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Analyzing Super Mario’s level and tutorial design

Letsa go…

Abhishek Iyer
Jan 13, 2017 · 7 min read

The Opening Screen

As soon as you start the game, this is what you see:

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Pretty standard stuff, right?
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Mario stays in the center of the screen for most of the game…
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…except in the opening screen

Boxes and Goombas

As Mario plows forward, he is greeted by things both intriguing and intimidating:

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The joy and inevitability of mushrooms

Once the Goomba has been dispensed with and the player knows what to do with boxes, the game delivers its next surprise:

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This is an early lesson…
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…to teach this
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If Mario tries to jump over the mushroom…
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…he will fail

Teaching through safe training

The last point we’ll look at in this post is how Super Mario Bros. teaches players its mechanics by first having them practice it in a safe environment before upping the ante. This is a recurring trend in many levels, and indeed many future Mario games.

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Teaching Mario how to jump higher
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Learn here…
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…before applying it here

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Abhishek Iyer

Written by

I write and I don’t know things. Focusing on game design with some general stuff thrown in. For any writing requests, get in touch!

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +684K people. Follow to join our community.

Abhishek Iyer

Written by

I write and I don’t know things. Focusing on game design with some general stuff thrown in. For any writing requests, get in touch!

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +684K people. Follow to join our community.

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