We suspect that Nintendo jumped on that one, as it's now called Mole Kart I and appears to have re-designed tracks.

These shameless clones happen more often than we'd like, but we doubt it'll be long before Nintendo gets involved. In the meantime, check out the screens for 3D Cartoon Land: Safari to see for yourself, and there's footage of the original Mole Kart below, as well.

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User Comments (122)



6ch6ris6 said:

this is why i play on dedicated handhelds and not on some stupid smartphone with rubbish controlls


OMFG that video almost made me puke
gonna play some mario kart 7 now hehe



Robo-goose said:

It's depressing, really. By copying these games so well, they've proved that they have the materials to make something that could be great. They've seen the code, they know how it works, there's no doubt that they know how to manipulate it, but instead of making a new, good game, they just make blatant ripoffs like this.
Hopefully they've tried to use what they've learned to make different games, instead of other almost-copy-paste games.



New_3DaSh_XL said:

Really, what people need, are good original games. But people are lazy. They should realize people might actually get it if it was a good original game.



Shworange said:

Wow! Unbelievable.
"listen here employees. I know you all have great ideas for games, but let's just copy SML3D's code, make it suck, create a mario copied sprite, and wait until Nintendo sues us and forces me to fire you all due to litigation costs". What a winning business model!



MAB said:

lol here is the mario you dreamed of iphonies do you see! DO YOU SEE! go get em Ninty... Collect some loot from these masqueraded harlequins



King_Boo said:

How were there legal issues getting the original goldeneye levels in the remake, but this stuff can be put out?



Bankai said:

Oh yes. Let's use a couple of illegal copies as proof that all iOS gaming is crap. What absolutely brilliant logic.

The Chinese ripped off the Wii and called it the Vii. Quick, better burn all our consoles because its proof that there is no good gaming hardware out there.



TheDreamingHawk said:

This is why I hate the IOS store.

At least now I can laugh in the faces of those People who put false reviews on the helpful game guides because they want Mario on IOS.



sketchturner said:

The biggest concern is how to decide how much has to be copied for it to be an illegal rip-off? Is every adventure game ever made a rip-off of Zelda? Surely that would be an unfair accusation. Personally, I think developers should be free to "rip off" ideas of other games. If they do a poor job, that's their fault and it will be reflected in sales. But some companies will do a good job, which will stimulate competition and help games get increasingly more polished.



DarkEdi said:

i hope this company crash or get demanded by millions of dollars by Nintendo.



Bankai said:

Guys, a 'company' didn't develop this game. A single person in China did. And according to Chinese copyright law Nintendo can likely not do anything about it. Apple will remove it from the store once Nintendo's lawyers send a takedown request letter though.



Tasuki said:

Nintendo should totally go after Apple like Steve Jobs went after Nintendo when Nintendo had that Uniracers game.



Bankai said:

Well, Nintendo would lose, so I dunno if it's a good idea for Nintendo to listen to the opinion of people that clearly don't understand copyright law...



aaronsullivan said:

Apple's checks don't really include much in the way of IP. If you think about it, it would take FOREVER. Sure, some big stuff like this could be easy, but there are about 1 million original works that you'd have to compare every single app to. It's best left to the people who are feeling infringed upon. Even then, it is difficult. People get upset over some of the take-downs as well. It's not a cut and dry issue most of the time.

Of course, Nintendo can get this taken down in no time. It just needs to do it.

Compare this to the Android store or today's news about the Aliyun store on the Android ripoff: Alibaba. Way, way worse.

Anyway, Apple is pretty well protected here and not really at fault anywhere I can see.

It is unfortunate that someone worked so hard on this and chose the quick money route.

Also, I see people mentioning the code being stolen? Where was this reported? That would be an insane accomplishment. Breaching Nintendo HQ and getting access to development archives and steeling the code while ignoring the assets. Completely re engineering the code to work on an incompatible platform. Intentionally messing up the controls, the behavior of the enemies and the animations so it plays like an amateur project. Now, I'm impressed with this developer! Genius! Err...



Bankai said:

Well, considering you keep ignoring me when I explain it to you on the forums, Taskui.. Apple didnt freakin' develop the game. That's how.



