Super Mario World

Review Date: May 6, 2021

Release Date: August 23, 1991

Platform: SNES

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Linear Platformer

Anecdotes: At the start of 1991, Super Mateo wasn’t quite Super yet. I really enjoyed the NES and the tons of games we had for it. However, as a faithful reader of Nintendo Power, I had heard about a Super Nintendo coming out later in the year. What’s a 13 year old supposed to do? Well, I came up with a plan. I had a birthday coming up in spring and I graduated junior high school later that spring. I had told my parents that I didn’t want any gifts, but if they were going to give me anything, make it cash. I needed about $220. I also collected allowance money and threw any coins I found in a jar. The plan almost worked just as I hoped, but I fell a few dollars short, so I did a few extra jobs for my parents to make up the difference. I finally had enough money, so my parents took me to Toys R Us and I bought myself a Super Nintendo, which included Super Mario World. Of course, my brothers could play the system, but I had first rights to it because I bought it. I still have it, but it’s sitting in the entertainment center.

This is the first of many games I’ll be covering on the SNES. The 16 bit era is remembered fondly by many. For me, even though my childhood memories are mostly NES, the SNES produced some true classics. I’m stingy with the A grades simply because I don’t want to devalue the top grade by handing it out liberally (same is true of F grades), but the SNES has a few games that deserve such honors. As a tease, I will say my favorite video game of all time is on the SNES, but Super Mario World is not it.

Description: Bowser has captured Princess Toadstool again, so Mario has to go save her. Look, it’s all just an excuse plot and it’s not required to understand any of it to play the game. Just forget about the plot and enjoy the excellent gameplay Super Mario World offers.


-There’s finally a save system! Mario can now save his progress after completing Switch Palaces, Koopa Castles, and Ghost Houses. The first two can only be completed once, but Ghost Houses can be reentered anytime Mario wishes. I used that to my advantage. I start by going to the Top Secret Area to get Mario a cape, then I go into the Donut Ghost House, fly up the left side, run across the top, and fall down the right side. There’s four extra lives and the finish line is just through the door. I am then offered a chance to save. This was nice to avoid having to repeat harder levels, like Chocolate Island 5.

-The midlevel checkpoints are back, but this time, it’s obvious where they are. They look like miniature versions of the finish line. Mario has to break the tape there to be able to restart a level near this halfway point. As an added bonus, if small Mario breaks the tape, he becomes big Mario.

-Introduced in this game was “Da Yosh,” known to everyone else as Yoshi. Yoshi is a dinosaur that can eat enemies among other abilities. The vast majority of Yoshis players find will be green, but there are red, yellow, and blue Yoshis out there. The easiest place to find them is on the Star Road. There, though, they start off as Yoshi huevos that hatch into baby Yoshis. A baby Yoshi must eat five enemies to turn into a big Yoshi. Yoshis have special abilities based on their color.

Mario found a Red Yoshi, which can turn enemies into fireballs.

-Mario is allowed to hold a back up item to use if he gets hit. It has to be a cape, flower, or mushroom. If Mario gets hit, the item slowly falls out of the box. If Mario touches it, he gets whatever upgrade was in there. Capes and flowers always take priority over mushrooms, and stars can not be stored in the box.


-For whatever reason, Nintendo reversed some of the ideas added in Super Mario 3. One of those was having Fire or Cape Mario revert to small form when hit. I’m not sure why this was necessary, but the item in a box makes up for it.

-They also took away the fun suits away from Super Mario 3. Gone are the Frog Suit, the Hammer Brothers Suit, and the Tanooki Suit. They were a fun element of the game that could have added another layer to the gameplay. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing Hammer Brothers at all in this game.

-I still hate how Super Mario 2 seems to be just forgotten by the developers. The only things from that game I saw were Bob-Ombs and Ninjis, and the Ninjis were only in the final castle. They could have worked in a Birdo, Shyguy, or Snifit somewhere. Birdo especially would have fit in nicely with this game, even though the battle mechanics would need to be adjusted.


Yoshi left a note just incase a total stranger shows up at his door.
One improvement is that if Mario falls into the water, he can try to swim to safety.
SMW shows off the layering effects of the SNES by allow Mario to spin to the back.
Let’s send Iggy off the deep end and move on.
Donut Land is a Holey place. Don’t mock it.
It’s time to make the switch. What’s nice about the green blocks is that every one of them holds a cape.
SMW introduced Ghost Houses to the world, which usually have multiple exits and puzzles to find them.
What will become of Princess Toadstool? I’ll say she’s going to be turned into a peach.
Mario feels a presence behind him.
I like the Vanilla Dome, but all these food names and the only food I ever saw in the game was a mushroom.
The most unrealistic thing in this photo is??
Lemmy has his minions, which I guess would be Lemmy’s Lemmings.
These are silly lines with justified text. Why, Nintendo?
Bob-Ombs in bubbles, does it get cooler than that?
By collecting 100 points cutting the tape at the end of most levels, Mario gets a bonus game to play for extra lives.
Roy’s just showing off to the camera.
Putting the key in the lock can open up new paths on the world map.
Flying ‘shrooms!
Wendy plays the pipe guessing game. It’s an annoying fight to cap off a tough level.
Only Bowser would put his own name in flashing lights in front of his castle.
Welcome to the Super Mario Walk of Fame.
I decided to take the alternate path to Bowser.
Ninjis! Super Mario 2’s influence is getting stronger. It felt weird stomping them.
Oh, hello Bowser. Let’s fight.

Final Opinion: While it’s disappointing that some things were left out from previous games, Super Mario World is an excellent game. Anyone that bought the SNES through retail would already have it, but for those playing by other means, buy this game. Buy it right now. It’s worth it.

Grade: A

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *