When we think of the Mario series, what do we think of? One of the last things that come into mind is the POW Block. It hasn’t appeared in Many games at all, and it isn’t the most prized or funnest item to use, but it plays a role in the series.
The POW block made its debut in Mario Bros, premeiring alongside Luigi, Freezie (of the Smash Bros Item fame), and Sidesteppers (crabs). It appeared in every version of the game, with the exception of the rare Game and Watch version. Being the only item in the game, its ability to knock over every enemie on screen simultaniously was coveted. Every three stages a new POW Block replaces the one onscreen.
It was not seen again in an original game until 1988, when it curiously appeared in Doki Doki Panic, the game in which the American version of Super Mario Brothers 2 was based off. The POW blocks in there were all on the ground and could only be used once to kill all enemies on screen.
It then had another absence until Yoshi’s Island where it could be won in a bonus game.
After appearing in several Super Mario Advance games, the POW block played a minor role in the Mario Bros court in Mario Power Tennis for the Gamecube. If you serve the ball at it, the POW block will flip over all of the classic Mario Bros enemies on your side of the court, freeing you from the pestilance of them.
Making its debut on the Wii, the POW block appears in Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Mario Bros stage, playing the same roll it did in the original game. Once the Shellcreepers and Sidesteppers are flipped over by it you can launch them at foes, causing an instant KO.
The POW block also appears in Mario Kart Wii as an item you can get from an item block. It affects every other player on the track by hitting them with a force that momentarily stops them in their tracks. It can be avoided by being in the air at the time of use.