Bonus challenges are the cherry on the top of a lot of hard-earned levels of Super Mario. Introduced in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (and its remake) and Yoshi’s Island for Nintendo DS, bonus challenges give players an added boost if they have earned enough points (700/800 depending on the game). Sometimes a breather for difficult levels, sometimes a way to release tension.


But, what were the best challenges? In order to decide, we’ve given them a ranking based on fun factor, relevance to the game, and how welcome a reprieve from some of the more difficult levels they are. There are six bonus games (flip cards, roulette, slot machine, drawing lots, match cards, scratch and match) in this title, but here are our favourites:

Flip Cards

The flip cards game can be extremely rewarding to players – or it can result in nothing gained, depending on sheer luck. The player is faced with nine cards face down, and has to choose them in turn. They can either be faced with a toadie, which wins you nothing, an item, which gets you the item or a life. There’s also the dreaded Kamek card, which ends the game and loses all accumulated rewards. The trick with the flip cards game is to quit while ahead. If the player manages to achieve multiple items, they can opt to leave the game and take their items with them. Or continue to gamble on getting a full house, trying to steer clear of the Kamek card.

Slot Machine

The slot machine bonus game in Super Mario World 2 allowed players to win 1-ups. Three of the famous Yoshi watermelons or shy guys gain players 1-ups, while three lucky sevens won players 5-ups. Winning nothing sent players back to the map. Players could potentially win more lives, which would come in handy for levels that were renowned for needing greater dexterity to navigate them, especially later in the game. The slot machine bonus game shares a lot of similarities with video slots, a very popular online gaming genre. In Mario World 2, it allows players to indulge in the aspects of the slot game that blows off steam.



The roulette bonus game contains a level of gambling and mathematical ability, but can be very fruitful, especially with players able to double and triple their lives. There are two roulette wheels, one containing mathematical symbols (add, multiply), and the other numbers ranging from 0-3. Players then choose how many lives they want to bet in the hope of hitting the x3 combination. Depending on how many lives players have, their resultant win could be game-changing, especially towards the end of the game. By learning how to utilize bonus games together, players could head into the actual levels with a significant advantage.

Bonus games are just that, bonuses. They are additional activities that add to the fun of playing Mario, and can result in some big wins and game-changing assists in the form of items and lives. They also serve to break the tension, especially for the levels that require a lot of mental prowess and some quick work on the buttons.

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