Super Mario Run (iOS)

MARIO_BOXSuper Mario Run is kind of a big deal because it’s the first time in a long while that Nintendo has made a game for another platform.  Sure they did Miitomo last year, but that was more of a social app and a scaled down version of Tomodatchi Life, and Pokemon GO was a joint venture.  But this is an actual true game starring Nintendo’s most beloved mascot.  It plays nearly like what you think it would, as a continuous runner starring Mario.  He constantly runs forward in typical Mario themed worlds, and you just tap the screen to make him jump over obstacles.  It’s available for iOS devices, but reviewed on iPad here, because I can’t imagine playing this game on a tiny cell phone screen.

So even though it plays like a regular Mario game except you can’t stop, there are a few differences.  Normal enemies like Goombas and Koopas would usually stop Mario in any other game.  But here, you can walk right into them and vault over them.  If you press the jump button while vaulting, you’ll do a special jump that can give you extra points in some of the game’s modes.  There are lots of other creative aspects here and there, like blocks that make you jump forward or backward, and vertically scrolling levels.  If you get hit and you are Small Mario, or fall into a pit or lava, you won’t lose a life, but you’ll be trapped in a bubble and sent back a bit.  But if you get hit three times you’ll have to start the level over again.

There are two main modes of play.  The first is the Tour Mode, the main part of the game.  Here you’ll travel through six worlds with four levels apiece to save Princess Peach from Bowser.  Pretty standard stuff.  The other mode in the game is Toad Rally.  Here you’ll compete with another player online to get the most coins in a level.  If you do fancy moves like the Vault Jump, Toads will cheer for you.  Whoever has the most coins and Toads at the end of a time limit, wins.  It’s kind of fun in a Donkey Kong Jungle Beat sort of way, but you have to have a Toad Ticket to play.  I never ran out of Toad Tickets, but you might if you play it a bunch.  You can earn Toad Tickets in many ways, though.

When you’re not playing either of those modes, you’ll view an overhead map of the Mushroom Kingdom.  Bowser has ransacked it, so you’ll have to rebuild it.  Use coins earned in the levels to buy items to place in your kingdom.  Sometimes you’ll need a certain number of Toads to buy items as well.  Some items are useful, like bonus game houses and Question Blocks that can give you goodies over time.  While the game is pretty short to beat, there is replay value to be had with collecting secret pink, purple, and even black coins scattered in the levels.  You can also unlock other characters to play as.  Mario can take two hits if he grabs a mushroom, but other characters can jump higher, like Luigi, or float like the Princess.

You can play the first three levels for free, but then you’ll have to pay ten bucks for the rest of the game.  That is a pretty steep price for a mobile game, but considering fast food cost about as much, I don’t think it’s THAT bad. However, even with some creative ideas and that famous Nintendo polish, Super Mario Run just ends up being OK.  Not great, but not bad either.  It just reuses assets from New Super Mario Bros. U anyway.  After I’m done writing this review, I’ll probably delete it from my iPad, and I haven’t even done that with Miitomo yet!


Kid Factor:

As a Mario game, Super Mario Run is very kid friendly.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger players and casual gamers may find some of the later levels very challenging, however.  Parental supervision is recommended for the one in-game purchase.  There aren’t any other in-game purchases right now as of this writing, but like other mobile games, they could possibly do that in future updates, so keep your eyes open for that.

One Response to “Super Mario Run (iOS)”

  1. Mario is SUPER!

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