Boo_Buster said:

Wow... Looks completely awful. I actually feel good about paying Nintendo that $40 for a great Mario Kart 7 game



rjejr said:

First I'm going to have to take the pirate argument on this one and say if Nintendo wants people to only play their games then Nintendo should make their games available on the iOS and Android systems.
Second, if it isn't called Mario and it isn't on a 3D capable system then it isn't a Mario game so I don't see how they can sue them. Mario games play only on systems made by Nintendo and cost $40, this cost 99 cents and plays on a phone. Nintendo doesn't even make a phone.
I'm not saying these games are any good or should be purchased by anyone, only that I don't see Nintendo having legal standing or public opinion against them.
In that light we'ld never have outstanding movies like some of these:

And if you don't want to reaad the entire article, then at least pass this part onto Nintendo:
Drafting opportunities have enjoyed a wide legal berth since 1993, when Disney lost a lawsuit against Good Times Entertainment (now owned by Gaiam) over their dueling video versions of "Aladdin." The Burbank media giant claimed that a "parasite product [was] causing confusion" among consumers, according to press reports at the time. A U.S. district court judge ruled that the VHS boxes were not similar enough to violate the law.



Bankai said:

@27 IP rights extend beyond a game's name and graphics. Level design and concept are also covered, and there would be a strong case to take this fellow to court if he wasn't living in a country that has no respect for copyright.



IAmNotWill said:

"First I'm going to have to take the pirate argument on this one and say if Nintendo wants people to only play their games then Nintendo should make their games available on the iOS and Android systems." Lol no.



shinpichu said:

I love some of the iOS haters in these comments. Because there's one or two bad/copycat games, it must mean that all games made for iOS/Android are crappy ripoffs, right?



Magnet_Man018 said:

Well, the game itself could not be bad at all, if it wasn't a crappy ripoff of Mario Kart Wii.
And X.Mushroom? WTF? Seriously?



Radixxs said:

How did this pass any approval process? Unless there wasn't one? "This game is illegally plagiarizing another, but you can go past the title screen. Passed!"



SLiM said:

I'm so glad I own Super Mario 3D Land and not this plagiarized garbage



ajcismo said:

We have an old saying here: You get what you pay for.
This is exactly why phones are not dedicated gaming devices and no real gamer would be caught dead with this $1 garbage. Nintendo is well known for having their lawyers jump on things like this, it'll be interesting to see how long Apple keeps this available in their app store.



citizenerased said:

@ajcismo Many great games on Nintendo (download) systems (LostWinds, Ghost Trick, Order Up) are also on iOS... and much cheaper. Just because this game sucks doesn't mean there's some serious value to be found in $1 - and even free - games. I've been playing my iOS device over my DS lately, actually. But both have great games.



CowLaunch said:

Outrageous. And that clone of New Super Mario Bros. called 'New Super Mario Bros. 2' is even more blatant.



Bucho said:

lol let them try and mimick nintendo, they'll never succeed, sony and microsoft never could.



Windy said:

@tealovertoma Yup there are many games already on Ipad and android that are coming to 3DS. Should they not bring Angry birds to 3DS? It's a 2 way street. I admit this game in the Topic looks bad LOL Angry Birds for Ipad and Android-1.00 dollar Angry Birds for 3DS-29.99



TheDreamingHawk said:

@OlympicCho IDGAC about China's laws. Surely if it violates enough US laws the US must have some way of stopping them from making all sorts of stupid pirated games and stupid demakes like FFVII for NES and Minish cap for NES as well. If their country is THAT bad that they can't stop bad stuff like this from happening, someone force them to.



ouroborous said:

Wow, people whine about roms but this is somehow legal and no one is pissed off about it? That's messed up.
This thing is how much, like $0.99?



MegaAdam said:


By running articles featuring these clones, the ONLY thing you are accomplishing is increasing their pageviews, their sales, and their rank in the App Store.

If you were really as annoyed by these clones as your tone would suggest, you should just send your concerns to NoA directly and not give these cheap knockoffs free publicity.



Gridatttack said:

Its funny, because Mole Kart uses the same graphics and track designs.
And looks weird....I am already happy with all the awesome custom tracks available for mario kart wii.



Zombie_Barioth said:

@adamical The only way that would work is if the author posted a link to the page and we all clicked on it or we all started going to the app store looking for them. Besides in the grand scheme of things the amount of positive feedback generated on from this site alone wouldn't hold a candle to the likes of Angry Birds or PvZ.

