Save the Kingdom in this Graphically Revamped Edition of the Timeless Classic!

Super Mario 3 Mario Forever

Super Mario 3 Mario Forever

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Categories/Tags: classic nintendo freeware platformer super mario series

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  • What's Free - Play game for 100 minutes.
  • File Size - 18.7 MB
  • Play It On - Win XP/Vista/7
  • Game Created By - Softendo

DFG Exclusive Review Summary

  • Classic Mario platforming gameplay
  • Charming old-school visuals and music
  • Tons of secrets to find in every level
  • Includes a convenient save feature
  • Completely free to play
  • Some conventions of classic Mario gameplay weren’t properly carried over
  • Keyboard controls can be pretty finicky and unresponsive




› Read Full Super Mario 3 Review

Game Description

A Story We Should All be Familiar With

The kingdom of Toadstool lived in peace. Under the leadership of their benevolent ruling princess, the people led productive and prosperous lives.


Check out the first world you'll be playing in the game

Then one day, the evil reptilian Koopa king decided to take it all for himself. Backed by a legion of tanks and an army of bizarre creatures, he stormed through the kingdom and laid waste to everything in his way.

Toadstool stood little chance against his military might, but in the darkest hour, one particular plumber with a bushy mustache and red hat knew he could not just sit by and watch it all happen. He set forth to stop the Koopa and save the kingdom!

Classic Mario Gameplay

Anyone and everyone familiar with Nintendo’s timeless Super Mario Brothers should be right at home with Super Mario 3: Mario Forever. It features absolutely everything that made the original game great.

  • Collect power ups! Grow in size with Mushrooms, shoot fireballs with the Fire Flower, and become invincible with the Magic Star!
  • Face numerous distinctive and classic enemies, including Goombas, Koopas, Piranha Plants, Thornbeasts, Hammer Brothers and more!
  • Grab coins to gain extra lives.
  • Travel through pipes to find secret areas filled with even more goodies.
  • Complete challenging jumps over all sorts of hazards, including bottomless pits and pools of lava!

Not Just the Old Game

Make no mistake; Mario Forever is not just any old remake. In many ways, it’s a whole new game with all sorts of new features that can enhance your gameplay.

  • Save your game. Keep your level progress, lives and score for a future date.
  • Exchange lives to purchase enhancements and power ups.
  • Revamped graphics bring the world to life like never before!
  • Includes remixed editions of classic Mario songs.
  • Features redesigned levels that offer newer experiences and greater challenges!
  • Discover additional secret areas.
  • Collect all new power-ups, including the Magical Beetroot and Green Jumping Lui.
  • Avoid new hazards such as the poisonous Ugly Mushroom.

Game Controls

The default controls can be a little awkward.  When you first start the game, use the arrow keys to go to "Options" and press "Enter".  On the following screen, use the down arrow key on your keyboard to go to "Controls/Keyboard" and then press "Enter".  That will take you to the "Controls" page where you can change the defaults for each action by pressing "Enter" and then pressing whatever key you want for that control.  We recommend using the"Up, Down, Left, and Right" arrow keys for direction, "Spacebar" for jump, "Z" for Fire and Run.


Here's how to get through World 2 of the game

Take the Jump!

Super Mario 3: Mario Forever revamps the old game in many ways to appeal to both old and new Mario fans alike. It has the same gameplay that continues to withstand the test of time and an assortment of new challenges that should surprise even the most experienced Mario enthusiasts.

Anyone who is nostalgic for some old-school platforming absolutely owes it to him or herself to play it. Best of all, Mario Forever is completely free!

Jump down the pipe and try it today!

Super Mario 3 Mario Forever Review

Classic Mario Gameplay for the Modern Age

Ever since Super Mario Bros. hit the scene in 1985, the titular Italian plumber has snaked his way into the pipes of the industry’s imagination. He practically created the 2D platformer, he was one of the first to show everyone how to make a good 3D game with Super Mario 64, and has been one of the biggest and most iconic video game characters for nearly 30 years. As far as anyone can tell, age has not affected our mustachioed friend in the least. Nothing else proves this better than Mario Forever.

Also called Super Mario 3: Mario Forever, the game harkens back to the series’ 2D roots. Despite the title, this game is in no way, shape or form a remake of Super Mario Bros. 3 or any official Mario game for that matter. It is very much its own beast, taking place in an alternate continuity of sorts and featuring completely new levels. At times, it almost feels a bit like a ROM hack, but that’s not really doing the game any justice. Mario Forever is really more of a send-up to the old side-scrolling Mario games of yore, a love letter to the series in general, and a reminder that although our hero has climbed up the technology tree over the years, his old forms are still every bit as fun now as they were decades ago.

