Super Mario's Wacky Worlds emerged when NovaLogic was hoping to be hired by Nintendo. Phillips, who had been helping with the SNES-CD, was given the right develop Nintendo franchise games on the Phillips CD-i. It was suggested by a Nintendo sales executive that NovaLogic port simpler Super Nintendo games, this lead to the idea of "putting Super Mario World onto a CD-i disk".
Video game developers Silas Warner and John Brooks were the game's designers and worked 24 hours a day for two weeks on the project. They finished one level to show to Nintendo, who was very impressed with it. Due to poor CD-i sales, the game was cancelled.