Things like Hunter's Blade aren't a big deal since its the only way to legally play the real deal at all due to IP blocking all non-Japanese Ips but this is a joke. It'd be different if it was for personal use or something.



KAHN said:

yeah, how dare they copy nintendo games and sell them for cheaper prices! now excuse me while i clone NES games for petit computer!



Azikira said:

I hope these companies will be sued for blatant copyright theft, or some fancy jazz like that



AVahne said:

Exactly why does Apple even have a system to check apps first before posting up on the AppStore if they don't even try to avoid things like this?



Neram said:

Sonic and Knuckles 5 all over again. What a shameless pile of crap this thing looks like. iPhone purists, if you want 3D Land, buy a damn 3DS.



Henmii said:

So this is the infamous mobile-phone/browser-games/free-ware I keep hearing about!! So people don't get excited by Nintendo games anymore (or so you would think when you hear the analists), but they do get excited about cheap ripp-offs?! What a nice world we live in! And Apple allows this?! Again a reason why Apple is (Lex Luthor quote): Wrooooooong!!



Grodus said:

These look like something a Nintnedo hater modded to make the graphics worse. I mean seriously, it's like Super Martoon 3D Land and Molio Kart Wii.
EDIT: I bet the description said like: "The all-new way to race" or something. I'd put $1,000,000 on it.
It's good too see there's a lot of variety in the gaming industy. Oh, wait.



EvansLegends said:

They've done it again...
Is it THAT hard to come up with your own idea, even if it's not that popular?

*Even if this kind of stealing isn't completely illegal, I'm sure it's at least frowned upon...



SuperMinusWorld said:

Another reason I don't support mobile gaming, especially on iOS. There's literally no quality control. At all. Not to mention, these people eat this up. Mobile/social gaming is like junk food; console and dedicated handheld gaming are like fine meals.



scrubbyscum999 said:

Why, would someone take to the time to program a knock off that sucks and then try to pass it off as their own. Have they no shame? This is just disturbing.



Dreadjaws said:

I don't care how laws view this, it's too blatant a copy for anyone to have a case for it being just a coincidence. Anyone who watches those thumbnails for a second will confuse it with a Mario game. We're not talking about some relatively obscure franchise like Kingdom Hearts.

Everyone inside the gaming world will recognize Mario and many people outside too. There's no way this thing won't be taken down from the App store.



KiwiPanda said:

-.-' These people need to be making the next big series, not copying the ones that have already been made. A copy of something good will sell, but something that is original and good will sell for more. Giving Mario long blond hair (Which gives me trouble in recognizing if it is a male) won't make this original or save it from being sued. Or at least they deserve some kind of sueing... even the Goombas look remarkably similar, worse, but similar. This is a disappointment :l



NintyMan said:

This is legal?

With today's habit of suing, I'm amazed Nintendo didn't quickly sue those who dared make this or even those same developers not thinking about the consequences of making it. People are caught plagiarising on research papers and copyrights are guarded like treasure, and yet people get by with this? This should be shameful.

It doesn't even look good. It looks like something a college student would make in graphical design class. I know not all iOS games are bad, but it's stupid for Apple to allow this. This doesn't look like the serious threat to Nintendo and the console gaming industry I've heard about.

However, I admit that I cracked up at the sight of the goomba knock-off.



Vincent294 said:

@0LD_SK0OL_PUNK I love those ones. "Survives Hiroshima; takes 1st train to Nagasaki & Visits World Trade Center; on September 11th" were good ones. Nintendo is pretty stupid on this one. Just sue them; they're like Zynga, but they don't just re-skin it - they make it ugly.



Vincent294 said:

@Happy_Mask I know some Minecraft rip-off appeared on Xbox Live. If only Mojang sent the devs behind that game a creeper plush or something. Then again, they'd probably take that as a threat.



TruenoGT said:

Meanwhile Apple sues the hell out of Samsung for similar user interface elements and behavior. It's clear they don't care about design infringement when it doesn't affect (or actually helps) their bottom line... what a bunch of hypocrites. Can you imagine Nintendo letting some iPhoto looking app on the eShop? How long do you think that would last? While low end software indeed gets through Nintendo's approval process, it's not utter crap like this.



thanos316 said:

i've recently seen the misses playing a mario rip off. i couldn't believe my eyes, i was like thats such a rip off of mario. i was like are you kidding me right now. how the heck does these rip offs land on the ios devices, do no one check them out first. i guess that dollar bill speaks volumes until nintendo says something. shameless, come on at least borrow a few aspects from a game and show some respect, but just don't copy it outright. get creative. flipping noobs..



