My second Nintendo purchase, which I bought in the Summer of 1983, was Game & Watch Mario Bros.
|My collection artefact #2 - Game & Watch Mario Bros. (1983)|
Where the ColecoVision Donkey Kong cartridge was cool because it provided an approximation of the arcade experience at home, in a way this one was even more special, as it delivered a totally new experience for me: portable electronic gaming.
Without knowing it at the time, these two items where my introduction to the genius work of both Gunpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto. The former as the creator of Game & Watch, and the latter as the father of Mario.
Still a huge Donkey Kong fan at the time, I was tempted to get the famous orange colored Game & Watch Donkey Kong. But after staring or a long time at all the Game & Watches in the shop window, the new game play that Mario Bros. offered won me over.
Part of the attraction of this Multi Screen was the case design. The clamshell 'book' type - that opened horizontally, instead of vertically like the other Multi Screens - was very appealing.
And what a great game Mario Bros. was. The action moved frantically from left to right, and back, with the crates passing back and forth through the five layers of the bottling machine.
Other Game & Watches went on with the same action endlessly, which provided a sometimes hypnotizing trance. But playing Mario Bros. had a more varied rhythm to it, created by the combination of the continuous flow of crates on the conveyer belts, and the loading of the truck, which provided a little break every eight crates.
It also had great comedy elements, with the truck driver sticking his head out of the lorry when it was almost fully loaded
An angry boss telling you off after a crate dropped.
And Mario and Luigi sitting down exhausted for a couple of seconds after another truck pulled away.
Mario Bros. would later get two Game & Watch 'brothers', so to speak, with Lifeboat and Rain Shower. Also fun, but from a game play point of view, Mario Bros. beats them hands down.
I really loved my Mario Bros. Game & Watch. In fact, I still do.
More on these great games here.