The Mario franchise is celebrating its 35th birthday with a new addition to the franchise: a battle royale game.
Super Mario Bros. 35 was announced as part of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct. The game is modeled after Super Mario Bros. (released in 1985) and pits 35 players against each other in a battle royale, making it the first official battle royale title of the series.
The format seems similar to Tetris 99, another Nintendo title that took a classic game and adapted it to a battle royale. In Super Mario Bros. 35, players occupy individual maps where they try to survive as long as possible against their respective timers. They can’t directly attack each other but they can sabotage each other by eliminating enemies on their maps, which then get dumped on other players to deal with.
Strangely enough, Super Mario Bros. 35 seems just as much of an event as it is an announcement. Nintendo announced that the game will be available on October 1 but “will only be playable until March 31, 2021.”, according to Nintendo’s website. Some have optimistically interpreted this to mean that it will only be sold during this window and available to play afterwards but it’s safer to assume Nintendo is planning on shutting down the game for good.
So why would you want to buy a game that you can only keep for a year? Because you won’t have to buy it. Super Mario Bros. 35 is free!
Well, sort of.
You can download Super Mario Bros. 35 for free but it still requires a Switch Online membership which costs $3.99 a month or $19.99 for a year for individuals (there’s also a family plan). Nintendo is probably releasing the game not only as a celebration (the 35 player limit is an obvious nod to that) but also as a promotional event to encourage subscriptions.
Super Mario Bros. 35 is the first Mario battle royale title from Nintendo but fans have already been making unofficial Mario battle royale games for years. Two notable examples were Super Mario 64 Battle Royale and Mario Royale (which was renamed DMCA Royale until its eventual demise).
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on the six games you should look out for from the Nintendo Indie World Showcase.
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