He’s the most popular and well known character in video game history. Mario has appeared in more than 50 games since the early ’80s…but not all of them have been winners.
Mario’s Bombs Away
In this game from 1983 (which played on a handheld device), Mario is no longer a plumber—he’s a solider. The player must guide Mario across the screen to carry a bomb to his squadron of troops. Meanwhile, enemies tried to attack from trees. Mario’s biggest menace, however, was one of his own troops, who would toss still-lit cigarettes into pools of oil.
Super Mario Bros. and Friends: When I Grow Up
This game, which was meant to expose little kids to possible careers, came out for home computers in 1992. It consisted entirely of still images of Mario, Luigi, and other characters from video games working as nurses, barbers, and postal workers. Kids could then color in the pictures by clicking on an selecting one of 16 different shades.
I Can Teach: Super Mario Sweater
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
The DDR series was very popular in the 2000s. Packaged with a sensor-laden mat, players had to dance to pop songs in the right sequence to score points. This 2005 Mario-themed version let players dance to the theme music from old Mario games.
Mario Teaches Typing
This 1991 game for home computers aimed to teach kids keyboard skills. It was pretty straightforward (and kind of boring): Mario told the player what things to type, and then the player typed it. The 1996 sequel, Mario Teaches Typing 2 had a plot: Mario and Luigi encounter The Magical Typewriter, with which they must type out the right words in the right order to defeat the bad guys.