Today marks the first time Nintendo has brought one of their games to a mobile platform. The platform they chose is Apple which makes sense considering Apple is one of if not the largest mobile platforms there is at the time. I was excited to see the game was free to download since I was expecting a small price tag.
At Apple’s event in September, Shigeru Miyamotocame came on stage to announce Super Mario Run; a rails runner–I guess it could be defined–where Mario automatically runs and collects coins, pops enemies, and yeah that’s a about it. Well the plot does involve saving Peach as usual. You navigate through each world running through obstacles and try to collect five purple coins (and two other colors later on) in addition to the yellow coins.
The game looks gorgeous, though anyone who has played a 3D Mario game will find the 2D backgrounds plain or unexciting, and depth missing from the world disappointing.
Each level is fairly easy to get through which is a departure from its original counterpart Super Mario Bros. 3 where beginning levels can be fairly challenging. For instance in Super Mario Bros. 3 the world side-scrolls while you jump from toad stool to floating platforms that drop out from under you and if you don’t move fast enough then you’ll be pushed off the map by the scrolling screen. Oh and you’re feet are really slippery ramping up the difficulty level.
This rendition of the game is much easier except I believe the time limit for each level is shorter than Super Mario Bros. 3. The gameplay mechanics take a while getting used to but they somewhat make sense considering a mobile game is designed to be played quickly. I did find myself becoming frustrated that I couldn’t go back to collect more coins or bonus items. The reason the player cannot go back is because Nintendo is encouraging replayability since their game is short in comparison to other Mario games. Plus a lot of the cool Mario costume upgrades were missing; and really just the joy of controlling Mario myself and the challenge of defeating enemies and avoiding obstacles which the game automatically does for you. I have a feeling that the levels get increasingly difficult but for the price and amount of levels provided it’s just not worth it. Plus I’m not a big fan of “rail style” gaming; I feel cheated somehow with that gameplay setup which is mostly found in 50 cent arcades.
I was about to play the castle of the first world when I was greeted with a screen that said the rest of the castle boss battle and remaining five worlds cost $9.99. With tax in my state that comes to $10.74 for 21 more levels or $1.96 a level. No thank you. It is disappointing Nintendo isn’t letting players at least try their hand at the first boss battle. I have a couple Mario games (some I haven’t completed) that could provide me with hundreds of hours of entertainment for a mere fraction of that price. Pick up Super Mario 64 for DS for $5.99 used on eBay right now and you’ll get over 120 in-depth levels which comes to around $0.05 a level. Nintendo should have been honest with users and told them the price up front instead of deceiving us by downloading it for free, having three free levels, and then cutting us off with a $9.99 price tag. They’re clearly hoping you’ll enjoy the first three levels so much you’ll shell out over $10 for a couple more levels. Rayman Jungle Run–which will be compared to the new Mario game–is at least honest with it’s $2.99 price tag (and more reasonably priced) and Rayman Adventures is free but does have in-app purchases.
I suggest if you have a Wii, DS, GameCube or other Nintendo console that you pick up a used copy of Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Bros. 3, or Super Mario Sunshine. Some may be cheaper than others but they’re much more worth the price than this overpriced mobile game. Heck, if you want to stick with your mobile then download any of the Temple Run games. The second one has a holiday update. They’re both free and provide far more entertainment than Super Mario Run. I’m disappointed it seems Nintendo is trying to make a fast buck. I doubt they’re going to win big with Super Mario Run.
I’m giving Super Mario Run 1 1/2 coins out of 5 and a Solid Not Recommend.