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These Mario Clones For Android Are Ridiculous

Illustration for article titled These Mario Clones For Android Are Ridiculous

I love my Android phone. I really do. It feels personalized, it does everything I need it to do, and even though it has its flaws, I still like using it better than I like using iOS and iTunes (which I experience with my iPod touch).

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Apps for Android, though, are rather infamously a minefield of "anything goes." Even though Google officially banned clones from their marketplace, Google Play, earlier this summer, knockoffs remain rampant.

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The murky underworld of replicated games isn't limited to mimicking modern mobile classics like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, though. Super Mario Brothers, the 8-bit icon that launched an era over 25 years ago, somehow remains incredibly popular to clone even now. The illegal ROM emulators that Google Play carries in abundance at least make a kind of sense. These knockoffs, though, boggle the mind.


Super Daddio.

The jagged mountain-scape, mysterious door, and ability to throw bricks sure weren't in the original. Everything else, though, seems, shall we say, eerily familiar. [link]


Mobile Andrio.

Andrio, at least, leaves the 8-bit world behind and instead cribs more strongly from later entries Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World. The lack of background music is, for once, a plus. [link]

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Illustration for article titled These Mario Clones For Android Are Ridiculous
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Mobile Jario.

Mario's—sorry, Jario's—spelunking headlamp is a nice touch, as are the "J" blocks. Because why wonder what's inside a question mark when you can plop your own initial on everything and know the contents will make you awesome? [link]

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Illustration for article titled These Mario Clones For Android Are Ridiculous
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Super Jump.

The developer's description reads almost like a demented haiku:

"The top has a needle.
Bidding increases the ground.
When you touch the screen to jump.
Good luck." [link]

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Illustration for article titled These Mario Clones For Android Are Ridiculous
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Dr. Droid.

And we wrap up with this Dr. Mario clone, the full title of which is actually Dr. Droid (Dr Mario Game). Its reviews speak surprisingly highly of it, and yet one gets right to the point: "I would give it 5 stars if it was the real game." [link]

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DISCUSSION

I'll point out (and duck for cover) that the emulators actually aren't illegal, as several US courts have deemed that reverse engineering hardware isn't illegal. (No more so than jailbreaking your iPhone, for exmaple.) What's illegal about them is what most people DO with them, which is play games they download for free on the internet. *That's* illegal.

I've been using a great Playstation 1 emulator on my phone for years. I actually own Chrono Cross and all three Final Fantasy games, and it couldn't be simpler; pop the CD in your computer, make a .iso, copy it to your phone. Simple, legal, entertaining.

(The general cavaet is that obtaining ROMs for legally purchased cartridge games is very difficult; the DS's homebrew scene makes it easy enough for DS and GBA games, but anything older requires really bizzare setups. Thus, slippery slope. Can we rightfully sell an emulator when we know 99% of users aren't obtaining the software it runs legally?)