Mario Pinball Land

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Mario Pinball Land
Developer(s) Fuse Games
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date Game Boy Advance
Japan August 26, 2004
USA October 4, 2004
Europe November 26, 2004
Australia November 26, 2004
Wii U Virtual Console
Europe September 11, 2014
Australia September 11, 2014
Japan September 17, 2014
USA November 27, 2014
Genre Pinball
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Single player
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Media GBA icon.png Cartridge
Wii U:
Game Boy Advance:

Mario Pinball Land (known as Super Mario Ball in Japan and Europe) is a pinball video game that was developed by Fuse Games and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance and released in 2004. It was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Europe and Australia on September 11, 2014, Japan on September 17, 2014, and in North America on November 27, 2014.



A scene from the intro.

The story takes place in an amusement park called the Fun Fair. Mario, some Toads and Princess Peach are waiting in line to try a ride called the Air Cannon. To ride it, the rider must be turned into a ball first via the Spherasizer, after which they are shot out of the cannon. The Toad who tries it first has fun. As Peach is about to take her turn, two Goombas appear and change the direction the cannon is aiming toward Bowser's Castle. Mario then uses the Spherasizer to turn into a ball himself to go save Peach.

At the end of the game, Mario confronts Bowser inside his castle. When Bowser is defeated, he is launched out of the castle. Mario and Peach, after returning to normal, are riding the roller coaster on the final screen.

From the instruction booklet[edit]

Princess in Peril!?
During the unveiling ceremony for the new “Sky Cannon” at the Fun Fair, Princess Peach was accidentally blasted off to Bowser’s castle! The Sky Cannon, an amazing new transportation device that launches people to new destinations, got off to a rocky start because of this shocking turn of events.
According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occured when a pair of shady Goombas altered the cannon’s direction. Within moments, they had locked up the castle, with Princess Peach trapped inside!

Mario to the rescue!
Without a moment’s hesitation, Mario leapt into a cannon to rescue Princess Peach. If Mario collects four Star Keys, he’ll be able to get into Bowser’s Castle. To do that, he’ll need to confront many challenges and defeat the bosses who hold those keys! Will he be able to rescue Princess Peach?

How does it work?
Before you can ride the Sky Cannon, a special “Pinballer” squeezes you into ball, so that you can fit into the cannon’s barrel. The Pinballer also makes you surprisingly rubbery, so that you bounce harmlessly when you land!





Mario's battle against Big Boo.




The following items can be bought from Toad or Mario can find them in ? Blocks.

  • Coin - The currency; allows Mario to buy items.
  • Blue Coin - Allows Mario to play special minigames to earn Stars.
  • 1-Up Mushroom - Gives the player an extra ball.
  • Blue Pipe - Puts a blue pipe on the bottom of the screen, preventing Mario from falling.
  • Yoshi Egg - Gives the player a Yoshi Egg as a second ball.
  • Super Mushroom - Temporarily grows Mario to a larger size.
  • Star - Makes Mario invincible, allowing him to instantly defeat any enemies.
  • Mini Mushroom - Temporarily shrinks Mario, allowing him to enter small passages.
  • Lightning - Deals a hit to all enemies on-screen.


After Adrian Barritt and Richard Horrocks founded Fuse Games, they wanted to pitch a pinball game to Nintendo. Figuring that they needed to make an impact before Nintendo would speak to them, Barritt and Horrocks made a demo consisting of what they figured would be the first and last areas of the game. Afterward, they went to Seattle to pitch the game to Nintendo of America and were approved. The game was developed for the Game Boy Advance rather than the Nintendo GameCube due to Fuse Games' limited resources and due to the system's similarities to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Mario Pinball Land was developed over the course of eighteen months, from September of 2002 when the company was founded to its completion in June 2004, and by a team of five people total.[1] At an earlier point in development the game was simply titled "Mario Pinball" before the name was changed.


Mario Pinball Land received mixed reviews at launch. While most reviewers praised the game's graphics at release, the game was mostly criticized for its difficulty and overall gameplay. It was also criticized for its short length and relative lack of replay value.

Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
GBA Craig Harris, IGN 5/10 A game can't live on pretty looks alone. Mario Pinball Land is a graphically amazing title, but the gameplay itself is far more flawed and annoying than it is fun to play. And considering Nintendo already successfully hit the pinball genre last year in Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire, Mario-branded game is a large step backwards in game design. This game may have more pinball "challenges" than Pokemon Pinball, but when players have to struggle through some of the frustratingly bad design implementations, it's almost not worth the playtime.
GBA Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer 5/10 In the end it's far more frustrating than it should be, particularly given that it's an idea with so much potential - and Fuse Games clearly has come up with a lot of good ideas in making this. It's just hard to recommend when there are so many silly things working against it. Issues that should have been obvious to the people making it. It's also a bit short, although given that it's a pinball game and there's so much to do and collect there's obviously a fair amount of replay value herein. Not a complete balls-up then, but nowhere near as good as Nintendo's benchmark handheld pinball games, and if you're after a flipper-fest then it's to one of those that you ought to turn. And on that note, if you can't find monochrome Kirby's outing any more, don't be put off by the "Pokémon" part of "Pokémon Pinball"; it's actually a lot better than it sounds, and nudges Super Mario Ball right out of contention.
GBA Frank Provo, GameSpot 7.5/10 Nintendo has a knack for coming up with quirky games that are easy to pick up and play. The company's latest game, a funky fusion of Mario and pinball called Mario Pinball Land, is a good example. It combines the general concepts behind tabletop pinball with the characters and worlds from the Mario franchise to create a strange sort of adventure game that's fairly fun but a little on the short side.
Wii U VC Alex Olney, Nintendo Life 7/10 "Super Mario Ball holds its own as an oddball (pun intended) of the Mario spin-off series – a wholly single-player experience with beautiful visuals and an interesting medley of Mario and typical pinball tropes. It’s not without its flaws, and the gameplay may cause some to become more frustrated than perhaps is healthy, but the good experiences with this certainly outweigh the bad. Whilst you won’t get a tremendous number of hours from it, it's a ten year old game that you can download for 20% of its original price, and that makes this off-the-wall title worth a look for anyone looking for a more challenging romp through the Mushroom Kingdom."
Compiler Score
GameRankings 64.75%
Metacritic 62


Main article: List of Mario Pinball Land staff

Mario Pinball Land was developed by Fuse Games, who would later go on to develop more pinball-based games for Nintendo. The entirety of the game was developed by a team of five people[1]: Adrian Barritt, Richard Horrokcs, Cai Remrod, Keith Ainslie, and Kevin Ayre. Shigeru Miyamoto was the game's main producer.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Pinball Land.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スーパーマリオボール
Sūpā Mario bōru
Super Mario Ball


  1. ^ a b Fuse Games on Mario Pinball Land. IGN (September 20, 2004). Retrieved August 12, 2015.