The battle royale genre is one of the most flexible in gaming. The mainstream’s narrow focus on 1 vs. 99 shooters is quite disheartening. When an original idea comes along, or a classic formula is changed, you can be sucked in without a second thought. Super Mario Bros. is as classic a formula as it gets, and Super Mario Bros. 35 has completely absorbed me.
Super Mario Bros. 35 takes every problem I have with the NES original and does away with it. Poor controls, wonky hit detection, and all sorts of glitches are fixed. Like the themes in Super Mario Maker, this isn’t the Mario you played, but it is the Mario you remember. On top, it adds a unique battle royale. Thirty-five players are all dropped into 1-1 and must survive. If you collect enough coins, you can summon an item at random to aid you. Completing stages will give you more time, and killing enemies will send them to other player’s screens.
Sending enemies to other players works quite similarly to sending trash in Tetris 99. With the right stick, you can select to send enemies to a random player, the one with the lowest time, the one with the most coins, the one most commonly sending enemies at other players, or a specific player of your choice. The two games share developers. Anyone familiar will be able to jump right in. Some would consider this a negative, but Tetris 99 is easily one of the best versions of Tetris you can play.
Super Mario Bros. 35 is an incredibly fun title, but it has a few major drawbacks. To my surprise, cheating is a major problem. Splatoon and Smash worked this out on Switch, so I had forgotten it was a thing. The biggest slight against this game is the limited availability. Currently, anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online membership can download the game for free. In April 2021, the game will be delisted from the eShop. This arbitrary availability is incredibly stupid, and I’m hoping Nintendo takes a peek at the numbers and decides to let it stick around. This game is a reason to have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, and I wish I could tell you to get lost in it.