UnseatingKDawg said:

Well, at least we can all take in the relief that Apple will never, ever dominate the handheld videogame market, or even the main game market as a whole. Why is that? While they do have some decent casual games, they have a high streak for unoriginality.



Bankai said:

@Wilford - nope Nintendo fans seem to enjoy Bookstore Dream, despite that being a complete Kairosoft ripoff.




BLUlink said:

Looked up the game on itunes. here's the description:

Very simply yet very addicting, this "unique" game requires you to quickly jump over obstacles and collect coins. But you are not secure in this beautiful cartoon world. An angry tortoise (-_-) could bite you. An easy and smooth control makes it very funny to jump or run.


  • Simple but skillfull
  • Items
  • Incredibly fun, just one more time, endless game play
  • Very fast gameplay
  • Suitable for both young and old
  • Auto save
  • Retina display

We had a lot of fun creating this game and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

YOU LIE D:< (I fixed their punctuation too.)



doctor_doak said:

That's just sad. It's hard to believe how cynical and pathetic some people are.

Anything for a buck.



Hokori said:

Makes me wonder what'll get riped off next, first Pokemon, then MK, and now 3D Land. I predict: Metroid (alien blast hunters), kid Icarus (angel man), punch out (FiGHT!), and pikmin (alien attack & pick up stuff)



Gioku said:

@BLUlink - I love reading these awfully translated descriptions on apps like these, they're much more entertaining than the apps themselves! XD



Robo-goose said:

"Also, I see people mentioning the code being stolen? Where was this reported? That would be an insane accomplishment. Breaching Nintendo HQ and getting access to development archives and steeling the code while ignoring the assets. Completely re engineering the code to work on an incompatible platform. Intentionally messing up the controls, the behavior of the enemies and the animations so it plays like an amateur project. Now, I'm impressed with this developer! Genius! Err..."

Unless you're talking about something someone else wrote on some other website (which I doubt), I was the only one to mention anything related to the code of these two videogames (Mole kart and 3D Cartoon Land).
"They've seen the code, they know how it works, there's no doubt that they know how to manipulate it, but instead of making a new, good game, they just make blatant ripoffs like this." - Me

I wasn't being very clear in that comment, and I apologize for that.
The code I was referring to is that of Mole Kart and partly that of 3D Cartoon Land.
(tbh, I was thinking almost entirely about Mole Kart since I had just finished watching the video of its gameplay. 3D Cartoon Land's gameplay is pretty poor. {FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD})

In Mole Kart, they figured out how to copy a few of the elements in MKW pretty well, and they also did a fairly good job of copying a few levels from MKW.
They've seen what code is needed for those elements, features, and level designs probably through their attempt to copy what they saw, and they admittedly did an impressive job of doing so (when taking into account the fact that they obviously have a pretty small fraction of the funds or experience that Nintendo EAD has).
Through their own hard work, they've seen what kind of code is required to make certain functions work in a similar way to MKW's features.
Instead of taking that code and working with it until it became something polished, original, unique, and enjoyable (or more enjoyable, based on your standards), they took the easy route by leaving it as-is and by taking as many themes as they could get away with from Nintendo.
It's depressing, 'cause they can make something nice, but choose instead to sit on the border of plaigarism.

Also, looking at code for a AAA game doesn't require someone to break into Nintendo's headquarters with a team of ninjas equipped with Men in Black memory eraser thingies.
Any (non-wannabe) modder can tell you how to play around with a Mario game's insides, and you'd be able to do the same with a few clicks of a button that just happen to land on a fancy search engine and uT*****.
Although, I recommend the former way of getting the code, it's way more fun. Trust me.

Edit: By the way, nice choice for an avatar. He's my favorite character from any Miyazaki movie since he's Mr. *****-*-*****-****-His-Arm!



DarkNinja9 said:

i never get the point of making a rip off game if its going to look like bs if they looked better or they improved from the original versions then i would say "hey maybe this is going to be good and worth checking out" but no -__- plus i thought before anything gets put on the store it had to be approved by the company?

what i dont get is why doesnt nintendo sue them for making these?



