A developer has made the first level of Super Mario Bros. for Microsoft HoloLens.
Developer Abhishek Singh has a knack for imaginative, slightly odd projects, from a 20-foot dragon-shaped VR controller to a personal assistant that communicates in GIFs. His latest is an augmented reality recreation of the first level in Super Mario Bros., with virtual pipes, pits and Goombas layered over a real-life park.
Using a Microsoft HoloLens headset, Singh demonstrates the AR Mario level in New York’s Central Park. As if jumping onto invisible enemies wasn’t ludicrous enough, the developer does the whole thing dressed as Nintendo’s iconic plumber.
Singh describes the project as a “crazy life-sized first person experience”, made with Unity. He also claims the footage was recorded entirely through the HoloLens, with no post production.
Layering a video game onto the physical world is certainly impressive, but the best part of it is how goofy the whole endeavor is. Leaping to kill a Goomba, Singh hops over a puddle. He jumps to hit invisible boxes as passers-by studiously ignore him. At the end he just stares upwards at an invisible flag. If this is the future of video games, prepare to look like you’re having an acid trip in public.
Certain aspects of Mario don’t translate all that well, of course. It’s hard to jump on green pipes when they’re made of light, so Singh quietly walks around them. There’s also little chance of travelling to a subterranean zone, unless he happens to line up the level with an actual manhole cover.
Here’s hoping Nintendo give Singh some slack with his project. It would be interesting to see how he’d make a fuller Mario game for augmented reality. Personally, I’m holding out for AR DOOM.