Believe it or not, today marks the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Land's launch on the trusty Game Boy in Europe.
Developed as a Game Boy launch title, Super Mario Land offered Mario his very first outing in a portable platformer. It was a truly impressive transition from the big screen at the time, benefitting from the wonderful platforming you'd expect from any Mario game and an equally brilliant soundtrack to boot.
It's a short but sweet title, and while its sequel is usually considered a more enjoyable experience these days, we'd argue it's worth revisiting just to see how far the series has come. If you were lucky enough to have played this one at the time, we're sure that booting it up now will reward you with a wonderful wave of nostalgia.
You can actually download a copy of the game on the 3DS eShop if you're itching to give it a go; it's available for £3.59, and we shared a review of its release when it first appeared almost a decade ago.
Let us know if you're a fan of Super Mario Land in the comments below. And if you're wanting even more Mario, why not see where the game landed in our list of the Best Super Mario Games Of All Time.
I feel nostalgic for this based on the music alone and I haven't even touched the game.
This and Tetris were my first ever vidya games
Great game, very enjoyable and well worth £3.59 on the 3DS VC.
A few friends and I used to play this on a pals Game Boy not long after it first released. We were 17 at the time and usually found a way to turn our SML and Tetris sessions into drinking games! Great times!
Now that most of us have moved on from the humble 3DS (and its Virtual Console), it’s a real shame we can’t still play GB, GBC and GBA games on Switch instead.
Wow 30 years I remember this game being number 1 in the charts for ages great little game tho
Got this, Tetris, Castlevania Adventure with my Christmas Gameboy. Of the three this was played the most, makes me feel a little old to realize it was 30 years ago that I got that system.
I had this on the game boy and remember thinking how hard it was. When I finally completed it, it was such a huge accomplishment. I repurchased it on the 3DS a few years back and was surprised at how short and easy it was. Definitely worth it though.
Loved the music in this one and the fact that it's short and sweet! The tunes are stuck in my head to this day! I hear Mr. Miyamoto had little if anything to due with making this one and it's still awesome! Proof that a mario without his involvement can be good!
It's also very different than the usual mario game. In what other game can you fly in an airplane? None that i recall.
Great game. Still very playable.
Pretty sure the Game and Watch games pre date this 🤔
Technicalities aside it was a great series that really deserves a remake or new entries
I played the entirety of this game on 3DS with the game boy boarder, the black and green colours and the 3D depth slider up. I love that you can play like that, as originally experienced. It did have a great soundtrack.
That was the first Mario game I played. I have quite the fond memories of it
All right, now I gotta go beat it again.
This was the first game I ever played on the Game Boy, and it's still one of my favourites. The music, the simplistic design, the shooter levels... I adore this game.
Ain't no place like Super Mario Land
Meh, not a huge fan of this entry. Left me a little disappointed when I was a kid for only having four worlds.
Now I just think it was some sort of testing ground for the superior sequel
The music is pretty dope though~
First time I played it was on a GameBoy Color. I think my aunt got me it for my birthday. Pretty good for being the first portable Mario game. Its sequel is one of my favorites and of course it spawned the awesome Wario Land series.
I just played it once at a friends house, and did not like it at all. There was something that just felt off about it
Currently selling my Gameboy bundle with this and Mario land 2. So gutted but sadly need the money. 2020 sucks.
My first portable Mario, I loved it and still do.
My first exposure to this game was via the 3DS VC. It's a Mario experience just outside the norm with many enemies not seen anywhere else. It seems simple and a bit crude by today's standards, but It's impressive for the time it came out. Definitely recommended for series fans.
My favourite cover art for a Mario game. Looks like a different game to what it actually is in my opinion, but still looks great.
