Shobon no Action

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Shobon no Action
Title screen
SeriesMario (unofficial)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS
ReleaseOriginal: February 2007,[1] Chinese Bootleg: 2012-2013

Shobon no Action,[a][b] also known as Cat Mario, is a Japanese freeware platform game released in February 2007. Its levels are known to cause extreme rage due to innocuous-looking objects that suddenly kill the character.[2][3] Though the game is a parody of Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, it adds elements from other Mario games such as Super Mario World.


The player controls a white kitten-like character who must venture through side-scrolling platform levels similar to Super Mario Bros. The game consists of four levels (six in the online version, eighteen on Android and iOS versions) riddled with traps designed to trick the player, and abuse their previous knowledge of Super Mario Bros. gameplay, including normal-looking ground tiles that fall away into pits, blocks that sprout spikes when touched, a coin block at the start of a level that goes up when the players try to hit it, enemies that spawn nearly on top of the character, deadly background scenery, coin blocks rigged at the edge of a pit to cause the character to fall down, warp pipes flying, and a Mario-style flagpole that kills the character in two different ways, either by falling over or shooting a laser towards the player character. Despite the surprise factor of these traps, the levels do not change between plays, allowing the player to memorize their locations and patterns and eventually make progress. Some designers have commented on how the game requires the player to think logically through trial-and-error in order to complete the game at defeating the main antagonist called Onion King. The player has infinite lives.[3]


Shobon no Action was released as freeware for Windows in February 2007. The game was designed by independent Japanese game developer "Chiku", and was inspired by The Big Adventure of Owata, a similar game released through the Japanese 2channel message board a year prior. Chiku chose to make his game a spoof of Super Mario Bros. due to its massive recognition and popularity. The first stage was completed in three days and presented at a cultural festival hosted at his college campus, becoming the most popular work presented. A video showcasing the demo was uploaded to his Niconico account a few days later and garnered over 1000 views shortly after, which prompted Chiku to make the demo a full game. Three new stages were produced within the span of two weeks.[1] The music of the game consists mainly of covers of songs created for other video games such as Action 52, Spelunker, Ghosts 'n Goblins and Puyo Puyo.[4]


Shobon no Action was generally received positively, though the reviews note the intense and often frustrating difficulty of the game.[3][5][6][7] It was recognized as a game that "systematically disrupts every convention of 2D platform gameplay",[2] and that success in the game often relies on both trial-and-error-like strategies and the player's ability to use counterintuitive strategies to avoid obstacles.[3] Open Syobon Action was downloaded alone via over 150,000 times between 2010 and 2020.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japanese: しょぼんのアクション, Hepburn: Shobon no Akushon
  2. ^ The game is known in Japan as Shobon no Action, but English-language sources misinterpret the title as Syobon Action due to the Nihon-shiki romanization system, and Chiki's GeoCities blog referring to the game as "syobon_action_description" in the URL.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chiku (13 July 2010). "しょぼんのアクションについてのどーでもいい話". GeoCities. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b Bogost, Ian. "Persuasive Games: Video Game Pranks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Patton, Ryan (2010). "Obstructing the view: An argument for the use of obstructions in art education pedagogy". The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education. 30: 49–59. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13.
  4. ^ "Syobon Action (Cat Mario)". Know Your Meme. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  5. ^ Rasmussen, Povl. "Er det her verdens dårligste spil?" (in Danish). PC World Denmark. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  6. ^ Dave. "Syobon Action: un jeu hardcore de Mario Bros pour la Wii!" (in French). Amériquébec. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Game Reviews | Free Games | Independent Games | Game Culture". Play This Thing!. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  8. ^ stats 2000-05-16+to+2020-12-31 on (July 2021)