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CONSOLE: Super Famicom DEVELOPER: Hudson Soft PUBLISHER: Nintendo
RELEASE DATE (JP): January 16, 1995 GENRE: Puzzle
// review by SoyBomb

It's-a-me, Obscure Mario Puzzle Game from-a Japan!

This particular oddity is a Mario puzzle game released exclusively in Japan. The standard physical cartridge release is extremely rare and valuable, as it was only given to stores as a display item and to small local tournaments as a prize. The second release was on the Broadcast Satellite X, which is the Super Nintendo equivalent of the Sega Mega Modem — the BS-X alllowed players to save games and content from Satelite Radio onto small-capacity blank cartridges.

I think it goes without saying then, but I will anyway, that playing the game in one if its two genuine forms is unlikely to ever happen unless you're lucky and have access to some serious dough. Luckily, the Internet has your back and I very much doubt Nintendo or Hudson Soft (now Konami) are going to track you down and slay your family for playing this.

Playing this game is relatively easy. All of the text is in English, besides the gameplay introduction, but that's easy to explain. The Select button shuffles the board and the Start button begins the game.

The game takes place on a very large playing field, stuffed full of Coins, Fire Flowers, Super Mushrooms, Yoshi Eggs and Mario Heads. You control a disembodied Mario hand, which can be moved around the screen. Tapping any set of two or more items will cause them to explode, collapsing those around it to fill the remaining space.

The goal is to destroy every set of items on the game screen. If you manage to do it, then you win. Due to 4D Chess-esque planning at play, the game allows you to reverse any mistakes you make, even all the way back to the beginning if you'd like. There's a lot of freedom to correct errors, making this game a rather intellectual take on the puzzle genre. The game seems to make enough sense that anybody could jump in, but only forward thinkers can clear them all.

If anything is going to stay with you after playing for any period of time, it's going to be the genuinely catchy music. While it's super repetitive, it's pleasant and matches the overall laidback theme of the game. Besides this, there's certainly very little of note when it comes to this version of Same Game. The larger release on Super Famicom features more boards, music and assets to pick from.

Don't believe this EscapeRouteBritish. It's actually a visual novel starring Sam E. Game.

On the one hand, it's hard to think that Hudson, the company behind franchises such as Bomberman, Adventure Island and Bonk, could produce something so boring and empty. But on the other hand, this was never intended to be a full release, but rather just a small demo or oddity.

This game could certainly have done with something to improve replay value. There aren't even any unlockable items to attain. Creating a tally that keeps track of your accrued score could allow you to buy bonuses through spending score. That would have made the game more appealing.

It does feel a bit silly to pick on a curio for lack of replay value, as I'm sure the creators of this game intended it to only ever be displayed as a prize item. I'm sure that after its cart release, they could have added more to the game for its subsequent BS-X release. I played the game a good dozen times, but I just can't clear all of these Mario shapes. I swear I managed to clear them all as a child.

What you see really is what you get here. The concept has been done to better effect elsewhere, like in the Super Mario 64 DS mini-game Pair-a-Gone. At least you earn something for playing Pair-A-Gone, such as coins to spend. In this game, you don't get anything.

I wouldn't even know where to send you to track down a copy of the game, either in its original prize form or on a BS-X cart. I couldn't even see it on eBay at all at the time of writing this review, I was at least hoping for a current price guide. This is probably one of those track down a collector and spend thousands kind of games, which would be a waste of money no matter how you look at it. I think you'd be better sticking to less authentic ways of playing the game. I honestly doubt Nintendo's going to crack down on you for playing this one unless it magically hits the virtual console, which isn't even a thing on Switch.

This might keep you occupied for a few minutes but I couldn't imagine sitting down to play a few hours of this, heavens no. You're far better off playing one of countless similar games you can probably get for your mobile phone. Wait, do you guys not have phones?

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