Play as Not-Mario in this Totally-Not-Plagiarized Adventure Title
The topic of video game bootlegs is an interesting one. Historically, many games have been inaccessible to people in the Global South. Be it because of price, trade obstacles or language barriers, they couldn’t play lots of games. Some developers in these countries have sought to provide more-accessible alternatives to the coveted big-name titles. The alternatives have often been legally-dubious ROM hacks with equally dubious quality. In recent years, these developers have moved to the Mobile platform to profit from their shady off-brand goods. Super Madino Go is but one of such titles.
These People Have No Shame
Pixel Game Art of Vietnam gives us this gem of an adventure platformer. Also labeled as All New Super Madino World on the title screen, this game is their only offering thus far. It’s just a brazen knockoff of Super Mario Bros. with a slight rebranding. They just stole a bunch of Super Mario All-Stars assets and edited the sprites. They didn’t even bother to alter the sounds. Pixel Game Art even took the New Super Mario Bros. title music for good measure. Very few assets used in this game are original with even the level themes feeling questionable.
The gameplay isn’t anything special. Anyone who has played a Mario game should understand how this game works. Like in most Mario bootlegs, running is automatic with higher jumps requiring a running start. There are three stars to collect throughout each stage to improve one’s ranking. The selection of power-ups is as meager as the original Super Mario Bros.: just mushrooms and fire flowers. Controlling this piece of work is an exercise in frustration. The on-screen controls are fiddly, and the jump physics are off. It’s worse than those Flash fangames on Newgrounds from the early 2000’s.
The Monetization Is Equally Scummy
This game is saturated with ads. After every stage, it forces players to watch ads. It prompts the player to watch an ad upon death if the player doesn’t want to pay coins to continue. One can’t even access the options or main menu without enduring an ad. This headache of an “adventure” game even features a shop menu—with ads! One can spend the coins one collects throughout the game to buy power-ups or acquire them after watching ads. Players can also buy more coins, but it’s more economical to simply watch ads. It feels as if half of the experience is just watching ads.
The developers sure have a lot of chutzpah for so openly violating copyright for profit. While one can interpret it the exploited fighting back against the Developed World, they still risk facing legal consequences. Nintendo is notorious for cracking down on the use of their IPs regardless of if it’s Fair Use or not. Pixel Game Art better beware of Nintendo’s legal beagles, as the latter can be ruthless. The least they could have done is to make something good—although not breaking the law would also help. Just play any of the Super Mario games instead of this one.
Is It Hardcore?
Super Madino Go is a sleazy forgery of Super Mario Bros. that brands itself as an adventure game. It’s an aggravating experience that provides nothing of substance. The developers even have the nerve to bombard players with a slew of ads. Avoid this game and stick to the legitimate original.