Super Mario Run Hands On Impressions
Reggie Fils-Aime announced that Super Mario Run demos will be avaiable at the Apple Store last night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I stopped by the store this evening to get my first look at one of the most anticipated games in this history of iPhone. Mario is finally on iPhone. My impressions.
Super Mario Run is a strange combination of multitouch gaming and Mario platforming. The game loaded very quickly on the iPhone 7 Plus at the Apple Store. Players are welcomed with a Mario splash screen and with one tap you are in the world selection screen. The demo featured 6 worlds with 4 levels per world. I jumped into level 1-1 and immediately felt anxious. There was no D pad or A button!
I summoned tremendous courage and began the game. Mario runs from left to right automatically and even jumps over small hurdles in the level without any tapping required. It is so bizarre to see Mario hurdle a Goomba instead of being injured. The game is deceptively simple. Players must collect as many coins while navigating through levels that share a similar art style to the New Super Mario Bros. series. There are traditional powerups inside of question mark blocks and players have 2 bubble respawns per level. Mario with respawns? It is so crazy that it could work!
Players are tasked with collecting 5 special coins on each level. The replay value of Super Mario Run is off the charts because players are unlikely to do their first runs of a level flawlessly and the game keeps track of your high scores. Although the game lacks the precision of a controller based Super Mario platformer, it captures that same spirit with the focus on timing the player's taps. Players must time their jumps perfectly, sometimes waiting for Mario to slide down a wall for some coins or to time a wall jump to a secret area. It is the timing that makes this game feel like a proper member of the Super Mario family.
Super Mario Run is not going to replace the series' traditional side scrolling platfomers. It is just another way to play with a familiar character and in a beautiful setting. The simple gameplay mechanic of tapping to jump and tapping to spin while in the air seems limiting at first, but after 3 levels I began to see the beauty in the game's minimal input solution. Players create different experiences in each level based on how well they interact with objects on the screen. There are blocks that trigger more coins to appear, blocks that speed Mario up and even a block that grinds Mario to a dead stop. Just as in the traditional sidescroller, players can jump on Goombas or Koopa Troopas to gain some altitude, which comes in handy when trying to reach those pesky special coins.
Super Mario Run takes care of some of the things that many gamers have become accustomed to in the series. Mario automatically slides on his butt down hills to kill enemies, and he takes care of the running. The game balances a fine attention to detail in level design along with a welcoming accessibility for new players. Super Mario Run is a fine introduction to the franchise for young boys and girls and at the same time it will provide a challenge for a more seasoned completionist gamer.
If that's not enough Super Mario Run for you, remember Jimmy Fallon Played Super Mario Run and Nintendo Switch on the Tonight Show Last Night. He may not be perfect at the game, but who is when you've got the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto at your side?
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