Saturday, April 1, 2017

My Love-Hate Relationship with Super Mario Run

After a grueling 3 month long wait, Super Mario Run has finally been released for Android devices.  The auto-running platformer is free to start with 3 levels being available to play in their entirety and will cost $9.99 to unlock the rest of the game and its 24 levels. Needless to say I opted to buy the whole game and see what Super Mario Run has to offer to a huge Luigi Mario fan like myself.

Nintendo has been in the business of mobile games for a year now and Super Mario Run is the third title available to Android users after Miitomo and Fire Emblem Heroes. While it was readily available for iOS users back in December, those of us with Android devices had to wait a little longer to see what Mario's latest outing to the Mushroom Kingdom had in store for us.

This is where I'm torn. Certain aspects of Run had me jumping with glee, while others left me unimpressed and wanting more from the mobile game. The 24 available levels start off simple enough to get the player accustomed to the touch controls that cause Mario to jump, wall-jump and bounce off the heads of Goombas, Koopas and other baddies. These levels then become trickier and introduce more enemies and obstacles for Mario to overcome. Connecting with multiple jumps on enemies feels great and collecting all three sets of the 5 different colored coins on each level feels like an accomplishment. Unfortunately most levels aren't difficult to get through and can be completed rather quickly. As a result most people playing Super Mario Run will get through the whole game in a couple sittings.

Extra life bubbles also provide a sort of lifeline that makes getting through levels even easier and doesn't really encourage flawless play, but rather allow you to sloppily get through a level and still come out on top even after falling down a pit or running into an enemy that got in your way. As a result Super Mario Run is a perfect casual game for those who aren't looking for a challenge and just want to kill some time and succeeds as a mobile game, especially among the older and younger crowds.

In addition to World Tour with the game's main 24 levels, there's also a Kingdom Builder and Toad Rally mode where you can test your skills against other Run players and recruit Toads to your Kingdom and unlock more decorations for it. While this is a cool concept, playing Toad Rally can get pretty repetitive with the small selection of levels available to compete in. You'll find yourself playing the same levels over and over again just to recruit a specific color of Toad to unlock rewards and decorations that require a set amount. This has resulted in me playing more ghost house levels than I can count, which are slow and boring compared to the fast flying air-ship and lava-ring filled castle levels.

But doesn't my Kingdom look pretty?

The one redeeming quality of Toad Rally (besides annihilating little kids' scores) is defeating a friend who also plays the game in one of their highest-scoring levels (Eat it Nick! aka Zer00urher0).

So adding friends is a must, especially if you want to extend your time enjoying Super Mario Run. Besides bragging rights, that's all you really get unless you want to devote the time to getting Peach's Birthday Cake or Red Yoshi unlockable as a character!


Have you played Super Mario Run yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!