On the 13th September 1985, the Super Mario Bros. video game was released in Japan. Originally only available for the Japanese Family Computer, it took nearly another two years for the game to be available worldwide following the release of the iconic 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System or NES home video game console.

The Italian-American plumber Mario, and his younger brother Luigi, had first appeared in a video game called simply Mario Bros. in 1983. Super Mario Bros. was therefore a pseudo-sequel in that it featured the same characters, but the gameplay was dramatically different. It popularised side-scrolling platform games, and spawned a whole series of successors. The success of Super Mario Bros. played a major role in reversing the early-1980s crash in the American video games industry, and confirmed its creator Shigeru Miyamoto’s position as one of the leading forces in video game design.

Super Mario Bros. received positive reviews at the time, and is still regarded as one of the best –if not the best – video game of all time. This has led to it spawning a vast number of successors and being re-released on a number of occasions for subsequent Nintendo gaming platforms. In some cases even the original bugs have been left in place for the sake of authenticity.

As well as appearing in video games, the Super Mario Bros. have also starred in their own TV show and a feature film. Even the music from the game is iconic, with the three-bar introduction to the first level being proclaimed the most memorable video game theme in history.

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© Scott Allsop