Sunday, 28 February 2010

Mario's Brewery

You wouldn't want this on Nintendo

Forget the old record set by BROS, this unofficial Mario game is six years older and six times as worse. Developed by a guy called Jeremy Thorne in 1983 for the Commodore 64, Mario's Brewery could potentially be the first Mario fangame of all time, suffering from awful build quality and lacking official Nintendo endorsement. Clearly inspired by Donkey Kong, our good friend Mario has decided to move into beverage production for some reason. A bizarre pixellated contraption throws an endless supply of barrels down a series of girders and it's up to Mario to... jump over them. Mario's an odd chap.

There's no beginning, there's no end, there's just Mario struggling to avoid barrels in a bland world with repetitive music. Though the game is generous enough to allow Mario to jump over numerous barrels at once, the increased jump distance means you're more likely to be killed by barrels rolling about above. There's no title screen or high scores and a lack of animation clearly gives the impression it was made by a fan. After all, the Commodore 64 fanbase was filled with programmers wanting to design games for the system (as were most of the other computer fanbases at the time).

It's barely playable, but it's interesting to see how far Mario fangames date back to. It was only a year after the "Mario" name had even been invented for the character.


  1. Jeremy Thorne here. I definitely owe the C64 community an explanation for this awful game.

    I was 14 in 1983, in high school and working in my spare time for a 2% royalty: I wrote cartridge games (in raw machine code) for a local shop with no QA or scruples. They wanted to capitalize very early on the lack of software for the C64 by churning out arcade knockoff cartridge games as quickly as they could manage. It worked. They sold several thousand of these!

    FYI, on one other site some users complained about not knowing how to get to the next level. Jump on the switch. There are only two levels, though, since I was only given a 4K ROM to work with for the cartridge! So I was actually working not so much on a C-64 as a C-4.

    I also wrote Pubjumper Mario (A "Popeye" knockoff, featuring a large bouncer in Bluto's role) and Firefighter Mario (A "Vanguard" knockoff with Mario in a fire truck spraying water to put out fireball enemies.) I don't know if anyone managed to save those. They were marginally better games, which isn't saying much. I wonder if I have copies of those old cartridges sitting around anywhere...

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    Your game still brings back memories. :)