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Mario's Cement Factory screenshots.jpg
Game & Watch Table Top version
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Publisher(s)Nintendo
SeriesMario
Platform(s)
Release
  • Table Top:
  • April 28, 1983
  • New Wide Screen:
  • 1983
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player

Mario's Cement Factory[lower-alpha 1] is a 1983 LCD game developed and published by Nintendo under their Game & Watch series. It follows earlier Mario games, like the arcade and Game & Watch versions of Donkey Kong. The player controls Mario as he navigates elevators and funnels cement through a factory, while trying to prevent the cement from crushing his fellow workers. Two versions of the game were released — one being a tabletop unit and the other being a handheld game akin to most other Game & Watch titles.

Development was headed by Nintendo R&D1, led by engineer Gunpei Yokoi. Sound effects were produced by Hirokazu Tanaka. A clock is also present on the system, much like other Game & Watch units. The game has been re-released several times, including as part of Game Boy Gallery for the Game Boy, Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Game Boy Advance, and as a digital download for the Nintendo DSi.

Critics have described it as one of the strangest games in the Mario franchise.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Mario's Cement Factory puts players in control of Mario, who works at a cement factory where he funnels cement into cement trucks. Mario must navigate two dangerous elevators and avoid falling or being crushed and losing a life. Mario must also continually empty cement into the trucks, or else the cement will overflow and crush one of the workers below, which also costs the player a life. In this game Mario cannot jump and there are no enemies. There are two game modes: A and B, with B being faster paced and more difficult.[2][3][4]

Development[edit | edit source]

Mario's Cement Factory was developed by Nintendo R&D1, which at the time was led by Gunpei Yokoi,[5] and published by Nintendo. Like all Game & Watch releases, each unit is a standalone portable device that doubles as a clock and can only play the one game.[6] Hirokazu Tanaka composed the game sounds.[1]

Two versions of the game were released. One version is part of the more advanced Game & Watch Table Top series and debuted on April 28, 1983. It has a full color illuminated screen, and approximately 250,000 models were produced.[7] A smaller handheld version was also released in 1983 as part of the New Wide Screen series. It has a monochrome screen with a color overlay, and approximately 750,000 units were produced.[8][9]

The game was released the same year that Nintendo's Famicom system debuted in Japan, and two years after the first Mario title (the arcade game Donkey Kong).[10]

Re-releases[edit | edit source]

The game has been re-released in various forms. It was included in the 1995 Game Boy Gallery and in the 1997 Game & Watch Gallery both for Game Boy, with the former featuring updated graphics.[11][12] It was also re-released in the Nintendo Mini Classics line, which repackaged Game & Watch games in small Game Boy-like devices.[13][14] Both the New Wide Screen and an updated version were included in the 2002 Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Game Boy Advance.[11] In 2009, the game was re-released for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare download service (along with other Game & Watch games.)[15][16] The DSi version was released in Japan on August 18, 2009,[17] in North America on March 22, 2010, and in Europe on March 26, 2010.[15][18] The DSi version was also given as a reward on Nintendo's now-defunct Club Nintendo service.[19]

Reception[edit | edit source]

The Table Top version

Mario's Cement Factory has been called one of the best Game & Watch games, and praised for its relative complexity.[3][20] One critic called it fun,[21] another an "old favorite",[4] and another praised its replay value.[20] Staff for the magazine Video Games regarded it as a more difficult game than many games before it.[22]

It has also been called primitive by the standards of today,[3][23] and one review of the DSiWare release complained that the controls were too "picky and precise".[24]

The game has been called one of the stranger entries in the Mario series.[25][26][27] One outlet called it "kind of gruesome" since factory workers can be killed by overflowing cement.[26] Another said the game reflected Mario's working-class roots.[3] Mario's role as a cement factory worker has been mentioned in multiple articles that cover the array of professions Mario has undertaken.[28][6]

The original units have become collector's items and, like many Game & Watch titles, a complete-in-box unit can sell for over US$100.[25][21] The game was featured in a Gunpei Yokoi exhibit in Harajuku in 2010.[29]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Japanese: マリオズ・セメント・ファクトリー[1] Hepburn: Mariozu Semento Fakutorī?

