Secret Maryo Chronicles is an open source PC game designed around the original Super Mario World side scroller that takes what was great about that old console game and brings it to the PC, dusts it off and tries to improve on it. While still not completely polished or fully matured, it does offer you a lot of gaming fun. So let’s look at a little that it does offer you.
In the game you play as a young kid known as Maryo. Likely one of Mario’s offspring. ;) Anywho, one of the things you will quickly notice is the strikingly familiar and similar backgrounds, characters and objects in the game. As I said, the game emulates Super Mario World quite well. The thing I didn’t like was how the game played. It feels a bit loose and unpolished, as I mentioned above. However, the excellent graphics and eye candy at least partially make up for that. It’s not like the game isn’t playable, because it fully is. It’s just that it plays in such a different way that you have to tinker a bit to get a full grasp of what does what and how things work before diving headlong into the game.
The levels on Secret Maryo Chronicles though have to be one of the best features of the game. I found them to be both challenging, and fun to explore. Unlike Super Tux and most of the original Mario games, you can actually go backwards on the map all you want. You’re not locked into one point on the map once you pass a certain spot. You can go all the way back to the beginning, run around, explore, or do what you like. While not necessary, it does lend itself to being rather fun if you want it to be.
On the down sides, the loading time of the game was very high and the controls were absurdly fast. As for the gameplay, we discovered we needed to jump on a tortoise twice to make it slide. If we touched it, we were dead.
The quality of the graphics is actually good. While the old Super Mario World was in 16 bit Nintendo splendor, Secret Maryo Chronicles is in simulated 3d. I say simulated because while it’s not actually 3d, it looks a lot like it is.
While the music was pretty good, they did not really sync up well, with the in-game actions.