Communist Mario 3 is a very clever and super tough ROM hack of the original Super Mario Bros 3 game that’s set in a Communist state where levels have a Soviet-inspired visual palette, Bowser has been replaced by Uncle Sam, gambling is illegal and collecting coins can actually harm you!
The core gameplay and level design in Communist Mario 3 remains unchanged from the original game, but there are some key differences that make for a very different experience. The first thing you’ll notice when booting it up is that the color palette is a little less bright and cheerful, with lots of Soviet red thrown in and some cool new threads for Mario.
So far it seems like it’s just a Mario game with a cool Soviet visual filter, but then you enter level 1-1 and everything turns on its head. You run along kill, the first Goomba, hit the block above you to collect a coin…… and then promptly you die! It turns out in Communist Mario 3, money is bad and should be avoided at all costs – which is easier said than done when coins are scattered throughout all the levels. You do learn fast to avoid the coins, but occasionally you’ll forget and instinctively collect one then be penalized for your greed.
It’s not just the coins that are different about Communist Mario 3 though. Gambling is banned so the slot machine matching game and the level end bonuses have been removed. One-Up Mushrooms have been removed and every time you die your life counter goes up (reach 99 lives and you are a bad Communist). Warp whistles and music boxes have been removed as warping encourages laziness and music is frowned upon. The Princess letters have also been replaced by quotes from Vladimir Lenin and Bowser has been replaced by Uncle Sam.
All in all it’s a perfect exercise in taking the joyful, colorful world of Super Mario Bros 3 and crushing it under the iron fist of Communism. It’s a super tough and creative take on one of Mario’s most beloved outings that encourages players to change their filthy Capitalist ways… those shiny coins always look so tempting though!
Controls: Mappable Via Emulator
Available On: All Formats Via Emulator
Gameplay Video: Here
Note: Requires a NES Emulator to Play, You Can Get One Here