This week sees the US release of Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition, which (as the name implies) includes a version of the addictive mobile game completely redone with Mario characters, enemies, and levels. But this is far from the first time Mario has taken over a pre-existing game.
There are numerous examples of Mario cameos in games, such as in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. These examples below are slightly different and feature Mario being added to a either a pre-existing formula or being shoehorned in. The games have been Mario-fied, if you will.
Alleyway — GameBoy (1989)
One of the GameBoy's launch titles, Alleyway is a clone of the game Breakout — a puzzle game where you use a pong-like paddle to bounce a ball and break blocks. The game's bonus levels are often in the shape of Mario or his numerous enemies.
Qix — GameBoy (1990)
Qix is a Taito-made territory-claiming game where you attempt to take over as much of the screen as possible while dodging various obstacles. The Nintendo version of the game includes brief cut scenes with Mario dressed up in various stereotypical costumes from around the world.
Mario Teaches Typing — PC (1991)
Following the success of Mavis Beacon, games that taught typing were all the rage in the 90s — so Interplay and Nintendo decided to get in on the market trend with Mario Teaches Typing and its 1996 sequel Mario Teaches Typing 2.
Mario's Game Gallery — PC (1995)
Another Interplay/Nintendo team-up, Mario's Game Gallery is a board game collection that includes Checkers, Go Fish, and Backgammon and features a fully-voiced Mario for as your opponent.
Mario's Picross — GameBoy (1995)
Based on the Japanese-invented Nonogram puzzles found in magazines, this video game version (and its Japan-only sequels) features Mario using a hammer and chisel to uncover hidden pictures.
Undake 30 SameGame — Satellaview (1995)
SameGame is a matching puzzle game. The version released for the Super Famicon (SNES) Satellaview add-on makes every block, background, and sprite Mario-related.
Yakuman DS — Nintendo DS (2004)
Mario-themed Mahjong. Need I say more?
Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix — GameCube (2005)
Konami's world famous dancing game Dance Dance Revolution got a Mario version complete with an original Mario story and a set list containing many of the most famous Mario tunes.
Fortune Street — Nintendo DS (2007) and Wii (2011)
Square Enix may be known for JRPGs above all else, but their board game series, Fortune Street, has been around since 1991. The DS and Wii versions include Mario characters and stages — in addition to those from the Dragon Quest series.