Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Review

I grew up playing Super Mario Bros. 2, not aware that it wasn’t the real Super Mario Bros. 2. However, I was aware of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels thanks to the Super Mario All-Stars cartridge. As a kid, I always just thought of The Lost Levels as being exactly that, lost levels. Maybe they didn’t make the cut for the first game, or perhaps they were found after the first game shipped. Whatever the case was, it was more Super Mario Bros. to play and that was the most important thing at the time. Now, most of us know that Super Mario Bros. 2 was a reskin of Doki Doki Panic, and that The Lost Levels is the Japanese sequel to Super Mario Bros., deemed too hard for the North American audience. With that being said, I’m taking a close look at The Lost Levels to see if it’s a worthy successor, or more of an expansion of the original game.

Classic Mario Gameplay with a Challenge

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels plays identical to its predecessor and that isn’t a bad thing. Running, jumping, and stomping goombas is a proven formula, so why change up the basic gameplay? What The Lost Levels adds is a great deal of challenge not found in the original. Some of those challenging elements include warp pipes that send you backward instead of forward, enemies outside of their element, and poisonous mushrooms. Perhaps the most notable new element is wind. Wind has been added to some levels which can make some jumps tougher. Of course, the level designs themselves have been tweaked to offer more difficult jumps and encounters with the enemy. You can also play as Luigi if you’d like to make your journey more difficult. He tends to slip more than Mario, making jumps incredibly tough.

Accessing Additional Content Requires Repeat Plays

I really enjoyed playing through Worlds 1 to 9 of The Lost Levels. I love the fact that Nintendo decided to go above and beyond to include additional levels outside of the main story. However, I think it’s a little ridiculous to require a player to beat the game 8 times before being able to access some of this content. World 9 is easily found by just completing the game once, but you’ll have to complete it seven more times to get Worlds A to D.

Graphics and Music are Also a Mixed Bag

The Lost Levels flat out uses the same music from Super Mario Bros., well, almost. They did extend the ending theme, but everything else is, as far as my ears can tell, identical. The graphics are also extremely familiar to its predecessor, however, there have been new graphics added to the game, which helps boost the game’s overall appeal.


I have played Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels before, however, never to completion. I found myself enjoying it more than I anticipated. In fact, I happened to enjoy the level design quite a bit and think it may even be a step up from the original. The Lost Levels feels more like an expansion of the original game, more than a sequel. I do have unfinished business with this game as I need to come back and unlock the additional content. I also should do a full Luigi run to get the best experience. I will update this review when I have completed that objective, though that may not happen anytime soon.

Final Score: +1

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