• Seth Singleton - Editor

Great Gameplay - Mario’s Jump

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

by Jabari Alii

Welcome to Great Gameplay, a mini-blog series where I highlight impressive game mechanics from some of my favorite games.

I’d like to start with one of the most classic mechanics of all time, the Mario jump mechanic. Not only did this gameplay mechanic set the standard for many platformers to come but it optimized a common game design strategy. The Art of Simplicity.

A single input from the player with multiple output possibilities depending on environment and character state. Mario’s jump is used for mobility, attacking, and impacting the environment. Jumping onto enemies to defeat them, jumping onto platforms or over obstacles, and jumping into blocks or other environments to get desired effects. The mechanic often goes even deeper, and evolved over time into something iconic and great.

Timing and positioning really feel like they matter.

Being able to do so much with so little is why the jump mechanic in Mario feels so good.

Creating this level of depth with a single mechanic is a core principle of good game design and Mario pulled it off perfectly. The Mario gameplay mechanic is one of my cornerstones in game design.

Image Sources: GameFabrique

Also check out this awesome video from Mechanically Speaking where he goes in depth about jumping in 2D games.

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