After months of anticipation, Super Mario Run is available on iOS devices. In some ways, it’s a wonderful way to digest chunks of Mario game play on the go, but there are glaring issues that may deter players from playing.
Super Mario Run’s gameplay is very simplistic in design. Mario or whatever character you manage to unlock will automatically run from right to left and automatically jump over obstacles. The gamer however can choose to jump to do the needed things crucial to a Mario game, which is gathering coins and stomping enemies. However, certain coins and areas can be accessed if you time double and triple jumps accordingly and there is even a pause block in which allows players to stop and choose which way they want to jump. There are six different worlds, each consisting of three levels plus a boss level.
The level designs so far are simplistic and fun and of course, players can always go back and replay them at anytime. Also, there is a rally mode in which you are tasked with gathering coins, doing stylish moves and getting toads to appear to get you to the next level. As you gather toads you can add more buildings to your kingdom that will allow for other bonuses for you to get. Also, depending on what buildings you unlock, you can get new characters to play with.
In essence Super Mario Run is three connected games: World Tour, Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder.
Graphically speaking, the game is a beauty on iOS as only a Mario game could be. The colors pop and 2D graphics are a perfect fit for iPhones. I have yet to try this on the iPad but it feels better played on the iPhone so far.
As far as in app purchases, you have to pay for everything beyond world one to access them. You can either play the rally mode or any other mode that lets you gather the needed tickets to open the levels or pay 10 dollars to open up everything at once. It really looks like Nintendo is making this app a try before you buy thing as I see a lot of people probably being eager enough to cough up 10 dollars to just jump in.
The one huge drawback to the entire experience is that this game requires a constant online connection. I learned that the hard way yesterday. I played for a while at a café when I had a full connection, and didn’t think much of it. On my Metro commute home, I decided that this was the perfect time to give it another go and alas, was told that I needed an internet connection to play. This game would play so well offline and I don’t understand what’s required that players would need a constant online connection to play. This reminds me of one of the reasons why I don’t like playing Hearthstone in that I am required to constantly be connected to play. If it’s all the same, then Mario players may as well just stick to the DS experience and be able to play anywhere at anytime. There is a bit of a workaround if you want to go through the hassle of doing it.
To conclude, this game is great for having the mobile experience of playing a beloved classic Nintendo franchise. The controls are simplistic and the graphics are great. The IAP hurdle and the always needed mobile connection is a deterrent that will keep people from fully enjoying this game. To be honest, if it didn’t have the always on connection requirement, this could have been the next Pokemon Go.
2 Koopa Troopers out of 5