HomeEntertainmentMario's Strangest Adventures That You Probably Forgot About.

Mario’s Strangest Adventures That You Probably Forgot About.

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The upcoming video game Super Mario Bros. Wonder is being considered by some to be one of the strangest Mario adventures yet. With the strange new power ups, transformations and warping landscapes you’d think the developers were on mushrooms.

However, despite being odd there are some Mario adventures, two specifically, that released back in the 8-bit/16-bit era that many fans have seemingly forgotten about. And we’re going to take a look at them today. So, grab your plungers and power stars because we’re going on a Mario style adventure.

The games in question were both developed in collaboration between Nintendo and American developer Radical Entertainment and American publisher The Software Toolworks. The games were made to capitalize the popularity of the Mario property and mix it with educational objectives. This led to two specific educational topics becoming the main focus. Essentially, they disguised educational games with a Mario adventure esthetic.



The first game was Mario is Missing! released in 1993 for NES, SNES and MS-DOS with a port for Macintosh in 1994 and a port for Windows in 1995. In this game you play as Luigi (alongside Yoshi) as he searches the world looking for his brother Mario who has been kidnapped by Bowser.



In your search, you travel the globe and visit real-world locations such as New York City, Paris, Rome, Mexico City and many others. The goal is to find and return items that have gone missing to the locations where they belong. You also answer different trivia questions relating to said artifacts. One funny inclusion is having to return King Kong to the Empire State Building in New York City.

In case you haven’t guessed it, the game is a big geography lesson where you learn about different parts of the world in the early 1990s. The game has some outdated elements since, in the 30 years after its release, certain parts of the world have changed.



While not a bad game, it could be fun to play if you are knowledgeable or want to test your memory with all of the stuff you learned. There are definitely some differences between the different ports of the game, primarily between the NES and SNES versions. So, your experience may vary between which version you play.



The second game is Mario’s Time Machine, which was released for SNES and MS-DOS in 1993 with a NES port in 1994 and a Windows port in 1995. No Macintosh port was publicly released. The game sees Mario having to return various historical artifacts that Bowser had stolen to their proper place and time in history.



Along the way you visit various historical settings such as Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Feudal Japan and Colonial America. Locations differ depending on which version you play. On your journey, you encounter a number of historical figures and even answer different questions relating to that time period. You learn the answers via hidden trivia blocks. 

In case you haven’t guessed it, the game is a big history lesson telling you about different time periods and the individuals from those eras. However, unlike the previous game, it is far more difficult. If you guess something wrong, you have to start from the beginning. And depending on which version you play, the difficulty may vary.



Mario’s Time Machine feels more rushed to meet a specific deadline when compared to its predecessor. But if you do want to check it out, the version you’ll have a better time with is the 8-bit NES port.

The Software Toolworks would publish two more educational Mario games. Mario’s Early Years: Preschool Fun and Mario’s Early Years: Fun with Numbers. However, it does seem strange that they didn’t do anymore in a similar style to the others. Perhaps they could have made one where you explore the planets of our solar system, teaching kids astronomy. 

Overall, these two games were strange departures from the usual Mario experience. Had they been given more time in development, and included more gameplay variety, we could have had some interesting games.

What do you think? Did you ever play Mario is Missing! or Mario’s Time Machine? If so, which version did you play?


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.



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