Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 was a Game Boy Advance enhanced port of the NES game Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario Advance 4 was released in 2003, with several enhancements--mostly graphical. The gameplay of the NES version is retained, with minimal to no changes. Super Mario Advance 4 was well-received among critics, who praised the game's classic gameplay and updated graphics.
Super Mario Advance 4 also contained e-Reader card support. One Game Boy Advance System with an e-Reader device and one GameBoy Advance System with Super Mario Advance 4 would be linked up together so a player could transfer items or game videos from Super Mario Advance 4 trading cards that are scanned with the e-Reader. In addition, the e-Reader cards could unlock new levels or items.
World-e (bonus levels akin to Star Road-style stages unlocked via the e-Reader cards) had 30 levels, 20 of which were only released in Japan. This new Super Mario Bros. 3 world had 3 minigames that could be unlocked by collecting Advance coins, available only in the World-e levels. However, because of the e-Reader's limited production run, only Japanese players could collect enough Advance coins to play all 3 minigames.
Notably, all Wii U Virtual Console releases of Super Mario Bros. 3: Super Mario Advance 4 include the entirety of the e-Reader levels.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 retains the original game's gameplay. The game is a 2D side-scrolling platformer, where the player controls either Mario or Luigi as they guide him through the level. The goal of the game is to get to the end of each level (eight of which are in one world). After completing a level, the player can move on to the next level, and at the end of the world, the player has to fight one of Bowser's Koopalings. Along the way, however, there are many other baddies to contend with; Koopas and Goombas to name a few.
To help him on his quest, Mario has a variety of power-ups (many of which were introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3). With series' regulars like the Super Mushroom (grows Mario in size), Fire Flower (gives Mario the ability to throw fireballs), and Starman (grants Mario temporary invincibility), there are other power-ups such as the Super Leaf (gives Mario the ability to fly), Tanooki Suit (gives Mario the ability to fly and the ability to turn into a statue), Frog Suit (Mario is much faster at swimming underwater), Hammer Suit (Mario can throw hammers, much like a Hammer Bros.), and Kuribo's Shoe (Mario can jump around in a large shoe--even jumping on spikes--crushing those who stand in his way).
Also included on the cartridge is a remake of the arcade and NES classic Mario Bros. It does have multiplayer support for up to four players (although all four have to have a separate cartridge).