Super Mario Run

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  • Graphics and Sound – 5/5

  • Strategy - 3/5

  • Fun - 5/5

  • Re-playability - 4/5

  • Overall - 4.25/5


Free - Developer Website - v2.0

by Noel Anthony Quinton

Nintendo is at it again! After their huge mobile hit, Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run trailed behind as part of Nintendo’s campaign to release games on the mobile platform to increase awareness of their Intellectual Property games.

Super Mario Run is an action/platform game that lets you play as Mario, the plumber turned hero of the Toadstool Kingdom. Mario’s games are famous for their simplicity and for being easy to learn and play, and Super Mario Run keeps this characteristic making it a very accessible game to both beginners and veterans alike. You will be going at it to 24 levels of pure platforming fun.
It follows the usual storyline with almost all Super Mario games where you play as the plump Italian plumber out to defeat Bowser the Koopa King and save the princess of the Toadstool Kingdom, Princess Peach.

As Mario is well known for his jumps, it is not a surprise that it's the main gameplay for this title. You run from a fixed start point in each level until the end, which will be indicated by a flag. In between those two points, there will be obstacles that will hinder you from finishing the stage, be it a pit, or one of the many iconic Mario enemies like Goombas and Koopas, with all of them being overcomed by Mario’s jump!  All you ever need to do to play this game is tap the screen to make Mario jump. Mario will always automatically run to the right, and it’s your job to strategically tap on the screen to time his jumps around enemies and obstacles to get coins, power-ups, and collectibles as well as kill enemies along the way both in Tour Mode, the main single-player game, and Rally Mode, the competitive multiplayer online game.

Super Mario Run Trailer

Tour Mode is basically the main game which plays with the conventional mechanics explained earlier. Although the auto run mechanism may make the game look easy, it actually adds a whole layer of strategy to it because you would have to plan every jump to get the most coins and collect the items you need, like keys, colored coins and mushrooms in each stage. If you time your jump incorrectly, you will have to repeat the stage to get another shot at it. You can also use the pause button at the top left of the screen to find the retry button, or if you want a bit of challenge, you can use the walls and surrounding obstacles to plan a wall jump to take you back a few steps and get whatever it is you missed. 

Through the game, Mario can only take one hit (twice if you get a mushroom) before he dies and is slowly sent backwards to the left while riding a bubble. Tapping the screen will drop Mario to let you continue the game. You will have a limited amount of bubbles per level, so you would need to keep an eye on those if you want to finish the level. In Tour Mode, each level will have 5 colored coins that you can collect. If you are able to collect all 5 for a level, you will be rewarded Rally Tickets (which you will use in Rally Mode) and the level will change shape but will still be the same level, and will have a different colored coin to collect. Each level will have 3 forms for 3 different colored coins, each getting more difficult as you go.

The Rally Mode, as mentioned, is the online multi-player mode where you can test out the skills you’ve developed in Tour Mode against other players. You will be playing a random level (including the upgraded levels when you have collected all the colored coins) against someone online and will be running the course in a set amount of time. There is no end point in the Rally Mode and the course will continue to loop until the time is finished. Once the time is done, the player who collects the most coins wins and will receive a certain amount of Toads to add to his Kingdom while the player who loses also lose Toads. The number of Toads is like the Ranking system used by the game. The more Toads you have, the higher your “Rank” and you will be going up against players with the same number (or at least close to the number) of Toads that you have, just to level the playing field since having more Toads means that you are better than other players. Every time you play against an opponent, you use up one Rally Ticket. If you lose, you can do a rematch which also needs a ticket. You will also be able to get tickets in game when you finish a level and when you are lucky enough to get tickets in the bonus games in some buildings you will be able to obtain as your level up in the Kingdom Build Mode.  

Nintendo put in a lot of content in Super Mario Run aside from the different modes, as you can also get additional characters to use in game, as well as different bonus games and the Kingdom Build Mode, where you can add more buildings and decorations to your Kingdom to show off to other players. 

Super Mario Run also lets you connect your My Nintendo account to get a few more goodies, like a free extra character and some tickets. If you do sign in with your Nintendo account, you will also be able to get a few “Gold Coins” for you to use on some discounts that Nintendo offers, but this is mostly for those who owns a 3DS or Wii U. It’s not too much of a game breaker if you don’t sign in, either way, you’ll be able to enjoy the full game experience without it. The account is really just there as a “Loyalty” bonus for the Nintendo fans who also happens to own one of their consoles. But the additional free character is a pretty good incentive, though, for those who doesn’t have an account and would like some extra stuff with their Super Mario Run game.

The game itself is free to download and try. For Rally Mode, you can keep playing as long as you have Rally Tickets, but for Tour Mode, you will have to purchase the full game (priced at $9.99) after the first 3 levels – you can also try the 4th Level of World 1, which is the boss stage, for the first 20 seconds. 3 levels should be good enough to let you know that this game is worth the amount of money that it is asking for, so go buy it and re-awaken that love for the simpler times of video games, where all you needed to do was press a single button to have a great time!

  • Gameplay that caters to both beginners and advanced players alike

  • The colored coins add a layer of replayability and challenge to the game

  • Great music, graphics, and fun gameplay, all of which Nintendo is well known for

  • Two great modes to play either alone or with friends and strangers


  • $9.99 is a bit steep for 21 additional levels

  • Always online as it cannot be played offline, even for Tour Mode

  • Some unlock-ables needs you to have a My Nintendo account

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