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Entries in mario (4)


Retro Tech Tuesday: Mario Bros. for... Atari?

The 1980's brought some strange bedfellows to the world of videogames. Take, for instance the game cartoonishly highlighted in this ad. Mario Bros... for Atari. Yes, Atari. Remember, Mario made his debut in Donkey Kong (as mentioned in the ad) which ironically was a huge breakthrough home arcade hit for Atari rival Coleco. Long before he was making his way through side-scrolling, mushroom-taking adventures, Mario had to jump and bump platforms with his brother, who is quizzically the star of this ad. Enjoy:


Book Review: Super Mario

I'm bidding on a GameBoy on eBay right now, and it's all Jeff Ryan's fault. Jeff is the author of Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America a fresh, fast look at the introduction of Nintendo from scrappy upstart (in the U.S., at least) to video game powerhouse thanks to everyone's favorite plumber, Mario.

The book is a hoot to read not only for Ryan's clever wordsmithery, but also for the sheer nostalgia that will come flooding back, just at the mention of the good old Mario/Sonic feud, as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes drama: including the story of how Mario's debut arcade game, Donkey Kong, was a quick re-theming of what had been planned as a Popeye game. Makes a lot of sense once you make the connection. While it can be a little confusing to keep track of the corporate drama at Nintendo and Nintendo of America in the early days, (an organizational chart would've been helpful) it hardly matters.

You know how the story ends, and it is more about discovering those little-known stories along the way, along with re-visiting your own youth, and the influence of Mario on gaming to this day. Ever wonder how on earth the Virtual Boy ever got produced? It'll make perfect sense once you read this book, as well as the secret philosophy- focus on games and be the device people use to play games, rather than a device that does everything- that led to great success with original GameBoy and the DS, but has led the company to serious threats today from the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

I know one stereotype of gamers is that they don't sit around and read books. This one is worth a gamer's time. Now that you're all reading, I have an auction to win.



Hoggy for the iPhone and iPod Touch Video Review

Take one part Super Mario Bros., one part Kirby, and just a dash of Pac-Man, and you'll get Hoggy, an iPhone app that combines familiar elements from many console classics. In Hoggy, you control a Kirby-like character (named Hoggy) in a 2-D side-scrolling game. The levels/artwork look similar to Super Mario Bros., especially in the opening screens. Many levels take place below ground, as you enter different jars. Again, a familiar concept from the Mario franchise.

What is unique to Hoggy is the control scheme. Hoggy moves by jumping and sticking to the roofs of the different levels, then a tap drops Hoggy into place. Leaning the iPhone/iPod moves Hoggy left or right. The whole thing plays as a fun mashup of many games you've seen before, but the controls might make them better for the iPhone than the original.

There's a lite version with several included levels that will give you a great (and free) feel for the game.

(iTunes Link)

Here's a look:



DoubleTap Episode Six

The two games in this week's episode of DoubleTap span the extremes of iPhone / iPod Touch gaming. On one end, it's the silly novelty stylings of Santa Vs. Zombies, and at the other end is Hoggy, a decent platform game that borrows heavily from 8 and 16-bit classics. So whether you feel like getting in the holiday spirit mowing down zombie reindeer, or looking for the challenge of games gone-by, we've got both:


Don't forget, now you can subscribe to DoubleTap through iTunes.