Considering the fact that the Super Mario series started out as a precision platformer, it seems mad to think that this formula could translate into a mobile app with only a single input. As such we picked up the game with few expectations and a healthy dose of scepticism, but thankfully our fears were allayed.
Super Mario Run has somehow managed to distill everything that makes a Mario game a Mario game, and present it in a manner that requires little physical input but a bucketload of mental input. Unlike the myriad endless runner games available on mobile devices, Super Mario Run has a beginning, middle, and end to all of its stages, and they are crafted with various scenarios in mind from start to finish.
Exploration takes somewhat of a backseat in favour of faster, more consistent movement (which is hardly surprising given that Mario runs incessantly for the most part) but occasionally taking a more treacherous path can reward you with a special coloured coin. These include the easy pink coins, the tougher-to-collect purple coins, and the extremely challenging black coins, which force you to totally rethink how you approach each stage. Not only do these add a significant challenge, but a very welcome dollop of longevity which can be make or break in the mobile market.
As you run along with Mario you'll have the usual suspects thrown at you - Koopa Troopers, Goombas, Buzzy Beetles, Bowser, the whole gang's here. There are also some entirely new elements tailored around the simplified input, most notable of which are blocks that cause Mario to stand still when he touches them. It seems trivial, but given that there are several opportunities in most levels to reach new locations with a few well-timed taps, it can be good to take a breather once in a while and fully absorb what lays ahead of you. These blocks also pause the timer, meaning that just hanging around isn't going to infer any kind of penalty, though you can still jump over them if you don't wish to slow down.
Further adding to the content lineup are the Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder features. The latter has provided quite a bit of confusion amongst our readers, but we've got the basic gist of how it all works. You have your own kingdom that begins as a drab and battered shack, and slowly as you amass coins and Toads (more on these guys in a bit) your kingdom will expand by itself and through your own actions.
You can choose to place various buildings and features that allow you to unlock new content such as a bonus mini game that can be played once every set number of hours, allowing you to get more coins and tokens to be used in the Toad Rally mode. You can also expand your kingdom over several 'pages', meaning you're not restricted to a mediocre number of tiles. Moreover this feature allows you to unlock additional characters such as Luigi and Yoshi, whom you can choose to replace Mario when playing through stages, each with their own unique traits such as Yoshi's flutter jump.
Toad Rally on the other hand is much more like the main game, wherein you use tokens to participate in a race of showmanship against another player's ghost in semi-randomly generated levels. Performing stylish jumps, tricks and enemy stomps will grant you coins and Toads to cheer you on, and the player with the most coins and Toads in total is victorious. If you win you get the Toads cheering you on as well as the ones that showed up to support the opponent, being the fickle creatures that they are.
Toads in your Kingdom allow you to further expand and build the items that fill it. Toads of varying colours are required for each construction, and if you don't have the required number of Toads of the required colours, you're not getting that stylish new object you've been pining for. It's a clever way to keep you coming back to the app and the new mechanics it opens up gives more 'hardcore' players reason to do so beyond a shiny trinket with no function.
Super Mario Run is shaping up to be something we didn't really think was going to work, a fully-fledged Mario game that is fun on mobile devices. And yes, we're aware that there are methods to install classic titles on smart devices to be controlled with virtual buttons, but anyone who has tried to use these will tell you that on the whole they just don't work. Nintendo has decided to adapt things to fit the machine they're on, and it's all the better for it. We're really excited to see how all this goes down.
Super Mario Run is out on iOS on 15th Dec priced $9.99 / €9.99 / £7.99.
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@DiscoGentleman Almost enough to make me switch to an Iphone but eventually it will come to Android just very annoying the amount of games that come first or are exclusive to Iphone
Now the wait for an Android version.
Whyyyyyy is this not on Android yet?
I'm curious, aye.
Strange the iPhone gets so many games first. Apple, the company that withholds information until right before launch & deliberately understocks... Appledoomed????