A Story We Should All be Familiar With

Traditional Mario games have a history of seldom telling stories with any real depth or complexity. Mario Forever is no different in that regard, although it does start things out with an animated cutscene that gives us the lowdown. The Toadstool kingdom was living in a time of peace and prosperity until one day, the evil Koopa king, Bowser, came in with his army of Koopas, Goombas and tanks. The good citizens of Toadstool never stood a chance. Fortunately, one plumber couldn’t just sit back. Jumping into action, he set off on a quest to rid the kingdom of every last trace of the Koopa.

As usual, it not a very deep tale, but it is kind of neat that there’s a 2D Mario game of sorts that actually has a plot integrated into the content of the game. Despite that, it’s just as ignorable as all the other entries. It’s a little odd and even a bit of a shame that Mario Forever makes no mention of characters like Luigi or Princess Peach, but it’s a pretty minor thing in the end. No one has ever played a Mario game for the plot after all.

Classic Mario Look

On the plus side, Mario Forever looks fantastic. The graphics carry with them a 16-bit aesthetic that helps make it look like the old games found on both the NES and Super NES. They may seem a tad primitive by today’s standards and aren’t going to push your computer’s hardware to any sort of limit, but they’re still very colorful and charming. They even kick it up a few notches by bringing a little more atmosphere to the mix that was arguably lacking in the original titles. One level in particular is enshrouded in gloomy twilight, stars fall to the earth in a way that is kind of melancholy, and the final castle grows progressively darker the further on you go. In the end, you can say the graphics are not advanced and you’d be correct, but don’t think for a moment that they’re lacking in personality.

The music is similar. A lot of the soundtrack is made up of classic Mario remixes. That familiar Mario jingle is still there and it’s just as infectious now as it was over twenty years ago. We also have the more sinister underground theme and that wonderful celebratory music that plays whenever we grab a Starman. There are also a good number of original-sounding tunes to be found in Mario Forever that are just as easy on the ears. The aforementioned third world of the game in particular plays a song that’s every bit as gloomy as the rest of it. Meanwhile, the music that plays while you’re in a castle is surprisingly creepy for a Mario game.

Same Classic Mario Gameplay

You’ve heard plenty about Mario Forever’s presentation, but the real important question is: How does it play? The good news is that it plays very well. Just as the graphics take us back to the olden days, so does the gameplay. Mario Forever is an old-school side-scrolling platformer where your most important tool is your ability to jump. Jumping puzzles are as prominent as they’ve ever been, but the game has been carefully designed to make them fair most of the time. This is not a game that uses cheap tricks to intentionally murder you by surprise like the infamous Kaizo Mario World; Mario Forever plays like how an official game in the series would play. Even so, some areas of the level design could use a little bit of work, as the game does throw the occasional blind jump at you.

The classic power-ups are available. There’s the mushroom that turns you into Super Mario and makes you big enough to smash blocks. The Fire Flower that lets you hurl deadly fireballs makes a return as well, as does the invincibility-granting Starman. Aside from that, there are also a couple of all new or rarely-seen powers, like the bouncing bean. This handy ability lets you throw a bean sprout a short distance. The thing will bounce back and forth a few times before disappearing, destroying whatever enemy or brick it comes into contact with in the process. The new power-ups aren’t quite as useful as the classics, but they’re fun to use all the same.

Enemies are a bit more standard, but are just as colorful as they’ve always been. You’ve got the basic Goomba who can be defeated with a single stomp, the turtle-like Koopa whose shell can be kicked for added damage, the Spiny who you really should not jump on, the Hammer Brothers whom throw hammers at you, and the fire-breathing Bowser himself. As is the norm for Mario, the enemies are pretty simple to deal with, but all of them have specific traits that make them distinct from one another. Sadly, not every enemy from the old games made the cut. Don’t expect to see an appearance of more exotic foes like the squid-like Bloopers, the undead Dry Bones, the hungry Boss Bass, or the adorably explosive Bob-Ombs.

Levels are a lot like the enemies; they’re varied, but not to the extent that we’re likely used to seeing in the Mario series right now. Nevertheless, a lot of effort was done into making most levels look and feel unique. You travel across the upper world, go underground, swim underwater through schools of Cheep-Cheeps, jump from cliff to cliff, and trek through Bowser’s many treacherous castles. Through the use of their layouts, enemy placements, and artistic assets, the worlds appear to have been carefully designed to feel distinct from one another. Perhaps not to the extent of Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World, which weren’t afraid to do crazy things like fill some areas up with oversized enemies for example, but things will never feel too samey in Mario Forever.

