Super Mario Bros. 3 by Alyse Knorr

$ 4.95

Release Date: July 18, 2016
176 pages
ISBN: 978-1-940535-13-5

Upon its 1990 NES release, Super Mario Bros. 3 flew in on the P-wings of critical raves, intense popular demand, and the most sophisticated marketing campaign Nintendo of America had ever attempted. Shigeru Miyamoto's ultimate 8-bit platformer lived up to all the hype and elevated Mario from mascot to icon. But what exactly made this game the phenomenon it was?

With the help of her friends and family, critics inside and outside the realm of gaming, and former Nintendo of America employees, Alyse Knorr traverses the Mushroom World looking for answers. Along the way, Knorr unearths SMB3's connections to theater and Japanese folklore, investigates her own princess-rescuing impulses, and examines how the game's animal costumes, themed worlds, tight controls, goofy enemies, and memorable music cohere in a game that solidified Mario's conquest of the NES era.

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Alyse Knorr is an associate professor of English at Regis University and the co-editor of Switchback Books. She is the author of the 2023 Boss Fight book, GoldenEye 007, as well as the poetry collections Mega-City Redux, Copper Mother, and Annotated Glass.


"Super Mario Bros. 3 is worth a look, especially if that mustachioed plumber holds a place of reverence in your own nostalgic heart." - ZAM

"It really opened me up to a different way of considering the game. [...] a fascinating exploration of a game that is the root of nearly every game since." - Eric's Binary World

Named one of Dennis Cooper's Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2016

"Knorr’s writing is so pleasant, her stories are so heartwarming and engaging, and her persepctive so refreshing, that it seems obvious that I have to recommend this book." - Derpy Calamity

Excerpt: Kotaku

More Reviews: Goodreads

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