I have fond nostalgia for this, but it really shows just how far game design can progress as developers get used to a machine. They obviously realised for sml2 that you didn't necessarily need to get as much on the screen, and by going for bigger sprites it gave tbem much more scope for graphics and gameplay design. And you see the influence of smw on the second game, while still retaining that more off-the-wall feel that handheld games seem to get
@Nintendan64 Same! This and Pokemon Blue were probably my most played on GB
One of the first games I ever finished, on the Game Boy of a friend, who I visited every day after school. I still remember that vividly. What a weird game. XD
Wierd take on mario but I love it!
I played it like crazy when I got my hands on it, but Super Mario Land 2 was my favorite of 'em all.
Happy birthday Super Mario Land!
it is one of the weaker games in the series to me but I still love it
One of my Mario favourites to date, actually ranked higher than all three NES flagships. What, you seriously hoped that adoring Final Fantasy XIII was the extent of my perversity?😜
This is probably the weirdest Mario to date. And that's saying something....
@The_Pixel_King it’s a real shame Nintendo can’t implement a proper unified account system that lets us play any of the Virtual Console games that we’ve already paid for across their last 3 consoles...
Enjoyed this one and had it on my old GB. Catchy tunes!
I beat this game A LOT of times. In the age before iPods and the like, I'd sometimes beat it just so I could zone out to the credits music for a while. Ahh...
@gaga64 Agreed. I dread to think how much money I’ve spent on VC games over the years. The fact I can’t play those (non-NES and SNES) classics on my Switch is a real shame
Ah what a great game. Also laid the important foundations for it's sequel which is an all time great video game.
Please a remake on this 🙏🏻
@carlos82 I watched a streamer play the Game & Watch version of Super Mario Bros. and I guess it technically counts as a platformer.
Weird though, hopefully one of the "31 secret features" or whatever they said about the upcoming SMB G&W is that it will actually play the SMB G&W game.
Loved this game back in the day and still do. It's so bite sized especially by today's day standards but the game has always been really enjoyable to me, even moreso than SML2 despite that being the clearly better game.
Tatanga got punked. Made the penultimate boss in the sequel and then never invited for a reappearance or a party.
Be weird when he becomes a driver in Mario Kart Tour.
I owned a NES back in the 1980s and grew up playing the original Super Mario Bros. games. Loved them, of course.
One of my younger sisters (born in 1983) was given a Game Boy for her birthday [back when they were first released] and a few games including 'Super Mario Land'. Being the nice sister that she is, she let me play her Game Boy whenever I wanted (provided she was not already playing it, of course 😁). So naturally, being a big fan of the Super Mario Bros. games, this is one game that I was itching to play. Was disappointed to find that I really did not like (or care) for it. It just felt off somehow.. I have not played it since.
She was given '6 Golden Coins' sometime later, now that is a game that I loved instantly!
The first game I ever owned. Picked it and the sequel up on 3DS years later too, still great
Haven't you got a Traumata from Castlevania Adventures?
I've stayed away from the Series until 2018 because of it^^
Castlevania IV showed me that there are good Titles
@Azuris Castlevania Adventure didn't sour me, but I was disappointed. I was the strange one that liked Simon's Quest (and later came to enjoy Dracula's Curse much later in life). Mostly I just remember that the jumping was cheap and the game loved to blindside you like Ninja Gaiden.
I eventually got better games and Castlevania was mostly something people would borrow while loaning me something more interesting.
An easy one but it is one of teh best Mario's
The pre Switch days!
@Averagewriter The Super Mario Bros. G&W doesn't really count, and it was amazingly only released the year beforehand anyway
Yep, the Jumps have to be Pixel perfect in a really strange way, one Feet in the Air, one with a Pixel on the Ground.
At least the Music was good in Adventures
Simons Quest is actually Fun!
Played this Year through and with the mentioned "Tips" from the Angry Video Game Nerd, i've got through without spending Hours on the cryptic Stuff.
Now on Halloween i will go through Castlevania 64, i'm half done with it on Emulator, but will do it on real Hardware
It is also a better Game as mentioned by many.
@LavaTwilight I had the same experience. It seemed quite challenging at the time, but I was able to finish the first loop and it felt like a real accomplishment. Maybe the screen added to the challenge.
