Definitive 50 SNES games: #48 Mario Paint

Mario Paint is 48th on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games. It was released in North America in August of 1992.

More a software application than a game, Mario Paint introduced gamers to the SNES Mouse, which was packed in with the cartridge. The title is a collection of tools which users can experiment with to create images, animations, and music. There is no way to complete Mario Paint, and although the features present may seem archaic, they continue to inspire creativity.

Mario Paint‘s most obvious use is as an art program, highly reminiscent of MS Paint. Users can create images using a variety of brushes, textures, and tools. The game even includes nine different erasers, so players can watch their hard work vanish in different ways. Mario Paint allows artists to create stamps, pixel by pixel which can be saved, and used to mark-up images. Also included are a number of drawings which can be coloured in. Animations can also be made out of the images users make.

There is a remarkably robust music program available in the game, which can be used to add sound to the animations users are able to make. The music program maintains popularity with YouTube artists today, who have managed to pump out incredible and complex work in recent years.

The closest thing to a game available in the package is “Coffee Break,” which requires players to quickly swat flies using the accuracy of the SNES mouse. The mini-game consists of three levels which loop, and there is no final conclusion to the game.

Beyond its influence with artists past and present, and the fact that it stands as a precursor to other Nintendo games which seek user creativity like WarioWare DIY, Mario Paint‘s significance lay mainly in the hardware which came packed-in with it, the Super NES Mouse. This device is small and grey, with two purple buttons, and it compliments the Super Nintendo aesthetic well. The peripheral is, of course, a ball mouse, and its buttons do not necessarily stand up well to use over time. It is, however, simple to use, and an interesting experience on such an early console. The Super NES Mouse would go on to be used in games like Doom, Jurassic Park, and SimAnt.

Although Mario Paint won’t hold much appeal to new players, it’s nostalgic presence still inspires creativity today. The included mouse is a must-have collectible, and a worthwhile purchase for those looking to experience the full breadth of what the SNES had to offer.

Check back next week for entry 47 on the Definitive 50 SNES games.