Remember Mario Royale, the fan game that tossed dozens of players into the original Super Mario Bros. for a chaotic race? Folks have been hoping that Nintendo might release its own take on the concept ever since Mario Royale was shut down, and now Nintendo finally is... well, sort of. Announced as part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct, Super Mario Bros. 35 is actually more like Tetris 99 crossed with Super Mario, and it's out next month.
Like Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35 will be launching as a free exclusive for Nintendo Switch Online members. The interface and central mechanics are also quite similar to 99's siloed-off battle royale systems. Instead of tossing all 35 players into one instance of the world, everyone is playing on their own screen. Players can adopt different strategies on the fly with a flick of the left stick, defeating enemies sends them to the games of other players in the match, and losing comes by either dying to an enemy or letting the stage timer run out.
Super Mario Bros. 35 will be available starting on October 1. Strangely, just like the limited availability for the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection launching later this month, Super Mario Bros. 35 will only be available until March 31, 2021.
Since it's launching as a freebie for Switch Online members, we can't get too upset about the limited-time nature of Super Mario Bros. 35, but still, if it turns out to be really fun it'll be quite the bummer to bid it farewell next year. Tetris 99 seemed like a bit of an absurd proposition at first, but it won over lots of players when it launched. A steady stream of free and paid updates have kept the blocky battle royale active ever since, and even the creator of Tetris himself loves it.
Especially after the runaway success of Fall Guys, it's odd to see Nintendo fulfill fan desires for a Mario platformer battle royale experience with something that'll go away six months later. Like the fan-made Mario Royale, it seems we'll just have to enjoy this one while it lasts.