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It is well known that Super Mario Brothers sold more than this title, being that it was bundled with every NES. We’re choosing this title however, as it was not bundled initially and still managed to shift more than every other unbundled game – let alone platform games – in existence today.
Instead of relying on holiday bundles for a sales surge, the game benefited from a high-profile product placement in the film ‘The Wizard’ - 3 months before the U.S release - helping SMB3 rocket to worldwide sales, reportedly in excess of 15 million.
SMB3 was also the most varied and experimental of all other platform games in existence. It broke new ground in it’s genre by being the first to introduce a level progression system in the form of a fully interactive World map – which was a level in itself. This also presented the option to complete the game without having to finish every single level – another first for the platform genre.
It took the original Super Mario Brothers formula and outdated it considerably, resulting in one of the finest examples of effective game design and design progression in recent decades.