Joking aside, this looks great. I will also check it out when it launches for Android.
@DanteSolablood Is it bad that Nintendo is heading down the same road?
You probably already know this, but Reggie showed of the Switch along side Super Mario Run at the Tonight Show.
@DanteSolablood Easier to code for one software version, than multiple versions of android as it is so fragmented, unlike apple's os
Just Underestimated Mario's Popularity MAN... 😅
@Nin10doh Lol, I know. I was just making a cheap point about the Switch. I'm not an iPhone hater at all. Samsung however...
Guys, just upload the Jimmy video, we got the Switch in action and I'm freaking sold. It look AMAZING.
Seriously though, this game looks pretty good. The level design looks so open for a runner game!
And Ninjis are back in a sidescroller, so that's pretty good.
Also, that Switch gameplay... I need it now!!!
@Kmno Watching it now, they were playing Breath of the Wild on a giant screen & you couldn't see a single jaggy. Looked great!
Jimmy Fallon for those who missed it — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TJ7IUNWGl4
@DanteSolablood I wasn't concerned on the big screen, I knew the game would have at least Wii U level of graphics. But when it got undocked? Smooth as butter. Hell this thing could bomb and I wouldn't give a damn, I'm team Switch all the way.
@Kmno Ugh "Wii U level graphics", the Switch is at least twice as powerful as the Wii U without trying. I've seen handhelds with less power pull benchmarks twice the Wii U's.
But yes, undocked it was really smooth & that's really hard to capture on camera. It should look much better in person.
Omg the switch though
Was reading YouTube comments, a few people were saying it had a low frame rate when undocked... 100 times more were shocked at how high the frame rate was when undocked. Some people REALLY try their hardest to be negative and don't let visable proof get in their way.
A post down from someone saying the frame rate was low... was another person saying the frame rate was SO high the battery would last 30 minutes top. Get your trolling coordinated!
@DanteSolablood The first YouTube comment:
"The "console" is a tablet that can connect to a TV... its weaker than even a Wii U in power. It looks cool, but its not going to have Pokemon games or other huge 3DS franchises on it.. so that will not make mobile players too happy. And the "console" games like the new zelda will not look as good on it as they will look on Wii U, so that will not keep console players happy. Who is this for then? Kids that grew up playing tablets and phones I guess..."
... I don't even know what to say to this...
@Mega_Yarn_Poochy Your first problem was looking at the YouTube comment section
@Mega_Yarn_Poochy Exactly! It's mirrored on Nintendo Life to a certain degree. Might have to snap the next person to say "at least as powerful as the Wii U" in half.
I hope Nintendo read some of those comments & prepare to shut all these people up for good about this in January.
Can't say I didn't see it coming.
Hmm, is it just me or has this comment section been taken over by Switch news?
@DanteSolablood Well the folks up top are refusing to make an article on it, so we have to release our hype (or pessimism) somewhere!
@Mega_Yarn_Poochy It's better for your sake as well as mine to avoid comments on YouTube like the black plague. Just remember to keep your expectations in check about the Switch, too, so you can keep a cool head!
@DanteSolablood As much as Super Mario Run looks good, I despise phone games. I'll take Switch news and footage over any mobile game (barring Snake) anyday.
Switch was shown on Jimmy Fallen, but the boys are most likely asleep...
@yuwarite @AlexOlney - Hilarious that the guys are asleep! Should know better - IT'S NINTENDO AND THEY NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE US!
This actually looks well made. I'm surprised.
@biscuitsandtea I wasn't complaining! And you're right, it's best not to get too hyped but it does seem some people's expectations were so low that their minds have been blown already & I don't think the Switch was being pushed.
@DanteSolablood apple iOS - is much easier to develop for as it has a constant ecosystem - Android phones and tablets vary quite a bit and therefore take longer to develop for. .
