Arts and Entertainment

Super Mario Run: an app review

The official cover poster for Super Mario Run. (Forbes/Nintendo)

The official cover poster for Super Mario Run. (Forbes/Nintendo)

Contributing Writer

From Nintendo, the Japanese gaming giant, comes the mobile app Super Mario Run. As soon as this nostalgic game was released on December 15, 2016, it was an instant hit on Apple gadgets, coming out on top of the App Store charts and set a new record of 40 million downloads in just four days. Instead of the expected microtransactions for each level, the game takes a unique approach by allowing customers the first three levels for free, but then requires a fee of $9.99 for the rest of the game. The game is currently only available for iOS devices and Nintendo has announced that the game will arrive to Android devices in March.

The game incorporates the classical theme of Mario, the mustached plumber, saving Princess Peach and her kingdom from the clutches of the evil monster Bowser and his minions through 24 levels. In addition to the classic theme, the game has included the opportunity for players to customize and build their own personal worlds along with competing Toad Rallies, which are competitions between users to accumulate Toads by winning them over with stunts and tricks.

Major criticism generated as most fans did not realize that there was a fee to unlock the rest of the game soon after the release and argued that the cost of $9.99 was too steep for a mobile game, preferring to spend their money on PC games or buy two games for the price. Also when the fee is paid, the amount of gameplay seems to to be unworthy of the price. Along with the price issue, there was the constant need for an Internet connection, which does not make much sense as there is virtually no online play as players are either going through campaign mode or constantly building up their world. Lastly, a spokesperson of Nintendo announced that there would be no more downloadable content with new levels or any new features added on, stating that after the players have paid the fee of $9.99, that is all they will get.

Despite numerous complaints, Super Mario Run set a new record for most amount of downloads and had a massive amount of fans cracking open their wallet to unlock the full game, I being one of them. About a week after the release, the game had a whopping 50 million downloads. The gameplay is still amazing and simple at the same time and packs all the nostalgia of the old Mario games. The game has plenty of content, with three kinds of coins that can be collected for each level and Toad Rallies along with the constant need to advance the player’s own world. Finally, the game delivers well on its promise of Super Mario Run being a game that can be played one-handed.

As I had bought the game, I tried it out for myself. The game was clean and simple, just what I expected it to be. Nintendo had managed to bring in the same Mario experience onto mobile which was amazing. Although I had unlocked the full game, the amount of story mode content was much less than I had expected even with the added challenge of trying to get all three types of coins. The one thing I particularly enjoyed was the new addition of Toad Rallies, which was a completely fresh idea. I have logged about five hours into this game so far, and I enjoy it thoroughly despite setbacks of price and requirement for constant Wifi or data services.

Super Mario Run currently has a rating of  ⅗ stars on the App Store and a 8/10 on IGN.

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