Is there a video game character more iconic or recognizable than Mario? The plumber who specializes in rescuing princesses and awesome back flips has been in more games than probably any other Nintendo character… He’s even about to get a theme park in Tokyo’s Universal Studios.
Recently, the first artwork for the rumored Mario and Rabbids crossover game has leaked onto the internet. We’ve seen Mario team-up or compete with various other video game characters, so this isn’t a major surprise.
The oddity of the pairing will probably still result in a fun game, but it reminds us…. Mario has been featured in a handful of some really weird video games:
Mario is Missing!: The one nice thing about this game is that Princess Toadstool isn’t the one kidnapped for once. This time Bowser gets his hands on Mario and Luigi has to save the day by learning facts about geography (obviously). This was one of the many attempts to force kids to learn with Mario games. Luigi was not given another game until almost ten years later with Luigi’s Mansion.
Mario Teaches Typing: Yes, this game is exactly what it sounds like. Mario tells you what to type and then you type it. There’s no fun story line to try and hide the educational angle. Back in the 90s, someone decided that Mario would be a great educator rather than fighting dragons or giant apes. Sounds like a blast right?
Super Mario Bros and Friends: When I Grow Up: If typing wasn’t exciting enough for you, how about a game that just lists possible careers? This entire game was just images of the classic Mario characters in different careers, then the players would color those pictures by clicking on them. The idea was to get kids to start thinking about their future careers, but it’s basically a coloring book.
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix: This one is not quite as egregious as the rest but it does seem misguided. If you like the Dance Dance Revolution games, that’s great and if you like the old music from the classic Mario game, even better, but did those tunes really make for great dance moves? The cover of the game with Mario break-dancing is kind of worth it though. I’m glad that exists.
Hotel Mario: One of the rare Mario titles to not appear on a Nintendo console. It was put out on a Phillips CDi and it was all about ruining Bowser’s Hotel business. The Princess had been kidnapped of course and Mario had to find her by closing down all of the doors on Bowser’s hotels. At least, they weren’t trying to teach kids about balancing check books or the hotel industry.