Super Mario Run is a side-scrolling running platform game from Nintendo for iOS and Android devices. The game is built on the classic Mario series of adventure platform games with the added element of one-directional continuous running through levels across different worlds.
As with its early incarnations on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the game revolves around Mario’s quest to save Princess Beach who has been kidnapped by Bowser (King Koopa) and taken to a faraway castle. The game was released on the iOS on December 15, 2016 and will be out on Android in 2017.
Much of the games’ mechanics traces back to its pixel-drawn origins and up to its more recent installments. The fun to be had in Super Mario Run still involves going through obstacles, defeating enemies, and collecting coins and power-ups as you take on each level of the game.
Super Mario Run however differentiates itself from its predecessors by adopting an “endless running” format, which means that you won’t be able to stop Mario from running towards the course’ flagpole at the end without certain stop blocks positioned throughout certain levels.
“Jumping” is still Mario’s best weapon to get through most obstacles, which is done by tapping the screen, giving the game that common feel among the mobile games of today. In Super Mario Run, Mario can perform different jumps to suit any situation.
Main article: Playable Characters
Super Mario Run retains the same iconic cast of characters such as Toad, Princess Peach, Bowser, the Koopa Troopas, and the lovable idraulico himself. There are also unlockable characters that you can obtain by playing the different games modes.
- World Tour – This mode is essentially the classic Super Mario experience. Players must travel across worlds by completing levels to make it to the castle where Princess Peach is being held.
- Toad Rally – This mode pits you against other players online in a time-attack format. In Toad Rally, you’ll race against another player’s ghost (playthrough data recorded in a particular level) while collecting coins and belting out stylish moves to impress as many Toads as possible. Entering Toad Rally however requires “tickets” which are obtained from World Tour mode, trading Nintendo Coins and other means.
- Kingdom Builder – This mode enables you to build your own Mushroom Kingdom from scratch, unlocking even more cool features such as mini-games and other characters. You will unlock more materials to us in this mode by playing World Tour and Toad Rally.
Main article: Super Mario Run Worlds guide
A total of six worlds are explored in Super Mario Run, each with four levels that the player must clear. A boss will be encountered at the end of every three levels and must be defeated before you are allowed to proceed to the next.
Coins were plentiful in the earliest incarnations of the Mario games, and Super Mario Run sticks to this tradition of jolly coin-collecting throughout the course of World Tour and Toad Rally modes. There are many different kinds of coins, though, so you may want to have a look at how they are different from each other.
- Gold Coins – Gold coins are the most abundant kinds of coins in the game. Collecting them increases your score indicated on the upper right corner of the screen. While it certainly is a feat to have collected all of them on every level of the game, you’ll mostly find yourself having missed out on quite a few since you can’t stop your character from tirelessly running towards to his destination without coming across some pause blocks.
- Challenge Coins (Pink, Purple, Black) – Challenge coins are coins hidden throughout every level that unlock certain items and other features in the game. The first set of challenge coins that you will need to collect are pink coins. These are relatively easy to find on every level. The next set of Challenge Coins are purple coins, which are a little harder to find. The purple coins can be collected after obtaining all pink coins across all the levels of World Tour Mode. Black coins, the last set of Challenge Coins, can be collected after getting all purple coins in every level on World Tour Mode as well.
- Special Coins (Red and Blue) – Certain high-value coins can also be obtained in the game. You can collect Red Coins by jumping through a red ring found in certain levels. Blue coins meanwhile, are gathered by hitting P Switches that turn blocks into Blue Coins.
You can pick up various power-ups in the game, as with all the other games in the series. Most of them are already too familiar to most players, though.
- Mushrooms – Arguably the most iconic of the power-ups in the entire franchise, no Mario game would be complete without the good old mushroom. Grabbing one will of course increase Mario’s size and in effect, how how he can reach when jumping. And we all know that having a mulligan after getting hit is always good.
- Bubble Saves – Whenever you take a hit or fall to a pit without a mushroom power-up, you will be taken back to the beginning of the level by a bubble. While you are only given three bubble saves at the start of the level, you can collect them in blocks as well.
- Super Stars – Nothing beats being temporarily impervious and anything and everything (except falling to a bottomless pit). What’s more, having this power-up will draw coins towards you. The Super Stars can be obtained in most levels, but are not always plentiful.
- Time Extenders – Extra time is always good in a Super Mario game. This power-up can be obtained in blocks indicated by a clock icon, so be sure to watch out for them.
Certain levels in the game require you to obtain keys to open the door to the next area. While not something to help make the game easier for you, keys are nonetheless items that you will need to lookout for, especially in the spooky ghost-infested levels.
Toads (Toad Rally Mode)
The fine chaps inhabiting the Mushroom Kingdom are basically the “currency” used to expand your Kingdom in Kingdom Builder Mode. You can “obtain” Toads by playing in Toad Rally Mode and impressing as many of the little guys as you can with stylish aerial feats against other players. Once you have collected enough Toads, more options will be unlocked in Kingdom Builder Mode, which unlocks other playable characters and features in the game.
Super Mario Run hopes to bring back those fond memories of the genre-defining title with a solid port for mobile devices. You can read our review of Nintendo’s first “true” mobile game featuring the iconic jump man himself here!
Or you you can also check out Super Mario Run for iOS at the iTunes Store.