I was there , good times xxx
I still love Super Mario Land. It was the first Game Boy game I got to play when a friend got the system back in 1989, and I was impressed. I was just playing all three Mario Land games last week. I have always appreciated the miniature graphics of the first game, which is impressive in its own way for such a tiny game, in order to make it look and feel more like the original Super Mario Bros. The sequel is nice too, but I do like the zoomed out view of the first one and how it affects the gameplay. The second game is much slower by comparison because of how zoomed in it is, but it's a very different experience and worthwhile in its own way. But I've always been a fan of what they accomplished for the first one.
My gosh - I'm getting old...
Not my favorite Mario game, but it's still a good one. This was one of the games I had for my Game Boy Color way back in the day. I had SML2 as well - that game is of course even better. Still have my old carts and the 3DS VC versions.
I remember completing this for the first time and dancing around like an idiot with the music on full.
Can complete it in under 30min now, but it was considerably more challenging back in the day!
@Nintendan64 mine as well
@Beermonkey whereto? Ebay? Link please.
Still one of my favorite Mario games. I know it's very primitive, even compared to the original SMB on NES, but I love it because it's so different and being one of the earliest GB games, it was pretty cool for its time.
It would be a great day to release this on the Nintendo Switch eh? eh?
I had to have a GB back in 1991 after playing this title. It was magical really having a Super Mario game on the palm of your hands. Made my car trips and vacations a lot more enjoyable.
Selling so much of my retro stuff it's heart breaking. Had massive run of bad luck this year and parting with it all. Have sold a load privately as well. Have pre ordered a Series X but the rest going on new car, replacement switch for my son, stuff we lost in car fire, new washing machine, fixing the boiler... Ever increasing list of ***** really. At least my little family are healthy and I'm employed.
I have a real soft spot for this game. It could be because it was the first Mario I played quite a bit, but I think it's a really enjoyable game.
It gets a lot of flak for having a slightly different control feel to SMB, and also for the 2-3/4-3 shooter levels - but I like that it really mixes things up a lot. There's a considerable variety in world design - you get this curious pattern of 2 levels and then the third level being a little different each time - and the music is highly enjoyable too. It's short, but in doing so, nothing outstays its welcome for long, and it means that if you want to hop into the New Game+ on your second time around you've probably still got time to complete that before the batteries die on you.
It's right at home on its original hardware (or any other handheld that's either natively running or emulating GB games), but it still looks very acceptable playing on a big screen too - which also shows up a fair bit of detail in the graphics that might otherwise be missed.
I will never forget the music it's so unique and iconic.
The level design in this game was severely hampered by the limited and repetitive backgrounds, but the gameplay is fun and adds a lot of new things that became standard in other Nintendo platformers.
I don't know why Nintendo hasnt rereleased or remastered SML 1, 2 &3 but the hackers have already added color to SML1&2 and they remade SMW into a port of SML3.
Much love here! That was, my, Super Mario Bros game of choice when I got my first console, the GameBoy!
Sure, it's not the best Mario title in the pantheon of games, but there's so much personal nostalgia attached to that game!
Speaking of GameBoy...
When will GameBoy games appear on NSO?
My first Mario game. While other people get nostalgic when they boot up Super Mario Bros, this is the game that does it for me. The music takes me right back to my childhood. The sound effects are etched in my mind.
And no, I don't consider Super Mario Land 2 a better game. I found it quite a dull experience upon finally playing it on 3DS VC. Didn't feel like the chunkier sprites fitted the handheld screen at all and it's basically just trying to be Super Mario World. No, give me the simplistic original any day.
I have so many fond memories of this game
My first, though it was Super Mario World that conquered the soul. Super Mario Land was just too damn difficult.
One of my favorite Mario games still to this day. A brilliant, instant classic and frankly amazing given the developer tools that had at the time.
I couldn't get into it, I keep having this feeling it scared me when I was a kid.
what a game, it still look's brilliant on the gameboy screen, i can finish very quickley these days, stil play it sometimes
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