On Thursday, December 15, Nintendo dropped its first fully-featured iOS game, Super Mario Run, to the Apple App Store. Like the AirPods, which also required a wait, Super Mario Run was announced by Nintendo’s lead video game designer, Sigeru Miyamoto, in September. Historically, Nintendo was very open about releasing games solely for its own hardware platforms. However, in a recent interview, Miyamoto claimed smartphone computing power reached a level comfortable for development.
The latest Mario platformer fits the “endless runner” category, but with a few Nintendo twists. Bringing the Mario environment to iOS will excite nostalgia and new gamers, alike.
Super Mario Run
In anticipation of the release, Nintendo went on a marketing offensive, releasing a full two-minute live action commercial, as seen above. With help from the Apple partnership, the app is also coated across the major App Store navigation blocks on all iOS devices. With two of the world’s largest brands combining their powers, expect to see all Mario all the time, at least for the holiday season.
Nintendo also launched two additional videos, simply about gameplay. Above, is a two minute introduction to the app. Below, is a gameplay demonstration and walk through.
In typical Mario fashion, everyone’s favorite plumber teams up with Luigi, Princess, and Toad to crush Koopas, Boos, and Goombas. The endless runner, has Mario constantly progressing through the level, but smashing bricks, popping “?” blocks, and stomping directional tiles. You will also find familiar Mushroom and Star power ups while running through each level.
The objective is twofold. To complete the level, simply navigate Mario from one side of the map to the other, without getting attacked or falling into oblivion. Additionally, each level has three series of five special coins. Collect all five special coins in a single run to unlock the second series, and repeat for series three. Each time you collect the five special coins, the level you are on mutates slightly, becoming more difficult each time. Consequently, the 24 individual levels (across six worlds), really totals 72 levels, with slight variations. To truly get a feel for Super Mario Run, the two videos highlight true gameplay.
The game is being met with mostly positive reviews, if social media is to be a litmus test of globalized interest. Certainly, some are looking for a more familiar experience, complete with a controller. But, the goal was to create an engaging game with only the need for a simple tap for interaction. We can say, it is quite difficult to put down our phones!
The game is a free-to-try app, or “freemium,” option. This means, downloading the app is free to the user and the first four levels are playable and fully featured. However, to progress through all levels, a $9.99 in-app-purchase must be completed.