Nintendo’s new mobile game Super Mario Run has finally released, and it’s really, really good.
When Nintendo first announced an official Mario game for mobile devices, its share value leapt by 18% in mere minutes. This wasn’t the false inflation brought on by Pokemon Go, which faded as investors realized that Nintendo was only a major shareholder in The Pokemon Company, and Niantic Inc. would also be holding onto a sizable chunk of the profits.
Mario is iconic, and wholly owned by Nintendo itself. The internationally beloved plumber was primed to hop, stomp, and “hoo-HOO” his way onto smart phones everywhere, and people were excited. As it turns out, justifiably so.
The game is part of the “endless runner” genre that began on flash game sites like Newgrounds but has exponentially grown in popularity because of its suitability for mobile devices like the iPhone. Mario will dash through the levels after Princess Peach, with the aid of your frantic — yet hopefully precise — hopping to get him over chasms, defeating enemies, and sometimes vaulting from wall to wall.
The graphics feature Nintendo’s typically gorgeous blend of art in both two and three dimensions, with animation and gameplay that is silky smooth throughout. The writing is simple, a little bit cutesy, but as endearing and time-tested as everything else about the franchise.
It’s simple and elegant, with the constant forward momentum of the very first Super Mario Bros. on the NES. My five year old can play it, and so can her great-grandmother. At a time of year when families are gathering together, it’s already becoming a particularly magical trip into the infancy of video games, when our imaginations were first captured by the plight of a kingdom whose biggest problem was a big spiky turtle.
Super Mario Run is out on the app store, and people are pouring in to get it. So much so, that the “GET” button isn’t always appearing. Sending your phone directly to this app store link seems to solve that problem for most.
Like most drugs, the first taste is free. You’ll know within the first minutes of playing the free portion of the game whether you’re going to like it, so you’re only risking your future free time by downloading it and giving it a try.
To acquire all six of the worlds, you’ll need to fork over $10. But if you are, or have ever been a fan of the tubby overall-ed hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, it’s worth every single penny.
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