Whether you know it or not, you want to play new 2D Mario levels. Nintendo takes its dear sweet time putting such levels out, so if you need something to hold you over until the inevitable release of New Super Mario Brothers Wii 2, I highly recommend you check out this unofficial fan-built game. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. You might even find things here you like better than Nintendo’s own projects.
I could tell you a lot about this game, but why don’t you see for yourself. Here’s a video with highlights :
Find that interesting? Then head on over the Super Mario Brothers X download page on CNETto get started. You’ll find the game there. Windows only; sorry Mac and Linux users.
The game itself combines elements from all the different Mario games in history. For example, there’s a world map reminiscent of Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo:
Other maps look more like they belong in Super Mario Three. Gameplay is similarly mixed. Some of the levels look like they belong in Super Mario 2, that odd Mario game famous for its throwable onions:
Other levels look more like Super Mario 3 or Super Mario World:
Even more levels mix and match elements from all of the different games in the series history. The result is kind of weird but a lot of fun. Heck, the occasional level looks nothing like a Mario level, instead borrowing from other video game series. You’ll have to play to find out what I mean.
There are a variety of powerups from throughout the series, and more than a few created just for this game. The music comes from a variety of eras too, but all of it will make you feel nostalgic.
The levels aren’t as consistent as ones put out by Nintendo; I’d be lying if I said they were. Some are really easy, some are frustratingly difficult, and they don’t always seem to be in any sort of logical order. Having said that, there’s a good blend here of challenge and progress. Mario fans will enjoy themselves.
Note that you can play as Mario or as a few other players. Most unusual is the inclusion of Link, from the Zelda series. This gives the game a bit of a Super Mario Crossover feel, which isn’t a bad thing.
Other Level Sets
Did you beat the default level sets too quickly? Don’t worry; there’s more. On this download page you’ll find additional levels. Unzip these files and add them to the “worlds” folder wherever you installed Super Mario Brothers X and you can start playing these levels right away. There are four extra campaigns right now; presumably more will show up, so keep watching the download page.
Design Your Own Levels
Beat all of those levels too? Wow, you’ve got a lot of time on your hands. So much time in fact, that you should probably start building your own levels. There’s a built-in tool here for doing just that, and it requires no programming ability:
You won’t make a masterpiece overnight, but with a little work and a lot of time you’ll have a Mario game to call your own. Brilliant.
Is this game legal? Probably not, in the strictest sense. Whatever the case may be though, it’s clear the creators of Super Mario Brothers X love the company that made the original Mario games. This message shows up every time you launch the game:
A nice sentiment, to be sure. Shutting down this game is probably within Nintendo’s rights, but a message like this makes me wonder if it would be in their best interests.
This is probably the best fan-made Mario Brothers games I’ve ever seen, but it’s not the only one. Be sure to check out our list of the best free web Mario games and our writeup of Super Mario War, the ultimate multi-player Mario game.
Also feel free to share any other great Mario fan games in the comments below!