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Rating: 4.6/5 (79 votes)
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JohnBWhat happens when you give Mario a portal gun? A mish-mash of two extraordinarily recognizable games — Super Mario Bros. and Portal — with a whole lot of extras. Mari0 puts you in control of our favorite pixellated plumber as he goes on his famous adventure from the mid-1980s, only this time, he's got the power of portals on his side!

mari0.gifIt's pretty easy to imagine what Mari0 is like if you've played the games it's based on. With the keyboard, use [WASD] to move, [shift] to shoot fireballs or run, and the [spacebar] to jump. Simple, right? Now, to use the portal gun, aim with the mouse and use the [left] and [right] mouse buttons to create red and blue portals respectively. When you enter one portal, you emerge from the other, maintaining the momentum and motion you had when stepping inside. You can use this ability to slingshot yourself to crazy heights, slip through narrow passageways, or send mindless goombas to an easy lava-based doom.

The best part of Mari0 is that it doesn't stop with a simple "Mario plus portals" premise. In addition to the original levels from Super Mario Bros., you can also play through custom stages based on levels from Portal, as well as make your own puzzles using the easy level editor. Also: customizable character colors, 33 different hats, and downloadable map packs. And if you're really hungry for something crazy, try the four player co-op mode for a massively entertaining experience.

mari02.gifAnalysis: Are you sold yet? Thought so. There's very little, if anything, not to like about this ambitious cross-copyright-infringing game! Playing the original Super Mario Bros. levels with a portal gun is an amazing experience. Just like Super Mario Bros. Crossover reinvented a classic game by giving you new abilities, so too does Mari0 add a little vim and vigour to a very well-worn game. And when you throw in all the new levels, extras, unlockable cheats, and a level editor, you know you're in for a good time!

The only — we repeat, the only — down side to Mari0 is the control scheme. Moving Mario around is already a handful, but when you add aiming and firing a portal gun to the mix, you get something that requires four hands and three keyboards (a rough estimate) to comfortably navigate. It takes some time to get used to everything, even if you sit and customize the controls to your liking. It's just one slight drawback to enjoying a complex but full-featured game!

Creating Mari0 was a fantastic idea. Releasing it for free (including the source) for all three major operating systems and with so many customization options was an even fantastic-er idea. Get ready for a game that's going to blow you away three times: once for being Mario, once for being Portal, and once for being Mari0!

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

Download the free full version


Buttons March 4, 2012 1:59 PM

I want to like this so much, but the game is trying its best to make me hate it. Why, why, why would you put in a three-life limit in the Portal levels with no 1-ups and a forced restart (from the very beginning!) when you run out of lives? It's 2012, not 1985.

Once I got to level 2-2 (the one with the moving cloud) I had to give up--there's no way anybody can beat that first part in three tries. Obviously the game designers put a lot of work into this game, but for the moment they don't seem to want anyone else to enjoy it.

Looking forward to the infinite lives update! There's a fun game hiding in here, and I'd love to play it.

lilamoln March 4, 2012 3:21 PM

Yeah. Would be great if you could save or atleast get a restart from the beginning of the "world" or level.

Papachabre March 5, 2012 6:52 AM

I couldn't get used to the controls enough to play the original SMB levels, but I played a few of the Portal levels and thought they were pretty rad.


@Papachabre, yeah, those controls were awful (could NOT get used to using A and D to run around but not W to jump) - however, you can change them.

Having fun so far. I think it would be cool if there were both a 3-life mode and a start-at-beginning-of-level/world-you-died-in mode, as I'd like to attempt to beat it hardcore but I'd also like to be able to finish it a time or two first.


Hey if anyone wants to take a closer look at this game I found a pretty good let's play video. This game is frickin incredible.

gabe.a.underwood June 30, 2012 6:47 PM

lol i have all the cheats but i am only at world 2.(i hacked the game with level editor)


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