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tanaka, Hirokazu. "Nintendo Archive - Works". Sporadic Vacuum (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Game & Watch™ Mario's Cement Factory". Nintendo of Europe. Retrieved August 28, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Gilbert, Henry (March 20, 2011). "The 8 best Game & Watch games". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robertson, Andy (April 23, 2010). "DSi Ware's Game and What?". Wired. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Marrujo, Robert (August 2, 2018). "The History of Game Boy (Revised for 2019)". Nintendojo. Retrieved August 27, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ryan, Jeff (2012). Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. Penguin. p. 61. ISBN 1591845637. https://books.google.com/books?id=9_JvDwAAQBAJ. Retrieved May 26, 2019. 
  7. Panayiotakis, Michael (June 24, 2008). "Game & Watch: A Retrospective: Just add table". DS Fanboy. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Panayiotakis, Michael (June 24, 2008). "Game & Watch: A Retrospective: Not just any old Wide Screen ..." DS Fanboy. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Powers, Rick (August 29, 2002). "Mario, This Is Your Life". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved August 24, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Nintendo (October 23, 2018) (in en). Super Mario Encyclopedia: The Official Guide to the First 30 Years. Dark Horse Comics. pp. 237–238. ISBN 9781630089450. https://books.google.com/books?id=qzdcDwAAQBAJ. Retrieved September 14, 2019. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Frear, Dave (January 4, 2016). "Game & Watch Gallery Advance Review (Wii U eShop / GBA)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Thomas, Lucas M. (July 17, 2011). "Game & Watch Gallery Review". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. North, Dale (August 5, 2009). "Nintendo's Game & Watch come back as Mini Classics". Destructoid. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Thompson, Michael (August 5, 2009). "Nintendo Mini Classics resurrects Game & Watch titles". Arstechnica. Retrieved August 25, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 Aaron, Sean (March 22, 2010). "Nintendo Download: 22nd March 2010 (North America)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Van Duyn, Marcel (July 10, 2009). "Game & Watch Games to be Released on DSiWare". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Game & Watch Mario's Cement Factory (2010)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Van Duyn, Marcel (March 25, 2019). "Nintendo Download: 26th March 2010 (Europe)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Whitehead, Thomas (January 14, 2014). "Club Nintendo Rewards Updated for January". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. 20.0 20.1 Knight, Rich (November 28, 2011). "Portable Plumber: The Complete History of Mario in Handheld Games". Complex. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 Cipriano, Jason (May 3, 2010). "Game & Watch Revival - 30 Years Later And Still Ringin'". MTV.com. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Video Games". Video Games (Pumpkin Press) 2 (1): 76. October 1983. 
  23. Riley, Adam (April 11, 2010). "Game & Watch: Mario's Cement Factory (Nintendo DS) Review". Cubed3. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Thomas, Lucas M. (July 27, 2010). "DSiWare Capsule Reviews: Third Week of July". IGN. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. 25.0 25.1 Lynch, Gerald (March 11, 2017). "The weirdest Super Mario games ever". TechRadar. Retrieved May 15, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. 26.0 26.1 Rouner, Jeff (August 29, 2013). "10 Mario Games You've Probably Never Heard Of". Houston Press. Retrieved May 17, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Gaspin, Ben (June 30, 2017). "The 7 Weirdest MARIO Spin-Off Games". Nerdist. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Houghton, David (October 9, 2017). "26 jobs that Mario is inexplicably qualified for". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Walker, Matt (August 24, 2010). "Gunpei Yokoi Exhibit in Harakuju: "The Man Who Was Called the God of Games"". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved May 26, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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