Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s first game designed uniquely for mobile devices and is finally available for Android users on March 23rd.
Nintendo introduced ‘Super Mario Run’, their first game designed specifically for mobile devices, exclusively on iOS devices in December 2016. Now, as the game receives a significant update, you can finally download for your Android device too.
But is it worth the premium price and been worth the wait or has the Mario App buzz passed Android users by?
Paying a Premium Price
There’s no escaping the fact that £7.99 is a premium price (Presuming the game will cost the same as on iOS devices) when compared to most other games available via the Google Play store. However, Nintendo’s pricing strategy differs to most developers, and one could argue that it’s actually more fair.
Most mobile games are priced intentionally low, or, in most instances, they’re free to download. Revenue is generated by in-app purchases or intrusive advertising (this is often removable for a price). Here’s where Nintendo’s pricing strategy is different for ‘Super Mario Run’. Your £7.99 gets you the entire game. No further purchases required.
Finally on Android
It’s entirely possible Nintendo have missed the boat with the Android market by delaying the release of Super Mario Run onto the world’s largest mobile platform, choosing instead to roll out on iOS devices first towards the end of last year.
The results of a twitter poll we ran recently certainly seems to suggest that Android users are over the buzz of playing Mario on their mobiles and tablets. All this could easily change with some clever marketing from the gaming giant, but this far there’s little hype surrounding the release.
Register your interest in Super Mario Run on the Google Play store now.
Here’s where the charm of ‘Super Mario Run’ really comes to the forefront. Simplicity in the controls is key to making the game accessible for all skill levels and playable with one hand.
There are multiple aspects to ‘Super Mario Run’ which combine to form an overall experience and a familiar soundtrack will appeal to any fan of previous Mario games.
‘Tour’ is you main game where you collect coins whilst ‘Rally’ allows you to populate your kingdom with Toads by playing head to head with friends or vs the CPU.
The coins and achievements you gain along the way can be exchanged for buildings and such like for your Toads to inhabit. There are bonus games to gain extra rally tickets and coins too.
Guide Mario through six worlds each containing four levels in this side-scrolling infinite runner. There’s an obligatory end of level boss to defeat at the conclusion of each world.
The game takes care of the mundane with Mario vaulting small obstacles for you. Further action taken by the user requires just a tap of the screen. No painful virtual joypad and buttons, it really is as simple as tapping your way through, sort of.
For gaming noobs a bit of screen mashing will get you so far, but don’t be deceived by the lack of complexity in the execution. Mario is gifted with a number of moves that require careful taps and double-taps at just the right time to navigate obstacles, perform high-jumps or backflips to pick up hard to reach rewards.
Each level presents multiple challenges too. Five special pink coins are strategically placed throughout each level. It’s not too much of a challenge to collect them all, but once you do, five purple coins will be available. You’ll need a higher level of dexterity to reach these. Collect all five purple coins and a further set of black coins are unlocked. Again the difficulty level is ramped up.
Other challenges include collecting all coins, squishing all enemies and so on. That’s a lot of game.
There’s no questioning the quality of ‘Super Mario Run’. The user interface looks great and is incredibly responsive. The same can be said for gameplay which is intuitive and quickly engrossing and the game plays equally well on an average size phone screen as on a tablet.
Though early levels are fairly basic and won’t challenge many users the curve to which the difficulty increases is well paced.
‘Super Mario Run’ will appeal mostly to those who don’t mind repetitive gameplay since each level offers multiple challenges that generally can’t be completed simultaneously. The levels themselves are not particularly long and there’s a time limit in which to complete each.
Whilst most users will spend the majority of time playing the ‘Tour’, ‘Rally’ offers a great deal of fun too with the winner of each head to head race determined by how many coins are collected and how many tricks Mario performs. It can be incredibly frustrating yet also rewarding.
For me £7.99 is a fair price for a complete game presented to this standard and I won’t bat an eyelid at paying the same for premium games in future if it results in avoiding irritating in-play adverts and in-app purchases to get the most out of the product.
No doubt there will be plenty of Android users ready to leap into the world of Super Mario Go come the 23rd March, but I’d bet that sales will be greatly diminished compared to if Nintendo had been able to release across iOS and Android at the same time.