Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Bros. Friends, by WinMithul
Review Author SuperSledgeBro
Created Jan 11 2024, 2:10 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
An experimental, for-fun type of game with a bit of Cat Mario here and Mario Forever there. It's well-made but easy to overlook.
 
Pros - Physics are smooth and feel very close to official 2D Mario games.
- Tricky level design that rewards skill and memorization.
- There are different challenges in every level.
- There are secrets for players to find.
- Colorful graphics and vfx.
- Doesn't take itself too seriously with its story and cutscenes.
 
Cons - Extra playable characters don't add anything to the game (as of the demo).
- Cutscenes repeat everytime you play a level and can't be instantly skipped.
- Overuse of falling block traps that instantly kill the player.
- Shaders could be toned down.
 
Impressions
Gameplay
7 / 10
Mario controls very well - and that's a good thing, because this game is intent in annoying you with its troll-ish level design. This is not Cat Mario, but you'll very likely die five or six times in the beginning of a level before getting to the checkpoint.
After a while, the traps become more predictable, and you can start guessing which question mark block will kill you. These killer blocks are the designer's favorite trap, so you'll quickly learn to not immediately go and hit every block you see. They're rather overused but they don't kill the experience. There are good and bad surprises in every level, and there are a couple of secrets for smart players to find.
One feature I find questionable are the extra characters (they're the "friends" in the title), which require credits to play. They have different abilities, but, ultimately, these characters are completely inconsequential to gameplay, since you're never required or invited to play as them.
 
Graphics
6 / 10
Graphics are a mish-mash of ripped or edited sprites from several games, with some custom graphics here and there. Not special in itself, but there are layers of filters that pump up the colors and lighting. A nice touch is the posterize filter that limits the amount of colors on the screen, which reminds me of playing old 90's computer games. The lighting effects can look garish at some parts, however.
 
Sound
5 / 10
The music choices are very subjective. Half the times you'll be hearing electronic loops instead of familiar video game scores. There's even a Nokia ringtone for the title screen.
 
Final Words
7 / 10
An unusual game with potential. If you like Cat Mario and Mario Forever, you will enjoy this one at least a little bit.

Comments
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WinMithul
Jan 20 2024, 2:48 PM
Thanks for your review. I am so glad to hear that.

You said that 'extra characters which required credits to play', will only trigger when you are in the level. On the world map, you can change characters using the select button (default key: backspace) which doesn't require credits.
This is to prevent players from cheating while playing the level.

Some levels will require you to play as another character. Also, a few levels require you to change characters during in-level. For example, Emerald Evergreens Secret 1 requires you to change characters during the level gameplay which costs you credits.

Another case is the level Ruby Recesses demo, you should play a character other than Mario since he cannot glide. The only choice is that a female character(who wears a pinafore) can do this.

Unlike every Mario game, there will be only the flower ( which is no longer called 'Fire Flower', instead it will be called Power Flower) powerup in this game since it heavily relies upon extra-characters.

Also, the final boss and the levels before the final boss will use a 'relay system' instead of the usual 'lives' system. If the current character dies, then the other one will continue and it keeps on going until the last character dies. Even though there are 4 playable characters in-game, you will only have 4 lives practically for the final boss. This thing will be implemented in the future...

Another feature that you didn't touch was the ability to summon your teammates/friends using the 'Assistant Switch(looks similar to P-Switch)' which is placed in 'Emerald Evergreens 5'. With this feature, you can control two characters at once in the level. This will be useful in future levels.

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About the sound, there is an option to change your music volume and SFX volume where you can balance them to make sure that you can hear more video game scores than the electronic loops. You can change them in settings.

Also, you can reduce the number of shaders by changing the graphic options in the settings menu of the game.
 
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