Mario’s Closet by Glen Brogan

By Shaun Hatton - December 21st, 2009

Mario’s Closet

By now you’ve probably come across artist Glen Brogan’s illustration, “Mario’s Closet” during your Internet travels. The piece depicts the world’s most famous plumber having a bit of a wardrobe crisis. What to wear, little Mario?

This work of art makes great use of colour, with its subtle softer hues hinting at a vintage feel. The closet, on the other hand, includes Mario’s most famous outfits, up to and including those found in the recently released New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

The design also happens to be under review as a potential T-shirt design over at, so if you feel you buy this design on a shirt, go vote for it!

via Tiny Cartridge

Thoughts on Kirby: Canvas Curse

By Filipe Salgado - August 6th, 2009

Thoughts on Kirby: Canvas Curse

While the Mario series is where Nintendo refines the platformer genre, the Kirby series is where ideas are tried, played around with, discarded, and picked up again. Kirby Superstar, a half-forgotten title from the SNES era that was thankfully re-released on the DS, best exemplifies this. It’s a collection of small little experiments in form. Different types of games, different objectives, the only constant being Kirby. As a whole, it’s a series that should come with footnotes*.

So it was my surprise when I picked up Kirby: Canvas Curse, and found a unique game. Its base is a standard platformer, but its control scheme is really unlike anything out there. The premise is that Kirby is turned into a ball, and he keeps rolling in whatever direction he’s facing. Using the stylus, and only the stylus mind you, you can tap Kirby to dash, or you can create lines on screen that guide him. These lines can be used to avoid enemies, block their attacks, and be used as ramps. Basically, they eliminate the use of buttons altogether.

Sorry to draw on the comparisons again, but the Mario series is very deliberate. Everything in the game is where it is for a reason. Miyamoto and his teams build games and then endlessly tweak them until they’re just right. Canvas Curse is messy. Crisscrosses of rainbow lines fill the screen. You won’t be making the precision run jumps that platformers usually ask for. Instead, you will frantically scribble on the screen making your own platforms. On the better levels, this culminates in a frantic, fast-paced mess that’s as fun as the best entries in the platformer canon.

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Super Mario World
Thoughts From The Artful Gamer

By Toronto Thumbs Staff - May 13th, 2009

Thoughts on Super Mario World From The Artful Gamer

Not everything we do is reactionary to the news of the gaming world. Sometimes we sit down to plan out special features and collaborations with others. Unfortunately, there are occasions where things don’t go according to plan.

Chris Lepine, who runs the excellent gaming website The Artful Gamer, had agreed to work with us on assembling thoughts on a game we all have warm fuzzy feelings for: Super Mario World. We bandied about many ideas for a feature, but due to the constant influx of news that had to be dealt with by our small staff and the fact that E3 is now just weeks away, our planned collaborative efforts to discuss the game fell through.

Chris, however, still managed to come through, and just days after announcing his public disappearance on his own website, he sent through his thoughts on Super Mario World in a medium we haven’t seen from our contributors: mixed words with text. If your monitor resolution is too low to read the piece, you can click and drag to scroll it or download the image directly.

As this was going to be a bigger collaborative effort, I would love to hear your own thoughts on this game. Feel free to leave them below.

View the piece »

REVIEW: Super Mario Galaxy

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 3rd, 2008

Developed and published by Nintendo for Wii.

2008_02_03_mariogalaxyscore.pngOne of the most recognizable characters in all of gaming history adds another notch to his belt with his latest Wii platform adventure. Super Mario Galaxy is an incredibly rich and fun game that will not disappoint.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the short plumber ever since I bought my own Game Boy in high school. That’s right. While I tried Mario Brothers on the Commodore 64, and played Super Mario Brothers on the NES, I didn’t really play any Mario game in earnest until I had my very own Super Mario Land cartridge.

Since then, I’ve been hooked.

Super Mario Galaxy does not disappoint from any perspective. Taking advantage of the Wii’s full medley of hardware, the game is a feast for all of the senses (well, except taste and smell, unless you put some sugar or cologne on the disc). You can tell the bar for production value was set high. Even though the character designs are streamlined, there is still an incredible amount of detail present in both them and the worlds you will be playing on.

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By Shaun Hatton - February 1st, 2008

1Up Games in Hamilton, ON, offers a great selection of new and retro games and consoles.

Classic gaming (or retro gaming as it’s also called) is something that has been quite popular over the last few years. With services such as Xbox LIVE Arcade and the Wii Virtual Console bringing older games to newer audiences as well as the older crowd, it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon.

But for purists and others who want to experience these games the old-fashioned way, there’s no replacement for vintage gaming hardware. And for this reason, there will always be independent video game stores. These non-chain stores often carry more than just the last console generation’s titles. In fact, with a little looking, it’s easy to find these great stores all around the GTA. Some, of course, are better than others.

I do have my favourites, and 1Up Games in Hamilton is definitely one of them. Its two locations are stocked full of retro gaming goodness: games, consoles, peripherals, adverts, and even some funky playable kiosks and arcade cabinets. In fact, on any given visit, you’re almost guaranteed to find something you never knew existed. The atmosphere is very laid-back and it’s amazing how they managed to organize so much inventory so neatly. Toronto Thumbs recently caught up with 1Up Games store owner and entrepreneur Marc Nascimento for a Q&A.

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Video Game Contest Alerts

By Shaun Hatton - November 17th, 2007

2007_11_17_teletooncontests.gif has three great gaming-related contests running right now, and the prizes are somewhat out there. For their Pokémon Diamond Version and Pearl Version contest (link removed – contest is over), the grand prize consists of four DS Lites, four Wi-Fi USB dongles, four Nintendo DS Headsets, and four copies each of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.

The Mario Galaxy Zero Gravity contest’s grand prize is a “Zero Gravity Gaming Party” where the winner and seven of his/her friends will get together in a movie theatre for a Super Mario Galaxy battle. The winner will also receive a Wii and one copy of Super Mario Galaxy.

Lastly, the Petz2 Invade Your Space contest has a grand prize of a bedroom makeover, including a flat screen TV, Nintendo DS, a DVD player, and copies of all the new Petz titles for DS.

The contests are only open to residents of Canada. Get entering, and good luck!

Mario For PM?

By Shaun Hatton - November 16th, 2007


As much as we love video games here at Toronto Thumbs, we have to admit it’s pretty sad when a video game character is more recognized than the person that’s running the country.

A recent survey conducted by Harper/Decima has found that more Canadians recognize Super Mario over their own Prime Minister, Steven Harper. This even include’s Harper’s own riding of Calgary Southwest, where Mario was more recognizable by a margin of 47 versus 41 per cent.

Among women across Canada, Mario was recognized 66 per cent of the time, as opposed to Harper at 63.

Overall, however, the PM still received the same amount of recognition as the plumber, with 70 per cent of all those surveyed being able to identify both Harper and Mario. The poll was conducted from October 11 to October 16 via random mall intercepts in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.