Super Mario Bros. Deluxe was the historic game’s first appearance on a hand held console (the game would later be ported to the Game Boy Advance as part of the “NES Classics” series.) The game features a pixel-perfect translation of the original NES title, but due to the lower resolution of the GBC’s screen the view of the play field has been reduced. This is compensated for by allowing you to scroll up and down to see the portions of the play field that are out of view. Although this takes some getting used to, it is definitely preferable to Nintendo simply compressing the graphics, which would make the game appear distorted (as it does in the GBA release.)
What really makes this game shine are all of the bonus features. This version of SMB features an overworld map similar to Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World. On top of the normal game play mode that everyone is used to, the game features a “Challenge” mode in which you must find hidden objects in each level of the game. It also features the complete “Lost Levels” game (Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), referred to in this game as “Super Mario Bros. for Super Players.” The “Vs. Game” requires 2 Game Boy systems and a link cable, but allows you to play a 2-player simultaneous mode in which you compete in a series of 8 races through 8 SMB-style stages rife with obstacles meant to slow you down. The “You vs. Boo” mode is a single player version of the multiplayer race in which you compete against a computer-controlled Boo who cruises along overhead. The game also includes a few random items like a calendar, fortune teller, and photo album and is compatible with the Game Boy Printer, but these don’t add any value to the game and were probably aimed more at the Japanese market where they seems to appreciate minutiae of that nature.
Nevertheless, this is overall the best version of the original Super Mario Bros. game that was ever produced. Super Mario All*Stars for the SNES may have revamped graphics, but they are easily outweighed by the bonus features included on this cartridge. This game might as well have been called “Super Mario Bros. Ultimate.”