@cfgk24 To quote someone earlier... "Easier to code for one software version, than multiple versions of android as it is so fragmented, unlike apple's os" And again I reply "cheap joke about the Switch".
I expect many more comments from people not reading previous comments.
Because I can't sustain my hype any longer...
UBS TYPE-C CONFIRMED!
ANALOGUE TRIGGERS POSSIBLY CONFIRMED!
GAMECUBE VC POSSIBLE THEN?
...Sorry, just had to vent out that hype.
Why is Mario so hurry ?
Oh, I know.
He wants to go to....
@Mega_Yarn_Poochy Anyone got an "enhance" button? Wouldn't mind reading the text on the back. I can also confirm from the same frame... CE Mark!! It's child friendly!!
@DanteSolablood ¯\(ツ)/¯ Sorry, I can only enhance pictures of unannounced Pokémon leaked on PTCG boxes.
@DanteSolablood hey, Nintendo could sell us a Wii U 1.5, you can't blame people for doubting this thing power after two underperforming (in terms of specs) generations.
Still even if this thing is not as powerful as the Ps4 or One, the fact that it is an hybrid that will fullfill the Vita failed promises is what will make it sell like recently baked hot cakes.
CE Mark ?
So the kids will be on next trailer of Switch...
@Kmno Lol, I can & will. Nvidia confirmed a good while ago they were making a custom Tegra chip & the almost 2 year old X1 is more powerful than the Wii U easily.
@Anti-Matter The CE Mark means it's already been certified for sale in Europe, so we know two things... it won't explode and Nintendo DO indeed plan on selling it in Europe.
And because I obviously haven't posted in this section enough already, I'll leave behind this Super Mario Run trailer.
@AlexOlney It's Koopa Troopas not troopers.
I like how this article explains everything. Game seems a bit more in depth than I expected.
Ooh...now it's Luigi Run, Toad Run.
Gosh... looks adorable the Build Kingdom.
Toad is a my Nintendo reward. Yes I'll get him before my coins expire.
I'm just curious, can you actually get killed by the goombas? I'm not sure if the player is quick tapping to vault them or if you just automatically scale over them?
Also what happens if you die?
Very cool, but none of this means much to me until we get an Android release date.
This looks pretty fun. I'll be sure to try it, and unlock Luigi as quickly as possible. XD
Looks really interesting! Looks so odd to see Mario rolling on landings and vaulting over objects though. It's like Super Mario Parkour.
It seems NintendoLife and other gaming blogs/youtubers had been sitting on this info for a while. This article and several videos suddenly appeared after the Tonight Show. Such a nice surprise! It seems Nintendo has gotten better with handling marketing. Now Super Mario Run and the Switch have taken over my brain, so much for productivity today
Apparently you can also unlock Toad as a MyNintendo reward
Super Mario Run was always going to get a premium in-app purchase on my iPhone, and I thought the extra care to make it interesting was pretty apparent from the early videos. Didn't take much imagination. However, it still impresses me as I see the new details. This is going to be a fun and legitimate entry into Mario games for any Mario fan. It fits on the smartphone screen but it is staying true to Super Mario games at the same time. Great move by Nintendo.
On another note, some of the Rayman games for smartphones do a lot of what this game is doing if you can't wait a week or have an Android phone. If you like Rayman you should check them out. (I think the latest one had timers and junk, so go for the earlier premium ones if you can.)
Looks so great on that giant iPad screen, too! I'm definitely going to do that at least once.
My iTunes voucher is already purchased and sat on the coffee table ready to buy this next week. I expect this to be similar to New Super Luigi U, short snappy levels and a great sense of satisfaction timing jumps perfectly.
I'm very excited to play it!
Have they confirmed they are working on an Android version or did they say they were considering it? I know they mentioned an Android release, but I don't remember exactly what they said.
I'll get it as soon as it comes to Android. Nice to do something in the subway other than listening to music!
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