Mario Bros.

Before they were super, and really before they gained worldwide notoriety, Mario and his brother Luigi spent their days cleaning out sewers. For some reason the sewer they’re spending their time in has a series of platforms and some pipes at each corner of the screen. Various enemies come out of the pipes at the top of the screen and walk lazily along the platforms toward the pipes on the bottom, which they’ll enter and reappear at the top. Enemies like crabs, turtles, and jumping flies (technically called “Side Steppers”, “Shell Creepers”, and “Fighter Flies”). What will Mario and his brother do? How can they rid the sewers of this vermin?

All three of these enemies, it happens, are vulnerable if they are flipped over on their backs. Pound the ground underneath their feet and will flip over (some are tougher to flip than others). Once they’re incapacitated you just run up and kick them into the water below. Once you kick them, a coin will appear that you can grab for bonus points, but the real goal is to clear out all of the enemies so you can go to the next screen with more pipe-dwellers.

The game gets pretty tough as you go on. There are fireballs that move erratically, icy enemies (Slipice) that make the floor slippery if not dispatched quickly, and icicles that fall from the ceiling. It gets pretty harrowing.

There’s not a lot to this game, but you do need some finely tuned reflexes and the ability to be able to see nearly the entire screen at all times. It’s devious in its ability to draw you in with the simple first few stages and the completely maniacal later stages.

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