Super Mario Bros. 35

The classic NES game Super Mario Bros. goes "battle royale" in this free online-only game for the Switch. From the developers behind Tetris 99, this game features last-Mario-standing matches with up to 35 players at once!

Overview

Super Mario Bros. 35 is a free online-only 2D platformer developed by Arika and released digitally by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch on October 1, 2020. The game is exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online members and will be playable until March 31, 2021.

Based on the 1985 NES game Super Mario Bros. (and corresponding with the game's 35th anniversary), Super Mario Bros. 35 puts players in large-scale 35-player matches where each player plays through levels of the original game separately and simultaneously, sending enemies to their opponents, in an attempt to be the last Mario standing.

The game's premise, along with some of its features, is reminiscent of the studio's earlier game Tetris 99.

Gameplay

The game plays nearly identical to the original Super Mario Bros., with some differences (such as some glitches being fixed and some changes in game behavior).

Rather than a countdown timer for each course, players are given a global countdown timer that ticks down throughout the match. This timer can only be replenished by defeating enemies, clearing stages, collecting duplicate power-ups, and knocking out opponent players. As the match progresses, the timer ticks down at a faster rate.

In addition to standard Item Boxes, players can earn power-ups by using coins they collected throughout the match to spin the "Item Roulette", earning them one of four power-ups at random:

  • Super Mushroom - Transforms the player to Super Mario, if they are normal Mario. Otherwise, it adds 15 seconds to the timer. Super Mario gives a one-hit damage buffer (turning them to normal Mario when hit) and allows players to break bricks from below, at the cost of a larger hitbox.
  • Fire Flower - Transforms the player to Fire Mario, if they are either normal or Super Mario. Otherwise, it adds 15 seconds to the timer. Along with the Super Mario benefits, Fire Mario allows players to shoot fireballs with the Run button.
  • Starman - Gives temporary invincibility, allowing players to defeat most enemies by running into them.
  • POW Block - Clears all enemies on the screen. Unlike other power-ups, this one cannot be found in normal Item Blocks.

Unlike the original game, players are not scored and cannot earn extra Lives. Players can keep more than 100 coins, and the Extra Life power-up instead gives 20 coins. Each spin of the Item Roulette costs 20 coins. Players have a separate coin counter that persist between matches, which can be used to purchase power-ups at the start of each match.

By defeating enemies, players can send "ghost" copies of those enemies to other players to challenge them. If the opponent is eliminated due to these enemies, the player is notified that they "knocked out" that opponent and are granted their coins and added time. Similar to Tetris 99, players can choose which opponents to attack both by manual targeting and by one of four targeting strategies:

  • Stronger players with the most coins held.
  • Weaker players with the least time remaining.
  • Players targeting them, as a form of defense.
  • Random players.

Game Modes

The game only includes two game modes: 35-Player Battle and Special Battle.

  • 35-Player Battle is the game's main mode. Prior to each match, players choose from a list of unlocked courses (1-1 to 8-4, with a total of 36 courses), and all chosen courses are included in that match's course rotation. Players can unlock courses by completing them when others have picked them, or by completing the courses before them. Players can also use the mode to earn coins by completing Daily Challenges.
  • Special Battle is a special weekly event from Friday to Monday, featuring a pre-determined course rotation (which is played either in a specific order, or randomized). Many events start the player with a power-up, coins, and/or additional time.