In true Miyamoto fashion, the game starts with simple running and jumping and gradually gets more complex. Soon you're swimming, flying, tossing fireballs, and riding one of several Yoshis--cute little dinosaurs--that appear throughout the game. The overall level design has yet to be exceeded in a 2-D platformer, with each colourful level packed with enough secrets to keep players busy for weeks. A lot of precision jumping is required, but the controls are so tight that directing Mario (or even Luigi, who wasn't playable in the original) becomes as natural as breathing within a few minutes of playing.
As if packing the entire original game onto the tiny cartridge wasn't enough, Nintendo have also included two multiplayer versions of the original Mario Bros, which are playable solo or with up to three other people using Game Link cables to connect all your Game Boy Advance systems. Both variants are a blast, but the single-player adventure is what kept us coming back for more. If you missed Super Mario World when it appeared for the SNES, don't make the same mistake twice. --T Byrl Baker
Mario and Luigi can jump up and down pipes, climb vines, swim, and toss Koopa shells. Yoshi the dinosaur can spit eggs, munch, and climb with his ever-helpful tongue. Cool touches include spinning platforms, forced-scrolling levels, and great attacks such as the spin jump. Mario and Yoshi fly with the aid of a unique feather, shoot fireballs when equipped with a special flower, and can even raise cute baby Yoshis. Each boss poses a unique challenge. Cross-eyed Lemmy Koopa likes to play hide-and-seek in pipes, while Iggy Koopa prefers to battle on a giant Koopa shell floating on a lava lake.