This unreal Mario game is giving me nightmares

Mario made in Unreal Engine 5
(Image credit: FunkyzeitG)

We've had a lot of Mario fan games and famous games remade in Unreal Engine 5, but not all of them have met with the same caustic response as this new Mario fan-game from Funkyzeit Games. Be warned, the 'internet' hates it.

Unreal Engine 5 is the latest high-end tech from Epic and is being used to make some truly lifelike games, and will absolutely be the game engine most developers will opt for when levelling up their characters on PS5. But should it be used to make a Mario game? Maybe not.

The hyper-realism generated by Unreal Engine 5 means many games made in the graphics engine look very real, often dark and cast in lifelike lighting and shadows. It's everything a Mario game shouldn't be. In fact Funkyzeit Games' Super Mario RTX UE5 demo looks more like the Mario movie starring Bob Hoskins from the '90s than the colourful chaos we all love Nintendo's mascot for.

The game demo, which is completely non-commercial, shows a highly detailed, dark 'Bizarro' Mario jumping on blocks before launching fiery shots at Goombas and turning them to roasted balls of goo. It's shadowy, spooky and, well… the opposite of everything Mario should be - it's Bizarro. Take a look for yourself in the video below. 

It actually looks more Crash Bandicoot than Super Mario Bros. and has resulted in many on Twitter being not too nice about Funkyzeit Games' take on the famous Italian platforming plumber. Below are just some of the hot takes.

@skerpentine wrote: "This level design looks more like the opening level of Rayman 2 than Super Mario lmao." While @GAMEandRODO64 added: "This is literally the worst Super Mario fan-game I've ever seen." @GabaghoulComics was more succinct, writing: "Looks absolutely abysmal".

A shot of Mario throwing a fire bolt

Mario throws a lifelike fireball in this Unreal Engine 5 fan-made game (Image credit: Funkyzeit Games)

This isn't the first time a fan has taken the time to interpret a famous video game character in a new light, and they've not always been disliked as much as this new dark Mario. A recent nostalgic Pokémon Arceus design hit all the right notes for many gamers, for example. 

Unreal Engine 5 is free to use right now, but you need to pay if you're making a commercial game. Take a look at these fantastic tools for making your own video game. We also gave a buying guide to the best laptops for game development if you're getting seriously into making your own games.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.