Super Mario Run
Game review on iOS
Clinton Raethel / Thu 9th Mar 2017
185 views / 1 bite
OVERVIEW Nintendo finally brings the Italian plumber into the mobile space, giving us excellent one-handed control and expertly crafted levels. The result is a finely tuned game that has something for everyone.
STORYLINE Princess Peach invites Mario to her castle for a party and the promise of cake (the cake is a lie! - Ed). Bowser, however, is up to his usual tricks, kidnapping the Princess and destroying the castle in the process. Mario is once again tasked with rescuing her, as well as the Toads that fled during the destruction of the castle.
Mario will automatically run and it's up to you to jump, vault and parkour your way to the end of each of the 24 levels. Each move is performed with a single tap and is context sensitive, meaning that the wide array of abilities on offer are always available when you need them.
A wide selection of locations and enemies keep the levels feeling fresh, and are set out with three levels per world; climaxing in a boss level/battle before moving to the next. Unfortunately, the boss battle at the end of each world is a trivial three-hit affair, and with Mario's limited movement, simply comes down to timing.
The lasting appeal, however, comes from the five special coins found in each and every level. These require you to perfect your timing and memorise their locations to collect them all in the same run. Once done, a second and then the third run is unlocked, each more difficult than the last. Extra characters such as Yoshi or Luigi can also be unlocked, providing you with new play styles to help get that last coin.
'Toad Rally' is a secondary mode that sees you competing with other players to collect the most coins in the most stylish manner possible. The winner sways the Toad spectators to move into your Kingdom, which in turn unlocks bonus buildings and cosmetics. These are purchased with coins earned in game, allowing you to rebuild the Kingdom however you see fit. While a tad superfluous, it does serve as a good distraction from the campaign and opens up bonus levels if you sink enough time into it.
GRAPHICS Super Mario Run delivers the same vibrancy and charm we've come to expect from Mario games. Animations are fluid, and the design hits that sweet spot between retro and modern. Look closer though and you'll see that the backgrounds are flat and the effects are nothing special. This does not detract from the overall experience.
AUDIO The soundtrack and effects are on par with other Mario games. Cute, crisp and cheerful.
Mario has finally arrived on our mobiles, bringing with him expertly crafted levels and one-touch platforming that is easy to learn but difficult to master. While the general mechanics aren't anything new, the fluid gameplay and replay value will certainly keep you coming back for more. $15AUD is definitely a steep asking price for a mobile game, but it does get you the impeccable polish and quality that Nintendo is renowned for. Plus it's ridiculously fun.
Note: The free version of the app offers all the functionality of the paid version, but restricts your campaign access to the first 3 levels of the first world and a 20-second demo of the first castle.