No Man’s Sky, the space exploration game from developer Hello Games, continues to be divisive among players. Mario, on the other hand, continues to be … well, Mario. Nintendo’s games are solid, though they sometimes adhere to rigid formulas. Which is maybe why there’s now No Mario’s Sky, a game combining the two.
The big difference between No Mario’s Sky and the other two is simple: No Mario’s Sky is in no way officially associated with Nintendo or Hello Games. Instead, the game was created as part of Ludum Dare 36, a regular game jam with set themes, by Melbourne-based developers Ben Porter, Alex Mc, Sam Izzo, and Max Cahill. The theme for this particular jam? Ancient Technology.
In terms of design, No Mario’s Sky borrows heavily from Mario while implementing only a few set aesthetic characteristics of No Mans Sky. So, theres coin blocks, and Mario, and jumping, but also a spaceship and slightly curved worlds with more out there to visit. The game’s rather rudimentary, but it does keep track of Goombas stomped, coins gathered, worlds visited, and the number of lives the technically unnamed protagonist has available. Here’s how the developers describe it:
Featuring 1000s of Goombas, An Infinite Universe, Muscle Toad, “Original” Music, “Faithful” Physics, Social Commentary about Interplanetary Colonialism, and a Radical Space Ship; No Mario’s Sky is the hackneyed remake-gone-mashup you’ve been craving.
Unlike Mario or No Man’s Sky, No Mario’s Sky is currently available for free on PC, Mac, and Linux. Though, given the complex legality of fan game and Nintendo’s tendency to be very protective, who knows for how long.