The Super Mario Bros. Game and Watch is Packed With Adorable Easter Eggs

The Super Mario Bros. Game and Watch is Packed With Adorable Easter Eggs

See Mario run. See Mario snooze.

The Super Mario Game and Watch is out now. Do you have one? The handsome handheld unit, which was engineered to celebrate Super Mario's 35th anniversary, is loaded with the original Super Mario Bros., as well as the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2—what the West calls "The Lost Levels." There's also a Mario-themed version of Ball, the very first Game and Watch game/unit released.

It also comes with something you might expect from Nintendo by this point: cute, clever Easter eggs based around early Nintendo nostalgia.

Yesterday, Youtube gaming channel GameXplain shared a video of some fun extras that pop up just before the Game and Watch enters sleep mode. As the product's name suggests, the Super Mario Game and Watch has a secondary function as a watch and an alarm, just every title in the Game and Watch product line. The Game and Watch goes to sleep after three minutes of inactivity, which is your chance to see one of several charming new illustrations.

When the Game and Watch is left alone on the clock/alarm screen, a picture of Mario napping in a field shows up. When it's left alone as you're playing Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario Bros 2., an incredibly cute drawing of classic Mario enemies fills the screen. If you put down Ball for a while, you get to see a slightly nervous Mario juggle some balls while Luigi grins in the background.

The artwork is likely from Shigehisa Nakaue, a Nintendo artist known for his lively, charismatic 2D interpretations of Mario and his friends. Nakaue added a special touch to the Game and Watch screens that fans are excited about: Mario is wearing a brown shirt, and Luigi is wearing a white hat, white overalls, and a green shirt. These colors reflect the Brothers' in-game sprites, and official art of these "palette swaps" has never been produced until now.

That's not the end of the surprises, either. If you let the Game and Watch fall asleep between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm—lunchtime, in other words—the system serves up a wonderful picture of Mario and Luigi taking a lunch break. (And Mario is eating the most scrumptious-looking piece of pizza I've seen in a long time.) Finally, let the system fall asleep between 12:00 am midnight and 1:00 am to see a picture of Bowser dozing—and rattling off enormous snores.

If you're a nostalgic Nintendo collector, it's worth snagging the Super Mario Game and Watch. Just take care with your money. Scalpers are out in full force, but with a little savvy shopping, you should be able to procure a unit at market price.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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