Before 'Super Mario Run,' There Was The Timelessly Awesome SFCave

At Apple's product launch event on Wednesday, the tech giant boldly announced plans to take their cutting-edge hardware into the future. Except, by "the future," I mean 1995, that golden time of Pokémon, yo-yos — and, yes, Super Mario. Apple partnered with Nintendo to announce Super Mario Run , a new game for the iPhone 7 featuring everyone's second favorite mustachioed Italian plumber (because Luigi is obviously better).

Speaking of 1995 — remember SFCave? I played SFCave in middle school when I was supposed to be learning to type in Computer Lab and I hoped Mrs. Fleigelman wasn't looking. It's that game where you play as a little worm (or, more accurately, curvy line) made of bottom-of-the-barrel graphics navigating a cave with some little obstacles. You clicked to go up, and you let go to fall.

It was made in 1995, back at a time when the most exciting Apple product wasn't an iPhone but a Power Macintosh 8500 with 16MB of RAM. In fact, SFCave is old enough that you have to use the Internet Archive in order to find a place to play it online. And you really should, because this game is super addictive.

The new version of Mario isn't actually all that different. As usual, you play as Mario, and you navigate a level with some obstacles you have to jump over. Except in this case, Mario runs automatically, and they only thing you can do is press your thumb on the iPhone screen to make him jump, and let go to let him just keep running as normal. You can press for slightly longer to make Mario jump slightly higher.

Jake Butler on YouTube

So let's compare. In the new Mario game:

  1. You move forward automatically in a sidescrolling obstacles
  2. You have one button, which makes you go up
  3. You avoid obstacles in front of you
  4. Kids will play this one-handed under their desk while they hope the teacher isn't looking

While you wait for Super Mario Run, here's a tip: SFCave has been in the Apple Store since 2009, and even has some fancy alternate modes.