The 15th December 2016, the day when Mario and friends hit the iOS app store with Super Mario Run! The first Super Mario game to hit any other gaming platform other than Nintendo. You can imagine the hype around such a game, with the app store advertising its release months before the release date. I got a notification saying it was available to play, so that’s exactly what I did!
Super Mario Run is a simple, single button, push play type of game, which has been ever so successful in the past, Flappy Bird comes to mind! Mario runs through a variety of levels, automatically I should add, and you have to jump over objects, avoid falling to your death, kill monsters and collect as many coins as you can, before hitting the flag at the end of the level and completing it. Oh and you also need to do it within a time limit, otherwise you lose! Sounds simple right? Think again!
So you don’t have to direct Mario left and right, like you would in the old school games but other than that, the game very much resembles the core elements that make a Super Mario game. We have the same types of levels, with the same scenery, same monsters to attack and of course, the golden ‘?’ box that we all hope has a star or mushroom in it! The music is the same, the level of difficulty and puzzle solving is the same, and of course, Bowser is there to ruin the day!
There are currently two game modes to play, Tour and Rally. Tour is the traditional game, offering six different worlds, with four levels in each, one of which being a ‘boss’ type level. Jump over gaps, jump on turtles, collect as many coins as possible in the allotted time and complete the level. There are also five special coins, varying in colour (not gold though) and are the more difficult coins to collect. This is a side mission of sorts, with the aim of collecting them all.
Rally is something new and see’s you going head to head with other players around the world, to compete for different coloured Toads! The aim of Rally, is to collect as many coins as you can, in the given time and hope you get more than your opponent. If you do, you will gain a number of different coloured Toads and they eventually unlock prizes. You can play against friends and compare your scores on a leaderboard.
There is also a kingdom which acts as your home screen. You can build things unlocked via the rally or by levelling up and when you get to the higher levels or get enough resources, you can unlock the other characters! You can unlock Luigi, Yoshi and Toadette, with more to follow I hope.
The gameplay is smooth, it’s graphically beautiful and it’s very fun to play. Is there enough to keep people amused though…is having 24 levels enough? You can only play vertically right now, will we see a horizontal version?
The game is only available on iOS at the moment and I imagine it will stay that way for some time. The game is free to play but only offers three tour levels as a taster, which can be completed quite easily. It will set you back £7.99 to get full access to the complete game. Love Mario? Then you need to play this game and chances are, you will realise that £7.99 was worth it!