Apr 21, 1989
Average Playtime: 8 hours

Super Mario Land

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Ancient ruins, giant crabs, Koopa Troopas, flying stone heads, and
hungry sharks await you in this 1989 Game Boy game.

In the beautiful kingdom of Sarasaland, a mysterious alien has appeared
and hypnotized the inhabitants, while kidnapping Princess Daisy for
himself!

Travel over land, in the air, and underwater, as Mario runs, jumps, and
bounces his way to fortune and glory on his mission to save Princess
Daisy and restore peace!

Ancient ruins, tempestuous waters, and brand new challenges await!

Release date
Apr 21, 1989
Developer
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Age rating
Not rated
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Available on
+5
3DS Games (Digital)
8 games
+11
Physical
14 games
+9
Game Boy Favorites
12 games
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This is a bit like a weird bootleg version of Super Mario Bros. Everything's a bit wonky: Koopa shells explode, the Flower projectile bounces off walls and collects coins instead of being a fireball, the Star jingle's completely different, the designs of the Goombas and the Piranha Plants look off, its whole look is a quite plain... and still, it's thoroughly fun to play. I remember playing Super Mario Land a lot when I was a kid, it was one of the first games I had for my Game Boy besides Tetris, but still only beating it exactly once back then, with cold, sweaty hands, but not for lack of trying. When I bought it on the 3DS Virtual Console I asked myself if I was just bad back then, or if it actually still is that hard. Well, I managed to finish both normal and hard mode in two sittings today, the first time in about twenty years that I've played this game. It's short, it's pretty easy  - I beat both modes in one and a half hours with about twenty lives left respectively - but it still manages to throw you a few curve balls. There's two shooter levels for example, which are great fun and I'd love to see something like those in a modern Mario title. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it if you've never played it before or never had an original brick Game Boy (you youngsters I'd send you straight to the two sequels), but if you're like me and haven't played this in twenty-something years, give it a go again. It's no classic, but it holds up well, and it's still surprisingly exciting and fun.