|Mario's Time Machine|
North American box art
|Publisher(s)||The Software Toolworks|
|Release date(s)||NA: June 1994|
“Help Mario stop Bowser before he warps time and puts hiccups in history. If not, it's back to stone tools and hieroglyphics!”
—Mario's Time Machine Instruction Manual
Mario's Time Machine is an educational Nintendo Entertainment System video game. This game is one of the few Mario games not released by Nintendo. A version for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was also released.
Bowser has invented a machine called a Timulator, and has traveled to various points in history to steal ancient artifacts for his museum. Mario and Yoshi head to the museum to stop him before he permanently changes the course of history. When they arrive, Yoshi rushes inside and is immediately captured by Bowser. Mario must recover all of the ancient artifacts and return them to their correct locations in time and rescue Yoshi.
Mario must explore Bowser's museum and find the ancient artifacts. There are seven doors, each leading to a room based on Mario Bros. where he must defeat three Koopas to get an artifact. He then can use the Timulator to select a point in history to travel to.
Once he travels to a point in time, he can explore the area, gathering clues from help blocks and the locals to determine if he is in the correct place to return the item. If not, he can go back in the machine and try again. Each room has two artifacts, and once both are returned, the room is blocked off.
Once all the artifacts are returned, Mario must take a final test before facing Bowser. He must answer three questions about the places he has been. If he answers a question wrong, he gets sent back to the point in time where he can find the correct answer. After all three questions are answered correctly, he can enter Bowser's chamber and fight him.
It should be noted that since this is an educational game, Mario is unable to die, and it is impossible to lose. The player will only lose control of Mario momentarily if they are hit by an enemy.
Main article: List of time periods in Mario's Time Machine
There are a total of fourteen different time periods that can be accessed from the Timulator in Bowser's museum. ranging from the stone age to five years ago (when the game was released in 1994).
- 80m B.C.
- 776 B.C.
- 31 B.C.
Mario's Time Machine was universally panned by critics, just as Mario is Missing! was in the first place. It is mostly panned for being not enough like the original Mario series, and because there were too many options on the questions although the game is geared towards small children. Screwattack put it as #4 on their Top Ten Worst Mario games list, saying "This game is not only boring, but how many answers do you need? And this is a game for five-year-olds?"