Mario Teaches Typing was an edutainment video game released for computer only in 1992. Nintendo licensed the likeness of the main characters from the Mario Bros. franchise. The game was a contemporary to many grade school typing trainers such as PAWS Typing. The game displays the total test time and words per minute to the user in real time. A summary of the level is given, either graduating players to the next stage, or having them repeat the level due to poor performance.
This game featured a floating Mario head that would occasionally talk to you and either crack jokes or give his opinions on certain matters regarding typing at the main menu.
Several familiar Mario Bros. levels are present in Mario Teaches Typing. Three separate lesson styles cover three separate areas of the Mushroom Kingdom, including the opening level to the original Super Mario Bros., an underwater level, and Bowser’s Castle, complete with Thwomps.
The first beginner level is named "Mario's Smash and Dash". Turtles, which resemble classic Koopas, and brick blocks each have a symbol corresponding to a key on the keyboard which the player must correctly type. Mario then either jumps on the turtle or smashes the block, progressing to the next letter. Mario only moves when the correct key is pressed, otherwise he is left standing stationary, while the turtles and blocks creep towards his position. During this stage, failure does not cause the level to end, only requiring the stage to be repeated.
The underwater level is occupied with familiar looking squids and fish, while Mario keeps swimming while the player is typing. In this stage, the player must complete sequences of letters designed to train the hands to type in the proper position. Failure to keep up with the pacing of the level causes Mario to sink below the screen and lose a life.
The final stage, dubbed "Mario's Tunnel of Doom", features Bowser’s Castle, where Thwomps and pits pose threats to Mario. The player must type full sentences seen at the top of the screen, which relate to American history. Again, if the player is unable to keep up with the pace of the level, Mario loses a life and the stage must be reset.
An additional lesson, named Mario's Expert Express, displays a full screen page of text, with Mario’s face on the top of the page. Players must copy the text letter for letter, with the only visual feedback of progress being the facial expression of Mario. Mario gives a very large smile when players have a high words per minute with low errors. Conversely, Mario will frown at the player when many mistakes are made.
After each lesson is complete (excluding Mario's Expert Express), provided that the player reaches their goal WPM target, a cut scene plays building onto the usual story of the Mario Bros. rescuing the princess.
Unlike many Mario games at the time, Mario is not the only character players can select. They may also select from Luigi and Princess Toadstool as well.