Super Mario Bros on the NES has been around for a very long time now, yet still, it exudes class and is a masterclass in game design. One of the reasons for that, in my view, is the simplistic choices that Mario has to make in the early stages of the game – especially the first screen. He has essentially four choices, two when presented with a bad guy and two when presented with an obstacle.
- Obstacles: Use it, avoid it
- Bad guys: Kill it, avoid it
So, when Mario is faced with an obstacle, he can try to break – which might yield goodies or just clear his path. He could try to just move around or over it, or he can use it to get to higher parts of the screen (or lower if you consider a pipe taking him to bonus sections).