Ok. So I finally got around to trying out Super Mario Run. I was reluctant to do so because I don’t play mobile games very much. But, because this reminds me of the good ol’ days of Super Mario console gaming, I decided to give it a try. Aaaaaaand, I like it! It’s a fun mobile game that hits the nostalgic feeling I was looking for while at the same time giving me something new to explore. Let me break it down.
Super Mario Run is actually 3 games in one: Kingdom Builder, World Tour, and Toad Rally. Although each one has a different purpose, Nintendo does a good job of bringing them together into one larger game.
Kingdom Builder is what I would call the home screen of the game. From here you can work on building your kingdom by using collected coins to buy pieces for it. You can buy mushroom houses, plants, trees, etc. and place them in designated areas of the map. As for the castle, there is no castle when you first start the game. At first it is a little hut which you level up into a larger hut, and eventually into a castle. You do this by collecting Toads. You use the other games to collect coins and Toads to build your kingdom. So far I don’t see any major reason for building your kingdom other than to show off your progress.
World Tour is what everyone who played past Super Mario Bros. console games is looking forward to playing. It has 6 worlds with each world having three levels plus the boss stage. Although the ultimate goal is to complete all the worlds and save Princess Peach, there is another intermediate goal of collecting all the specially colored coins. At this point I am not totally sure what collecting the specially colored coins achieves. At minimum they show your progress through the World Tour. They may also help in building your kingdom but not sure how yet since I haven’t collected enough to find out.
As the game name indicates, Mario is always running forward. The only control you have is tap to jump. This basic concept of the game is both a pro and a con. It’s a pro because it adds a level of difficulty that forces you to make quick decisions as you move through the map unlike older games which you could stop and plan your moves. It’s a con because it can get frustrating that you can’t go back to get a colored coin, for example, making you want to push the PAUSE and RETRY buttons over and over again until you get the moves right. Luckily, Nintendo does give you some help. Throughout the levels you will find boxes with arrows, pause signs, etc. Mario will automatically stop at these boxes allowing you to do a little planning based on what the box says.
World Tour does not disappoint. The graphics, character movement, and sounds hit the nostalgic side while mobile gameplay brings a fresh perspective to this classic game.
Toad Rally is meant to allow you to compete against other people online. No, not live. You are competing against someone else’s score for the same course. I’d say it’s good that you aren’t playing live because you could potentially be waiting quite awhile for others to be available especially if you’re playing at odd hours.
The goal of this game is to essentially collect Toads for your kingdom. Remember, the more Toads you have, the bigger your castle will be. To collect Toads you run through a course and collect as many coins as you can. The more coins you collect, the more Toads you get. BUT, because you are competing against another player’s score, if you beat their score, you take some percentage of their Toad count. If they win, they take some of yours. You also get coins for making stylish jumps. If you do this enough you will go into a temporary Coin Rush mode and many coins will appear allowing you to collect many more than if you were just doing a normal run through the course.
I’d say this is a good fit for Super Mario Run. It is well executed and helps add online community to the game.
Super Mario Run is a great move by Nintendo as they enter the mobile game industry. They did a great job of adapting the old console games into a more modern mobile app that fits right in with other games of today. The game incorporates building your personal kingdom by using coins and collected Toads to show off how far you’ve come, game play that matches the old console format with a creative modern twist, and a game that helps build in-game community adding further dimensions to the game. Is it worth $10? I’d say it could be cheaper. In the end this is a game that has many hours of good game play and should eventually feel like the $10 price tag was worth it.