Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters is one of several educational games of the Mario series. Developed by The Software Toolworks and published by Nintendo, this game was released for the PC in 1993 and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994. It was produced as a predecessor to Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers and Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun. The concept of all three games is largely identical; they only differ in which tasks the player has to fulfill.
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters is a Mario-themed educational game and is intended to teach the basics of the English language to young children. The game gives the player the option to play either as Mario or Princess Toadstool. Which character is chosen does not affect gameplay at all, and is purely a matter of personal taste. The player controls the character indirectly by moving a cursor over the screen. By clicking somewhere on the screen, the player can make the character move to that spot. Clicking on an object will make the character interact with the object.
The game begins on a selection screen, from which every world is accessible. The screen shows a view of the ocean and an archipelago of seven. Islands with various objects on top, representing the seven worlds of the game. On the bottom screen there is a raft carrying the three playable characters. The player can switch between characters here.
The player is shown the alphabet in Alphabet World.
Each world in the game presents a specific task to the player. These tasks range from filling in words to complete sentences, finding words that contain a specific sound, or aligning three objects that start with the same letter. The player usually has to pick the correct solution out of three or four options in order to complete the task. Each world features different rooms accessible through pipes, presenting slightly varying options and tasks to the player. Each task can be played in two different ways. They can either experiment freely with the given options, or they can wake up the sleeping Luigi in each room by clicking on him, who will then watch the player's actions. If Luigi is awake, he will compliment every right decision the player makes, and sometimes other characters will show up. Giving a certain amount of right answers makes the player advance to the next room, and eventually clear the world. However, since the game keeps no record of completed tasks, this does not serve any purpose.
The seven worlds of the SNES version.
Other than most Mario games, Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters features voice acting for all of its dialogue. The narration is done by a child's voice, with prerecorded words pasted together to form sentences. Luigi also speaks a few lines during the game's tasks. His dialogue is not pasted together, though. The soundtrack of the game features original and remixed versions of Super Mario World's music, and also some common nursery rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Itsy Bitsy Spider. The sound effects of the game have been taken from Super Mario World as well.
The SNES version of the game is generally the same as the PC edition, but with some differences due to system, decreased space, etc...
- Options to turn off music/sounds/voice clips, randomized the questions or show text in worlds that have it were removed.
- The help screen with tips on how to continue learning outside of the program was removed.
- Yoshi was added as a third playable character.
- Alphabet World lost a 2nd game mode where the sounds of letters are learned.
- Building World is different from its PC counterpart. On PC, it involved the Mario crew at a baseball match.
- Various background graphic differences
- Two worlds were removed:
- Sing Song Fun World is a world where nursery rhymes/children songs are reenacted with the Mario cast. They are the aforementioned Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, If You're Happy And You Know It, The Alphabet song (A song recalling the letters of the English alphabet to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) and It's Raining, It's Pouring.
- Story World is a world where two stories are read aloud. One involves Mario, Luigi and Bowser in a mud puddle and the other involves Princess Toadstool and a pig.