HaastMK7 said:


1st. Thank god Nintendo delt with that "Mole Kart" game. I am ashamed that they cant open their own mind and make their own tracks. At least they had moles and not toads racing

2nd. What a Rip-Off. Cant people get a life, and make their own games. This is getting out of hand. 3D Cartoon Land: Safari has SML3D all over.
"Asking a question like, Will Nintendo sue them? is stupid, of course they will"
The creators of this silly try hard game will get punishment! >:[



WaxxyOne said:

I want Nintendo to sue the pants off whoever made this travesty, and then sue Apple for letting it onto their store. This is the most ridiculous joke I've ever seen and everyone who's made money off of it needs to have that crime remedied.

"i never get the point of making a rip off game"

With something as blatant as this, there is only one explanation, and that's that they are hoping potential buyers either won't look too closely before hitting purchase and think this is the actual Nintendo product, or that they don't care that it's not official NIntendo if the game is exactly the same. In either case, copyright law everyone expressly forbids exactly what they're doing, and they need to be made an example of to help avoid similar ripoffs in the future.

If I were Apple I would be highly embarrassed at their so-called "quality assurance" process.




Nintendo is foolish. They would make more money selling the actual Super Mario 3D Land for $.99 each.



StarDust4Ever said:

Ah, yes... This game reminds me so much of that Korean Super Mario Galaxy clone which featured the same mind-blowing gravity type physics puzzles, only the main character looked like a cross between Spyro and Bubble Bobble. I tried installing the demo, but I could never get it to run on my copy of Windows XP. I had to install the Korean language pack just to run the installer, then the main interface was so broken I could never start the game.

But yeah, anything that's highly successful and gets rage reviews, they just attempt to blatantly copy in the east, but generally do so very badly.



StarDust4Ever said:

I just watched a gameplay video on youtube. 1-hit game overs, terrible collision physics, wtf?

Nintendo needs to get out the lawsuit hammer and bury this turd.



Linkstrikesback said:

No, clearly, you're the foolish one.
Super Mario 3d land has sold over 5.8 million copies worldwide (and this number was only from the end of march this year, no doubt the number has gone up significantly). Now, lets really lowball the profit nintendo made, and say they only make $20 per copy sold.

They would need to sell over 116 million copies to break even on that. Needless to say, that would not happen on 3DS. So lets assume you meant an iOS release.

There are only roughly 240m iphone units of all models 1-4s combined (barring sales numbers for the new iphone 5). But anything below 4 is extremely unlikely to run anything the 3DS can. (Heck, even the 4th model couldn't run the updated iOS version of TWEWY), but lets be nice and assume they can get it running on 4,4s for now, giving them around 235m units of potential customers.

They'd still need an almost 50% sellthrough rate to break even with selling it on their own hardware.
And thats without apples cut.
Or the money they made from selling 3DS consoles that were bought because of 3D land.

They absolutely would not make more money by releasing it on iOS at $.99



Araknie said:

Nintendo does not give a care.

Because they said iOS systems are not in competion with them.




5c077 said:

This is all the reason you need for Nintendo TO NEVER become an IOS developer. The controls are garbage.



Phle said:

What?! Okay, the Pokémon clone wasn't as bad as this. This should be ending with a lawsuit and a pile of money for Nintendo. Apple should really watch it, they didn't make the game, but allowing it to be played on their mobile devices will give them a very bad reputation, and they absolutely don't need that.

I just don't understand, who would play this? It looks terrible.



Henmii said:

"Meanwhile Apple sues the hell out of Samsung for similar user interface elements and behavior"

The ironic thing is, If Samsung gives the finger then it's goodby to Apple products! Because no Apple product leaves the badwagon WITHOUT Samsung materials!! By the way, the i-phone wasn't even the first smart-phone to begin with!

Besides, Apple always says that they get ripped off. But tell me: If Apple has invented everything, why is the competition then ALWAYS first?! More and more I get the feeling that it is Apple that is ripping off! And (at least in Holland) without the media-hype Apple would still be for a niche audience only!!



MrMario02 said:

"one more parody and i'll be sick."
copied from payphone.
"one more stupid love song i'll be sick."



GreenDream said:

And this is why I rejected an iPhone when I had the chance to get one. Chortle like this.

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