Review: Super Mario Run – Quality, Repetitive Fun

Released mid-December Super Mario Run is the first Nintendo official release on iOS. Following the classic Mario story line the Princess must be rescued across several levels chasing Bowser along the way. Included is the Toad Rally where you run face to face with other players on who can collect the most coins and impress the Toads with different jumps. The coins you collecte can be used to design your own Mushroom Kingdom. Impressing the Toads cause them to join you unlocking more items to play around the castle. Super Mario run is featured for free as a trial then fully unlocked for $9.99.

Many reviews have complained about the cost of the game. I do understand. The AppStore has set the expectations that many apps should be cheap or even free. The model for in-app purchases is the leading model with Game of War, Clash of Clans, and Candy Crush being examples. Given you do not have technically to pay to play in those games it will come to a point where it becomes difficult to avoid advancing further without making a purchase. Nintendo made Super Mario Run a one time cost. That is it. No need to buy coins. No need to purchase tickets to continue to run in Toad Rally. Though, Toad Rally does require tickets to play they are easily obtained through various ways. In my playing I have never been without fifty plus tickets to run. I believe Nintendo did the right thing with one purchase to open the entire game. Adding the other in-app purchases would have cheapen the franchise causing other big name brands to follow along. If you want big names to focus on the mobile platform they will only follow the money.

Super Mario Run does break away slightly from traditional Mario play with one touch jumping and automatic running. No stopping the world’s most famous plumber on his epic quest in the literal right direction. The campaign features twenty-four levels where you collect featured coins in red, purple and black with advancing difficulty. To collect them you must perfect timing and identify their pattern of where they are positioned. It takes a number of play through to determine where the coins will be. Which my complaint with Super Mario Run, repetition kills the game after a matter of time. Things do not stray from the model. After two weeks of regular play I found myself not opening it up to play as often as I did before. If it was not placed on my main screen of my phone it may have been forgotten. Saying that does not make Super Mario Run a bad game at all. It is really well done. It is really worth the $9.99 also for Nintendo’s first iOS venture and several hours of play. Just keep in mind as ┬átime goes on replay value drops down significantly.

Super Mario Run is available now in the iOS AppStore for iPhone and iPad.