Super Mario Bros. for Atari 2600

Sprybug at the Atari Age forums published an Atari 2600 version of Super Mario Bros. with 16 levels, world bosses, pipes and even flagpoles.

The collision detection with the playfield blocks isn't 100% perfect, but it's close. Still something I have to work on if I have the cycle time to. So, have fun, and yes I included music and sound effects.

An amazing feat of economy and skill — also check out Halo 2600. [via Indie Games]


  1. The author claims that it only has one level right now but that he believes he’ll be able to fit 16 (worlds 1-1 to 4-4) in his target size. Still very impressive.

  2. Does the fact that this looks so much better than any original 2600 game indicate how bad (quickly produced perhaps) those games were? Or just how imaginative and ambitious in concept and design games had become by the time of  the NES (and Miyamoto in particular)?  (Or simply the talent of Sprybug)

    1. Good point.

      And thank god this game didn’t exist when I had my 2600, I’d have wasted some serious time on it.

  3. @thefool: Sprybug’s Super Mario Bros. is playable with an Atari 2600 emulator, or potentially a modern custom cartridge. His game is 32K, allowing for more sophistication than most 2600 games released back in the day that were 4K or less. They’re pretty amazing considering the memory and programming limitations.

    By the way, the book Racing the Beam provides great insight into the history of the system and the complications in creating games for it.

  4. The big thing is that he’s on the maximum size cartridge supported by the 2600, most games of the era couldn’t afford the expense and were shoved onto much smaller 4k carts.

    He’s still dealing with the incredibly limited processing power of the 2600 though, and some of the game limitations are very evident as a result (only 1 enemy on the screen at a time for instance, and very short levels with a “checkpoint” in the middle to save some bytes). 

    The graphics look especially good for a 2600 game.  He did some fine work with the limited colors and large pixels. 

  5. Here’s an updated video if you guys want to see what levels 1-2 and 1-3 look like along with bonus items such as the starman.  BTW, I am considering redesigning 1-3.  I made it too easy.

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