What the hell is Mario Paint? Is it a game? Well, kind of. In 1992, Nintendo made a bold move and released the Mario Paint cartridge for the Super Nintendo. I am hesitant to call it a game, but for the sake of clarity, I will. That doesn't mean it's not something that's both fun and unique, because it is. This is the only Super Nintendo game I know of that requires the use of a mouse and a pad. As far as I know Nintendo developed these items exclusively for this game.
So if Mario Paint is not a true game, then what is it? Well, it's a game that is not really a, ahem, "game." Oh sure, it uses the popular Super Mario Brothers franchise for its main theme, but it's more of a paint and draw program. Anyone who owns a personal computer should be familiar with paint or drawing programs. It's just like those simplistic programs that allow you to draw on a blank canvas, only this time with a Mario theme.
Mario Paint gives the player free reign to doodle and create almost anything their imaginations can come up with. With the help of a variety of tools, brushes, colors and pre-made/custom stamps, a player can create everything from a pretty vase of flowers to a mish-mash of mayhem and explosions. I mainly created the latter.
When you use the animation feature, you can really run wild. I remember creating short animations of cars or characters plunging off cliffs and exploding in a fiery inferno. Oh the fun I had.
You can even use the music creator, and add a soundtrack to your animated destruction. With sound effects that included the single meow of a cat, or the oink of a pig, the soundtracks I created usually just got silly.
Even though it is mainly a draw and paint game, Mario Paint does include something that resembles an actual game. When you grow tired of creating and animating death and mayhem, you have the option of killing bugs with a fly swatter. The game itself is somewhat fun, but it gets old fast.
I applaud Nintendo for making a bold and unconventional move with Mario Paint. It's unique, and different, but certainly not a traditional game. It holds some nostalgia value for me and was something I enjoyed playing with friends, but that's about it. If you are a collector, and want to add something unique and different to your collection, then Mario Paint is definitely worth picking up, if for nothing more than to say you own a unique piece of video game history.