- Main article: List of Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters staff
- ^ http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/downloads/completeoldgameslist.pdf
||Super Mario series
||Super Mario Bros. (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988, NES) • Super Mario World (1990, SNES) • Super Mario 64 (1996, N64) • Super Mario Sunshine (2002, GCN) • New Super Mario Bros. (2006, NDS) • Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Wii) • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009, Wii) • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010, Wii) • Super Mario 3D Land (2011, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. U (2012, Wii U) • Super Mario 3D World (2013, Wii U)
||Donkey Kong (1981) • Mario Bros. (1983) • Mario's Cement Factory (1983, G&W) • Mario's Bombs Away (1983, G&W) • Mario Bros. Special (1984, PC88) • Punch Ball Mario Bros. (1984, PC88) • Wrecking Crew (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros. Special (1986, PC88) • Super Mario Land (1989, GB) • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992, GB) • Hotel Mario (1994, Philips CD-i) • Mario Clash (1995, VB) • Wrecking Crew '98 (1998, SFC)
|Ports and remakes
||Donkey Kong (1982, G&W) • Mario Bros. (1983, G&W) • Vs. Super Mario Bros. (1986, Arcade) • All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (1986, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. (1987, G&W) • Super Mario All-Stars (1993, SNES) • Donkey Kong (1994, GB) • Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (1994, SNES) • BS Super Mario USA (1997, SNES) • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (1999, GBC) • Super Mario Advance (2001, GBA) • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2002, GBA) • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (2003, GBA) • Famicom Mini Series (2004, GBA) • Classic NES Series (2004-2005, GBA) • Super Mario 64 DS (2004, NDS) • Virtual Console (2006-current, Wii) • Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition (2010, Wii) • Virtual Console (2011-current, 3DS) • New Super Luigi U (2013, Wii U) • Luigi Bros. (2013, Wii U)
||Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996, SNES) • Paper Mario (2000, N64) • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003, GBA) • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004, GCN) • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005, NDS) • Super Paper Mario (2007, Wii) • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009, NDS) • Paper Mario: Sticker Star (2012, 3DS) • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (2013, 3DS)
| Mario Kart series
||Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) • Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003, GCN) • Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005, Arcade) • Mario Kart DS (2005, NDS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007, Arcade) • Mario Kart Wii (2008, Wii) • Mario Kart 7 (2011, 3DS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013, Arcade) • Mario Kart 8 (2014, Wii U)
| Mario Party series
||Mario Party (1998, N64) • Mario Party 2 (1999, N64) • Mario Party 3 (2000, N64) • Mario Party 4 (2002, GCN) • Mario Party-e (2003, GBA) • Mario Party 5 (2003, GCN) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party (2004, Arcade) • Mario Party 6 (2004, GCN) • Mario Party Advance (2005, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party 2 (2005, Arcade) • Mario Party 7(2006, GCN) • Mario Party 8 (2007, Wii) • Mario Party DS (2007, NDS) • Mario Party Fushigi no Korokoro Catcher (2009, Arcade) • Mario Party 9 (2012, Wii) • Mario Party: Island Tour (2013, 3DS) • Mario Party 10 (2015, Wii U)
||Mario Baseball series
||Mario Superstar Baseball (2005, GCN) • Mario Super Sluggers (2008, Wii)
| Mario Golf series
||Golf (1984) • NES Open Tournament Golf (1991, NES) • Mario Golf (1999, N64) • Mario Golf (1999, GBC) • Mobile Golf (2001, GBC) • Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (2003, GCN) • Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004, GBA) • Mario Golf: World Tour (2014, 3DS)
|Mario Strikers series
||Super Mario Strikers (2005, GCN) • Mario Strikers Charged (2007, Wii)
|Mario Tennis series
|| Mario's Tennis (1995, VB) • Mario Tennis 64 (2000, N64) • Mario Tennis (2000, GBC) • Mario Power Tennis (2004, GCN) • Mario Tennis: Power Tour (2005, GBA) • Mario Tennis Open (2012, 3DS)
||Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006, NDS) • Mario Sports Mix (2010, Wii)
|| Mario & Sonic series
||Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2012, 3DS) • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013, Wii U)
| Super Smash Bros. series
|| Super Smash Bros. (1999, N64) • Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001, GCN) • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii) • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U (2014)
||Mario Teaches Typing (1991, MS-DOS) • Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario is Missing! (1993) • Mario's Time Machine (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (1994) • Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (1994) • Mario Teaches Typing 2 (1996, MS-DOS)
||Super Mario Bros. Print World (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario Paint (1992, SNES) • Mario no Photopi (1998, N64) • Mario Artist: Paint Studio (1999, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Talent Studio (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Communication Kit (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Polygon Studio (2000, N64DD)
||Mario & Wario (1993, SNES) • Yoshi's Safari (1993, SNES) • Undake30 Same Game (1995, SFC) • Mario's Game Gallery (1995, MS-DOS) • Mario's Picross (1995, GB) • Mario's Super Picross (1995, SFC) • Picross 2 (1996, GB) • Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium (1997, Satellaview) • Mario's FUNdamentals (1998, MS-DOS) • Mario Pinball Land (2004, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Janjan Land (2003, Arcade) • Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (2005, GCN) • Itadaki Street DS (2007, NDS) • Fortune Street (2011, Wii) • Nintendo Land (2012, Wii U) • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014, Wii U) • Mario Maker (2015, Wii U)