Super Mario Run, Nintendo's sophomore foray into mobile after the hit-then-miss Miitomo, has now rolled out on the App Store, bringing the most famous plumber on smartphones and tablets for the first time ever.
Because of the genius that is Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the game in question and the Mario franchise itself, Super Mario Run doesn't stray too far from classic Mario gameplay. Sure, it's an endless runner, doing away with traditional D-pad controls allowing Mario to frolic across the Mushroom Kingdom back and forth, but it is undoubtedly still as authentic as its mainline counterparts.
To help those jumping on the Super Mario Run bandwagon, here are a couple of tips, tricks, and everything you need to know about the mustachioed hero's iPhone adventure.
It's For iOS Only (For Now)
Super Mario Run is an iOS exclusive, at least for now, but there's no need to lose hope, as an Android port is in the works, according to Nintendo. The game requires iOS 8.0, so owners of iPhone 4S and up or iPad 2 and up can play the game.
The First Three Levels Are Free
Only the first three levels in Super Mario Run are free, with a $9.99 in-app purchase required to unlock the full game. Sure, this is quite a steep price for a mobile game, but it's also a one-time purchase that unlocks the whole thing, with no covert in-app tiers to unlock pieces of the whole experience. Pay up $9.99 and that's it: everything will be available.
You'll Need To Be Online To Play The Game
As a piracy countermeasure, Super Mario Run can only be played when the device is connected to the internet, even during modes that don't require being online to play. For those playing with a group of friends, Nintendo IDs can be shared to appear on in-game leaderboards, tallying all the coins a user has managed to collect, Toads recruited, and courses finished.
Super Mario Run's Three Game Modes
There are three game modes in Super Mario Run: World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder. Players should hit up World Tour to play the main game to experience classic Mario action.
For players who are looking for a competitive edge, Toad Rally offers a slightly twisted version of player-versus-player mode. The user squares off with the opponent but not in real-time. Instead, the user tries to usurp the opponent's completed run, eclipsing the number of coins collected and the time it took the opponent to finish the level.
The third mode, Kingdom Builder, lets players build their own Mario world. The other two game modes complement this one — coins collected from World Tour and toads from Toad Rally can be used in Kingdom Builder mode.
Since Super Mario Run is an endless runner, it'll seem a little bit different for players accustomed to traditional left and right controls for Mario, but the learning curve isn't huge, and once players get past the control scheme, it'll likely be a smooth experience moving forward.
Mario now jumps over enemies and small obstacles automatically, with long and short jumps being the main form of control in Super Mario Run. Players can tap for short jumps and hold a little longer for higher ones.
Like the main games, Mario can still jump from wall-to-wall, reaching places aloft that would otherwise be inaccessible via long jumps.
Miyamoto has noted that this game is meant to be played single-handed, and it might be a wise decision, since imposing on-screen controls would have likely hampered the seamless Mario experience.
It wouldn't be Mario without Super Mushrooms, so this is included in the game. Like the main series, there will also be Invincibility Stars, which makes Mario immune to every enemy while earning extra coins. There are also other power-ups to keep an eye out for, such as blue buttons that unlock coins available for a limited time, and red hoops that make ephemeral coins appear. Time blocks also pepper levels throughout, adding more seconds to the in-game clock.
Even if the game is an endless runner, there are pause blocks in World Tour mode users can take advantage of for strategic play. If Mario lands on a Pause Block, he'll temporarily halt running, which can help players think about the next course of action.
Play As Different Characters
If players fancy a different character to blaze through World Tour with, there's are a number of unlockable characters in the game, including Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Princess Peach, and Toadette, each embedded with unique jumping mechanisms that add a dynamic layer to the game. Different characters can be unlocked by different milestones, such as completing the main story and linking a Nintendo account, among other things
Super Mario Run is now available for free on the App Store.