Nintendo's 16-bit Super NES had some top-notch accessories and one of the most overlooked is the mouse. Obviously, people remember using it for Mario Paint but there are many more games that can be enjoyed with it so let's try a few out.
Of course, I need to discuss this classic creative masterpiece first. I remember dinking around on computers when I was a kid by booting up Microsoft Paint and scribbling a few drawings. There wasn't much else to do before this newfangled internet. So, you can imagine my delight when I started playing with Mario Paint. It not only lets you draw pictures with a wealth of impressive options; you can also do little animations, make your own music, and put it all together and impress your friends. Once, I did a school project by recording different Mario Paint animations on my VCR and dubbing some awesome music by The Chemical Brothers over it. Anyway, between drawing, animating, and composing, you can take a break and play a nifty fly swatting mini-game. How cool is that?
Arkanoid: Doh It Again
Wait, did Homer Simpson name this Arkanoid sequel? Strange subtitle aside, Doh It Again is a fantastic take on the classic Arkanoid / Breakout formula complete with nifty power-ups, tricky stage designs, and an array of pesky enemies. I found playing it with the mouse to feel much more authentic than with a controller and would even go so far to say that anyone who owns the SNES mouse should definitely have a copy of Arkanoid: Doh It Again as well. Taito knocks it out of the park yet again.
This puzzler may look familiar if you've ever played a Collapse! game but BreakThru! debuted first. What's with the exclamation points? Anyway, you basically click on tiles that have at least three matching colours attached in order to make that group of tiles disappear and the above tiles will then fall to fill the gaps. It's fairly mindless yet enjoyable. Fun fact: Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov's handsome mug is prominently displayed on BreakThru!'s cover but he didn't actually have anything to do with its development.
These last few titles are light gun games that can use the Super Scope. Considering modern televisions aren't compatible with most retro light guns, the fact that you can still enjoy these three games with the help of the SNES mouse is pretty convenient. Anyway, let's talk about Tin Star first. It's not the best light gun game and controlling it with the mouse is okay but I have great difficulty working out whether a click registered or not. Therefore, I played mostly by clicking rapidly which lowered my accuracy rating substantially. Overall, it's a worthwhile game with fantastic cartoon visuals and imaginative scenarios but it's certainly not going to provide hours of fun.
T2: The Arcade Game
Yes, the notoriously tedious and often ported T2: The Arcade Game is indeed compatible with the Super NES mouse. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed playing it with the mouse because it always registered my clicks and each one sends out a rapid succession of bullets. You can imagine how fun it is clicking away while watching evil terminators explode. Plus, controlling that little mouse is a lot less cumbersome than the massive Super Scope. Overall, it's monotonous, mindless, and fun... at least for a few minutes.
I'm sorry to say but not every Taito game is a gem. Operation Thunderbolt is a decent shooting gallery game but it's far too chaotic to be thoroughly enjoyable. Trying to drag the SNES mouse between constantly emerging enemies from either side of the screen ends up making it quite a frustrating mess but there's still fun to be had if you have the patience to adjust to the constantly intense action. In the end, Operation Thunderbolt is much more fun with the Super Scope so set up an old-school CRT TV and have a blast!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the six SNES mouse games that I currently own. Be sure to also check out the attached gameplay video playlist to watch me play a couple of these 16-bit gems with the SNES mouse. Finally, there are many more Super NES games that work with the mouse so leave a comment below and tell me about the compatible titles that you enjoy.