Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Embarrassing Mario Games That Ended Up On Philips CD-I

Once upon a time, Nintendo made a major mistake that it wants you to forget about: the Philips CD-i. The CD-i was the result of a botched partnership between Nintendo and Philips that gave consumers the most expensive video game console ever. Nintendo ultimately wasn't involved when the system released, so why would the company behind Mario and Zelda have cared that Philips launched one of the most overpriced video game consoles in history


The deal left Nintendo incapable of protecting some of its IPs from a disastrous fate. While Mario has appeared in many weird games that you probably never knew existed, the famous plumber starred in one game that Nintendo wants everyone to forget. And if the CD-i hadn't been a complete and total failure, Mario would have been in yet another awful game that would later become a cult classic. These are the embarrassing Mario games that ended up on the Philips CD-i.

Nice of the Princess to invite us over for a picnic, eh Luigi?

Hotel Mario is a game that will go down in history for its unforgettably bad cutscenes. As embarrassing as Hotel Mario may have been, Nintendo wasn't completely removed from the process.

In an interview with Game Informer, Hotel Mario's executive producer Stephen Radosh explained that he wasn't able to do anything without the IP holder's approval, which means the game responsible for unforgettable lines like "All toasters toast toast" earned Nintendo's blessing. Even so, Radosh didn't receive any input from Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto.


This title is nothing like a traditional Mario game. Instead of his standard fare of hopping on platforms, Goombas, and Koopas, Mario is tasked with the ever-so-pressing job of squashing Goombas and closing every door in the hotel. Oddly enough, Nintendo loved the concept and greenlit it immediately.

Though Hotel Mario may not be the highlight of the series, Radosh put a lot of effort into the project, even creating a Mario Bible to guide the development process. While the game was a moderate success considering the platform, nothing could have saved the failing CD-i, which fizzled before another Mario title was released.

A Super Mario World sequel on the CD-i? What a wacky idea

Many gamers likely view Super Mario World as a masterpiece. As such, it would seem rather brazen for a third-party team to attempt a sequel. Yet, in an alternate universe, there's a Super Mario World sequel for the Philips CD-i known as Super Mario's Wacky Worlds. Fortunately for Mario fans who exist in our timeline, the CD-i bombed before it could happen.


Initially, the plan was to simply bring some Super Nintendo games to the CD-i. Instead, Novalogic, the team behind the project, wanted to take a stab at designing its own sequel to Super Mario World. What made this particular title interesting was the fact that Mario traveled through real settings and monuments, creating highly distinct and unique areas within each world. The developers made a sincere effort to capture the feel of a Mario game by carrying out some intense research. It paid off because the Nintendo executives were pleased with what they saw. 

The CD-i's inevitable demise put a swift end to Super Mario's Wacky Worlds. Had it been released, could it possibly have been good enough to enter the ranks of classic Mario games?