Like all Mario games, Mario Forever is filled to the brim with all sorts of secrets to discover. There are invisible blocks that can contain anything ranging from gold coins to extra lives. You can also travel up and down the pipes to discover shortcuts and hidden caches of coins and power-ups. The game rewards you for exploring, going off the beaten path, and trying new things. The secrets are so numerous that finding them all on a single play-through would be an exercise in futility.

There are eight worlds in total, each of which is split into at least three separate sublevels. In terms of length, Mario Forever is comparative to the original Super Mario Bros without using warp zones. It’s not a long game by any stretch of the imagination; if you have a free weekend, you can probably beat it in that time. However, unless you have absolutely mastered the series’ mechanics, it’s certainly going to take you more than one sitting to complete.

All New Features

While Mario Forever is a loving throwback to the old games, it incorporates a lot of new features that make it a lot better to play. Most notable among them is the ability to save your game. Every time you enter a new world, the game will automatically save your progress and preserve all your lives in the process. This way, you don’t need to beat the game on one sitting or replay levels over and over again just to retrace your steps. If you run out of lives, you can simply revert back to your old save and try the whole world all over again.

Another neat feature is the ability to buy power-ups every time you load up your game. By sacrificing a few of your lives, you can get a Mushroom to start the world as Super Mario or a Fire Flower to fling fireballs around. This is a pretty cool idea all things considered, but with only two items to buy, it can feel a tad under-utilized.

If you want to see something a little crazier, there’s the secret Uwaga mode. This puts you into a series of levels that are simply too weird to describe. Without spoiling things, you’ll encounter enemies that don’t look quite like anything you’ve seen in a Mario game and the whole thing has an odd sense of humor that might just border a little on the dark side. The level of challenge in these stages is also considerably higher than in the main game, so if you really want to put your Mario skills to the test, it definitely warrants a play-through.

Not Everything is Amore

Sadly, despite being a very faithful rendition to classic Mario gameplay, it just seems that a few things didn’t quite make the transition. These aren’t huge deals that detract much from the gameplay, but they do stand out in stark contrast to the parts that were done exceptionally well. One such petty annoyance is the way that fireballs were handled. They bounce on the ground as always, but they go so high, that they can sail cleanly over the enemy you’re trying to kill. Worse, they always fly straight ahead as well. In official Mario games, whenever you stood at the edge of any surface, Mario would automatically shoot the fireball at a downward angle, which made killing lower enemies a snap. Now you have to go through the trouble of getting down to their level and putting yourself in harm’s way again.

The more serious issue is the way the controls are handled. Platformers in general already tend to be more difficult when they’re played with a keyboard, but Mario Forever takes the cake. Movement with the arrow keys can be a bit on imprecise side, while jumping feels sickeningly unresponsive. When you’re using a keyboard, the platforms that fall under Mario’s weight will be the most dangerous things you face, as that vital half-second it takes for Mario to jump at your command will often result in a fatal plummet. With practice, you can certainly get around this issue, but take this advice; get a gamepad. It will save you a lot of frustration. Even with a controller, Mario still has a habit of sometimes “bouncing” after he lands on a collapsing platform, which only messes up his jumping opportunities even more.

A Product of Love

However, even with the above flaws, Mario Forever is still a delight to play. It doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table, but when it comes to classic 2D Mario platforming, who needs new? The gameplay is as timeless now as it was back in 1985 and it’s every bit as addicting. It’s well-balanced and the levels design is varied and usually fair. What makes it all the more impressive is how official the game feels, even when it’s really the work of some very devoted fans. Best of all, it’s completely free. It offers a lot and demands little out of both your system and your wallet.

Conclusion - An Excellent Remake Well Worth Your Time

Overall, Mario Forever is a solid game. It may not feel quite as advanced as some of the later entries in the official series, like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World, but it’s still a very fun throwback that obviously had a lot of effort and love put into it. Just be sure to play Mario Forever the way it was meant to be played: with a gamepad.

- Review by David Galvin

Dave Galvin is a freelance writer and avid gamer. Somehow, he managed to find a way to combine the two passions.

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Game Video


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Super Mario 3 Mario Forever - Screen 1 Super Mario 3 Mario Forever - Screen 2

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