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Play Super Mario 64 in your web browser!

Nintendo 64 classic is available to play on PC, Mac and Windows - at least until Nintendo's lawyers find out

Super Mario 64 was widely regarded as one of the greatest games of its generation. Now it’s available to play for free – likely for a limited time only – via the web browser. Coder Erik Roystan Ross has recreated the first level of Nintendo’s 1996 classic using the Unity development platform and made it available for download or playable from within a PC browser.

The game is faithful to the original, with a couple of tweaks. “Everything is just as you remember, except some really minor stuff that nobody cared about like red coins or the Wing Cap or the Big Bob-omb,” says Ross on his blog. “Replacing them are crowd pleasers like giant springs and coin blocks.”

Of course, you can’t go up in the loft, dust down a N64 controller and plug it into your PC, but Ross’s version does offer support for Xbox and PlayStation controllers, or can be controlled via the keyboard. Moving Mario with the traditional PC keyboard controls takes a little getting used to, especially as the camera doesn’t automatically pan round to the direction Mario is facing, but it’s workable once you get used to it. 

Standalone downloads are available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems, or you can play directly in the web browser with a JavaScript plugin. The game has flooded social media over the weekend and Ross has already needed to organise extra web hosting capacity to cope with demand, so don’t be too shocked if performance stutters. 

Indeed, we will be surprised if Ross hasn’t already got an email from Nintendo’s ever-vigilant legal department, who are (with good reason) fiercely protective of their intellectual property, so Mario’s tenure as a browser-based hit may be a short one. 

However, you won’t have to wait long for Mario to arrive officially on non-Nintendo hardware. The company announced earlier this month that it was developing games for smartphones and tablets for the first time. Nintendo is making heavy losses after becoming something of an also-ran in the console market, forcing the company to seek alternative revenue streams and loosen the apron strings on its biggest gaming franchises, which have largely remained tied to the company’s own hardware until now. 


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