At the time of typing this, Super Mario Run has been out a little over 24 hours and after being hands-on with the game for long enough, it’s time to review it!
Straight off the bat let’s address the two biggest questions, “Does it hold up as a Mario title, in that it captures the very essence that makes a Mario game?” and “Is the $9.99 US dollar price tag worth it?” Well to answer the first question, Yes it does! Just because Super Mario Run doesn’t haven’t Super Mario Bros in the title, it is without a doubt a true Super Mario Bros successor for mobile devices. It is fun, it is addictive, it will test you and it is fast. We’re talking Mario on drugs and not drugs as in, “Oh Mario’s doing Mushrooms again,” but Mario on actual drugs such as speed. Not only do you need your wits about you, but you’ll also want some speedy reactions if you hope to collect every last Pink, Purple and Black coins that are discoverable on each of the 24 levels. It also has that classic Mario charm and the sound effects and background noises are reminiscent of the Mario melodies we’ve had the pleasure of listening too when playing a Mario title on home console platforms. So yes, Super Mario Run is just as good a Super Mario Bros title.
But what of price tag? Is the one-time payment actually worth purchasing? Why yes it is. Firstly by not purchasing the added content, which is essentially the entire game, all you’re getting to play is a demo meant to wet your appetite. Sure it’s a demo that allows you to see how the game plays and works, but honestly it doesn’t show you that much. It doesn’t show you the true variety of enemies you can encounter on the various levels. It doesn’t show you the true intricacy the levels possess and the challenges they offer the player. So going by that, yes buying the full game is worth it, especially since it does give you full access to the game.
Sure you can finish the game in a matter of hours, beating every level in all 6 worlds at least once, but there is still a long way to go if you actually wish to complete the game. After all. each level can be played 3 times, offering a difference experience, but in order to have the pleasure of that experience, first you will need to beat the level and collect all 5 Pink Coins in a single run. Doing so unlocks a slightly altered version of that level which is playable and if you collect all 5 Purple Coins on the revised level, you can then play another revised version that has 5 Black Coins for you to collect. Also purchasing the update actually enables you the chance to play through the game and unlock Princess Peach as a playable character for beating the World Tour. It also lets you go on to earn more Toad Rally tickets that can be used for Toad Rally, which you can collect a whole bunch of different Toads from, which go a long way to rebuilding the Mushroom Kingdom and unlocking plenty more additional playable characters. So yeah the price tag is more than worth it because Super Mario Run is a Mario game worth buying! Plus there are boss battles and the final boss battle against Bowser on the final level is a lot of fun!
And since I’ve answered the two big questions, let’s throw a bonus one in. “iPad or iPhone?” Right now they are the only platforms Super Mario Run is available on with the size difference between the two, they each come with their own pros and cons. iPhone seems to offer a smoother and faster experience, but when running through the levels, it’s easy to miss a Pink Coin or two and trying to place buildings and move decorations can be a bit fiddly when enjoying the Kingdom Builder mode. The iPad however excels at Kingdom Builder, as both versions (regular iPads and iPad Minis), but can be a bit glitchy when playing through World Tour, but at least you can see what is going on around you as Mario and friends do their little parkour act. Going by my own experience with playing the game on each device, I find it to be a fair experience on either platform and although playing one-handed is fun, I do prefer playing it on an iPad but do advise readers to play the game on whatever platform they feel suits them best. Just because one way works fine for me, it doesn’t mean it does for everyone else.
One thing I do feel is a bit of a let-down as regards to Super Mario Run, is its lack of a proper multiplayer. Sure you can play against the shadow of another player during Toad Rally, but that’s not the Mario way of multiplayer. The Mario way is being able to play together at the same time, which as a mobile game/application, is fairly impossible. Thankfully though all is not lost because there is a way to make Super Mario Run a true multiplayer title and that is by getting together with a friend and taking it in turns to play the game, sure you could say it’s a little impractical, but it’s not all that different to the old days of Mario multiplayer, when you would have to wait for Player 1 or 2 to kick the bucket, before you can have your turn.
Something else that goes in its favour, is the inclusion of My Nintendo. Just like with Miitomo, players can link their game to their MyNintendo account so they can partake in regular weekly, daily and even one-off missions that reward various amounts of Platinum Points, Points that can then be redeemed to purchase items for Super Mario Run and redeem a playable character (Toad), so if you have to think about it, it really is a win-win situation. Just a shame Android users can’t get to play it. But one thing I do hate about the game is the fact that like Pokémon GO and Miitomo, Super Mario Run requires a constant internet connection. I can understand the need for having it, but there are some places in the world that has terrible internet connections, especially my part of Spain. If the connection fails on you, especially during Toad Rally, you’re screwed if it won’t reconnect or sort itself out, because otherwise you’ll be forced to quit and have to start the level all over again, or if you were playing Toad Rally, find out you have lost a bunch of your Toads.
Now I could say more about Super Mario Run, but I really don’t think I need to, because I have said enough and the game does a great job of speaking for itself as well, provided you play it. But it is fun. It is challenging. It has plenty of content and game modes to keep us playing for quite some time and it is Mario. Should Nintendo update the game further down the line, adding to it like they add to Miitomo, that would be great, (especially if it’s free content to everyone who purchases), but it is not a necessity. Once players have paid the case, Super Mario Run doesn’t just play like a full game, it fills like one too and that is why I score it an 8/10!
THE VERDICT: 8/10
This post was written by Solid Jack