Here’s a great weekend time-waster: Super Mario War. Super Mario War is a party game for one (which isn’t much of a party) to four players, which is somewhat reminiscent of the original Mario Bros. arcade game, except the only enemies are the other Marios, controlled by other players or the computer. In Classic mode the object is to jump on the other Marios’ heads and keep them from jumping on yours, which is pretty fun, but if you get bored with that there are 16 other modes like Chicken, Tag, Domination, and Survival. A nice selection of levels, all based on Mario graphics, are bundled with the game, along with a level editor to build your own. Super Mario War is a free download for Windows or Xbox, though the latter requires that you have the ability to run homebrew games.
Super Mario War is a multi-player PC fan game based on (and using) the artwork from Nintendo’s famous Mario games. The makers consider the use of copyrighted artwork to fall under the “fair use” consideration, although personally I doubt that would hold much validity in court. Regardless, I hope Nintendo leaves these guys alone, because they’ve created a fun and compelling game that both Windows and Linux users (and Xbox users, surprisingly) can enjoy.
The game features a multitude of modes, as well as a game level designer, and over 400 user-submitted levels, providing almost limitless replay value.
If you’re at all familiar with the Mario line of side-scrolling games, and really… who isn’t, you’ll understand how to play this game. It’s all about stomping on each other, the way Mario squished his enemies in all of those classic games. Happy stomping!