They’re not. You can turn your computer into the ultimate media center with Boxee, and you can even set up Boxee to launch your favorite games and old-school ROMs.
If you like playing old-school ROMs you’ll adore the Super Mario War multiplayer game. This fan-made game is basically Super Smash Brothers set in a 16-bit world, but it’s superb. It was among my favorite videos games to play in college””group sessions were invariably a blast. The nice thing with this Super Mario free game is it’s accessible””even your non-gamer friends can get into it quickly. You can get it working on any Linux, Mac or Windows machine, so let’s take a look!
The Super Mario War free game is, at it’s heart, a multiplayer game. While you can play against the computer, it’s not nearly as fun as playing against your friends. Picking up some cheap USB joysticks is great idea, but without them you can crowd around a keyboard with your friends and still manage a 4-player game by sharing.
There are up to four players on screen. You can choose from a wide variety of characters, but these only vary in the way they look. The point of the game is basically to stomp your opponents without being stomped yourself. You can do this the old fashioned way, by jumping and landing on your opponents, or by using one of the many power-ups the games includes. Except all your favorite Mario classics, with a number of things borrowed from other franchises including Sonic the Hedgehog.
SMW comes with a level editor, allowing you to create a level however you please. Most people will understandably want only to play the game and not to work on it, but this visually-oriented level editor means you can customize the game without loading to code. In fact, you can even share your custom levels with others fans of this free Super Mario game…
There is a lot of fan content out there for SMW. Head over to smwstuff.com and you’ll find fan-made levels, music, sounds, characters and even alternative skins for the entire program. You can contribute your own content, or just download content and add it to SMW yourself.
The most recent news post at smwstuff.com says the community is not as lively as was hoped. I’m sure our amazing readers can change that, so get to it: check out SMW, fall in love with it and then head over to smwstuff.com and join the community there helping to make the game better. This game deserves it.
Download the Super Mario Free Game!
You’ll find downloads for the game over at the official Super Mario War forums. There’s a version for the usual platforms””Linux, Mac and Windows””and for some unusual ones–X-Box, PSP, Dreamcast and even Amiga. Heck, there’s even Wii version if you’ve got a crack system.
A quick tip to Ubuntu users: you’ll need to install libsdl-image1.2 libsdl-mixer1.2 and libpng3 before you’ll be able to get this game working. If anyone knows of a place to get a simple Ubuntu package please share in the comments below; the link on the forum seems to have broken.
Remember: this game works best with a console-type setup with multiple joysticks, but can also be a great excuse for gathering around a single keyboard with your friends. If you’ve got a Boxee setup with your television I highly recommend adding Super Mario War to it, using my recent tutorial on setting up Boxee as a game launcher.
Conclusion: It’s All About Fun
As I said before, this is one of my favorite multi-player games and it’s not hard to see why. This game combines all the charm and nostalgia of old-fashioned side-scrollers with the fun of stomping on your friend’s heads. This is a game I always like to keep around, because it’s good for hours of multiplayer fun.
Do you guys like the game? Can you suggest another free game that’s this much fun? Or do you think I’m inexcusably cheap for playing this free game instead of just buying a Wii and getting Super Smash Brother’s Brawl? This would be a great place for a clever comment about why you should comment, but I don’t have one! Just comment.