Mario Pinball Land

Game Boy Advance

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 35
  2. Negative: 7 out of 35
Buy On
  1. 90
    By delightfully melding combat and puzzle solving with solid pinball physics, Mario Pinball is not only the first pinball action/adventure game, but it's also a damn good one at that. [Nov 2004, p.130]
  2. Cheat Code Central
    The game is brimming with strategy. [JPN Import]
  3. Puts a new "spin" on the genre.
  4. MPL is a fun pinball game, with enough new twists and turns to keep any flipper fanatic happy.
  5. Nintendo Power
    As a pinball-flavored adventure, the game is a little basic for my tastes, but it's still a graphically excellent outing. [Dec 2004, p.142]
  6. Compared to other GBA games out there Super Mario Ball doesn't have the same amount of gameplay hours. Even with all of the stars to find, five worlds isn't much to conquer. [JPN Import]
  7. 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.
  8. Game Informer
    I think this desire to innovate in the genre comes at the expense of what's ultimately good abuot pinball itself...There's not one individual stage that has that incredibly addictive "I could play this until I die" feeling that you get from a well-made traditional pinball machine. [Oct 2004, p.147]
  9. It may not revolutionize handheld pinball, but Mario Pinball Land is fun while it lasts. Unfortunately, that is not very long.
  10. Its engaging mixture of game types and interesting graphics combine to create a fun ride, but one that is sadly over too soon.
  11. Weekly Famitsu
    7 / 7 / 7 / 8 - 29 [Vol 820]
  12. If you can get by the game's mediocre sound or another poor execution that we call a Mario plot, you'll find a really entertaining game of pinball in Mario Pinball Land.
  13. The perfect example of an experiment gone awry. If only the physics were just a little more realistic, it would help a great deal, but as it is, the game just gets to be annoying before you ever start to have fun.
  14. In terms of challenge and entertainment Mario Pinball Land is a good choice for a long flight or a series of shorter periods.
  15. Given that most gamers will be able to plough through the game's challenges in only a couple of day's worth of light play, leaving only the time trial option to keep them amused, you can't help but feel that more should have been made of the concept - especially considering the game's sparkling visuals.
  16. A short and slightly limited game....While it lasts, it's a blast.
  17. 60
    A pretty lacklustre game - in both the pinball and Mario aspects.
  18. A very boring game. There is not enough substance on each game board. Trying to take the pinball video game genre in a different direction is a noble step, but at the same time, you cannot remove things that define pinball games and make them fun.
  19. Offers an exciting take on a stale genre, but I found it to be unnecessarily frustrating.
  20. There's a major flaw in actually controlling Mario, as the physics just don't seem to act as they should - aiming at specific targets can be extremely tricky at times, making completing some tasks more infuriating than challenging. It's a shame, because everything else about Super Mario Ball is so impressive.
  21. A great looking and great sounding game, one of the most impressive on the GBA. The frustrating lack of control, screen-resets and small number of levels put a nasty dent in its play value.
  22. As a Mario game it fails. As a pinball game it fails. As a combination of the two it's one of the most annoying games imaginable. [GamesMaster]
  23. 50
    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.
  24. 50
    It's just a shame that the gameplay flaws (seriously, why can't you tilt?) drag the entire package down so far. Maybe next time, Nintendo should just toss a few Koopa Troopas and Goombas into the "Pokémon Pinball" template.
  25. 50
    It turns out that pinball controls don't make for a very good platform game.
  26. It's not terrible, but it's flawed. It just doesn't do a good job with recreating the pinball experience, or really a good Mario experience.
  27. GMR Magazine
    A monumental bore. [Nov 2004, p.130]
  28. 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.
  29. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    It almost seems like a kid's game - until you encounter bosses and trick shots that push your temper to full tilt. And speaking of tilt...where is it? [Nov 2004, p.152]
  30. Strikes me as a good idea, but in its current state it falls obscenely short of the fun and playability that usually comes with a Mario game.
  31. Edge Magazine
    A maddening, misguided mongrel of a game... Luck plays a huge part, and simply navigating the world can be exactly as hard as the hardest challenge: a random, enraging, minutes-long bore, especially with moving enemies straying across your line. [Dec 2005, p.115]
  32. 40
    Cute and the Mario theme is well applied, with lots of familiar elements from games throughout the series, but fun soon gives way to pure frustration and the whole affair is over far too quickly. [JPN Import]
  33. Imaginative and meticulously-produced, but its flaws are too numerous to recommend over superior pinball titles. For a first-party Nintendo release, this is a poor showing indeed.
  34. To make matters worse, if the ball falls down between the flippers players are often forced to start from scratch and many times replay the stage that they previously completed to get back to where they just were. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
  35. Like that hot popular girl in high school - gorgeous on the outside but no personality on the inside. Mario Pinball Land is just too generic, and though it has the Mushroom Kingdom cast supporting it the gameplay is fully capable of causing splitting headaches.

Awards & Rankings

#38 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
#17 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 5 out of 12
  1. VirginiaPlain
    Oct 18, 2004
    Finally a GBA game that looks great AND plays well.
  2. May 14, 2014
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  3. Jun 7, 2012
    This is a mildly fun Mario title has great visuals and amusing gameplay. Its not the best pinball game out there though.