Super Pep Bros.
From the moment you fire up Pep’s World, its obvious comparison to Super Mario Bros. is undeniable. Pep’s World doesn’t simply pay homage to the legendary Nintendo title; it shamelessly rips off its ideas. Pep is essentially Mario with a cowboy hat. The gameplay feels obnoxiously similar—Pep even jumps on a flagpole as he completes each level.
Pep’s World developer, One Soft Global, pulls no punches with the similarities. It goes as far as to have Pep jumping and breaking bricks with his head, hopping over pipes, and gobbling magic mushrooms, transforming him into Super Pep—all while avoiding enemies that look strangely like Koopa Troopas.
Even though the game is a blatant rip-off, I’m not necessarily bashing it. Because let’s face it, Super Mario Bros., considered a platforming classic, incorporates all the elements that make a game great with warp zones, mushroom upgrades, secrets to uncover, and a quest to rescue a princess. Of course, all those elements are here as well in Pep’s World.
There are over 100 levels to explore, packing the game with hours of content, and platforming greatness. If Pep falls into a pit or meets another equally horrific fate, the game gives you the opportunity to continue at the exact location. The first continue is a freebie, but subsequent continues will cost you five purple diamonds, which are earned from completing levels or electing to view advertisements. I didn’t really find the continue option relevant since the levels are short, so trekking back from the beginning is hardly a punishment.
Since the game is free, an occasional ad will pop-up, and never at inopportune times. You haven’t lived until it happens in the middle of chasm-jump, plunging you into the abyss upon resuming.
Not All is the Same
One of the most discernable aspects of the 1985 classic, Super Mario Bros., is its iconic music. I believe most gamers would immediately recognize the music as soon as it kicks in. That is not the case with Pep’s World. Even though it resembles a 16-bit era game graphically, its music is generic, and nothing particularly stands out, devoid of catchy retro symphonies.
Music aside, the game looks good and runs smoothly, invoking a retro-look. The control layout is simple and effective. Pep’s World features no online play, so teaming up with a friend isn’t possible. It would’ve been fun to give it a try, but it’s only a minor drawback since another player might complicate the smooth gameplay.
Pep’s World is not a hard game. The biggest challenge is consistently reminding yourself that you’re not playing SMB. In fact, if you’re wondering why you’re playing through over 100 levels of a Mario clone, it’s to “rescue a princess.” Surprise!—the game doesn’t tell you that, however, and the only way to find out is by beating the game (or reading the summary on the app’s description page).
If you like Super Mario Bros. you will love Pep’s World. But despite blatantly ripping off Mario Bros., Pep’s World is a blast to play—although its unoriginality definitely lowered my impression. It’s free on the Play Store, so check it out.
Is it Hardcore?
Yes, kind of
Pep’s World features old-school retro fun for anyone that enjoys 8 and 16-bit platformers. Gobble magic mushrooms, squash enemies, and transform into Super Pep in your quest to rescue the princess. Sound familiar?