I’m not usually interested in “fan” games, but there are things about Mario on Drugs that lift it above the usual ripped sprites and cloned gameplay common to the subgenre. The game features original art, and its wicked sense of humor kept me playing and laughing through my tears of frustration. There are some issues, such as message boxes that look like they’re from another program entirely, and a jump function that keeps you hopping indefinitely if you don’t lift your finger from the key. But if you can overlook those shortcomings, Mario on Drugs is a thoroughly entertaining little masocore puzzle-platformer.
Memorization is important in this game, as is trial and error learning. Like other masocore, or “rage” games, (I Wanna Be the Guy, Syobon Action), Mario on Drugs relies on you getting killed and then remembering how it happened so you can avoid it next time.
The controls are simple: arrow keys to move and jump, and R to restart if you get stuck. But in Mario on Drugs, platforming skill is less crucial than the ability to interpret the clues you are given, and to remember the correct path through the level.
The game starts with Mario finding a magic mushroom and eating it. This is not the kind of magic mushroom that makes you bigger or gives you a 1UP. Mario tries to head home before the hallucinogenic effects take hold, but has no such luck. Suddenly, everything goes insane and it seems like the entire world is trying to kill him. What a bad trip! Of course, he’s not just paranoid; everything is trying to kill him. In this way, the illogical, masocore gameplay is entirely justified by the game’s plot, Very clever!
Mario on Drugs is the twisted creation of Aleksandar Gocev, and is a free download for Windows. It is the developer’s fervent hope that his game be played on Youtube by PewDiePie. Do you think he’s got a shot? By the way, kids: Don’t do drugs. Just look what they did to Mario.