PTB 2006 Holiday Gift Guide
Secret Kode

Infinite Mario Bros.

Mario holds a Koopa shell The worst thing about every classic Super Mario  game is that eventually the game has to end.  No matter how awesome each adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom may be, the cold fact remains that there are a finite number of available levels to explore, and eventually there isn't anything new to be found.  So what if Super Mario Bros. could go on forever with randomly generated levels?  Let's find out.  Markus Persson has put together a little Java game that includes randomly generated levels based on elements from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World.

It's an interesting idea, but after playing a few levels I had to admit that something about it just didn't feel right in regard to the level layouts.  Turning level design over to a random level generator sucks all the personality out of the game.  As Metafilter poster monocyte put it so well, "This is like some weird Invasion of the Body Snatchers version of Mario; all of the basic elements are there but the randomization strips it of its essential nature and most, but not all, of its fun. There's an interesting paper in this for one of the game theory people, I'd bet."  Indeed.