Review: Super Mario Run – A cheap money grab?

Very few games in the Apple App Store get the privilege of being announced well ahead of their arrival. Super MARIO Run was given this honor because it was Nintendo’s first official landing in the mobile.

Super Mario is a “running game”, with the unique selling point that it features the world’s most famous plumber, Mario himself. The flagship character for the Japanese gaming company was supposed to spearhead Nintendo’s arrival on tablets and smartphones worldwide.

Unfortunately, Mario doesn’t quite jump far enough to save the game.

Uninspired Money Grab

Do we really need to tell you what the story of this Mario game is? Princess Peach invites Mario to castle. Browser shows up, and kidnaps Princess. Mario has to save her once again.

To do so, you will navigate through levels that are themed after the Mario games. The gameplay is also more or less similar to that of the Nintendo games. You jump a lot. Basically, jumping is all you do.

Super Mario run isn’t exactly ground breaking or original. The only action you can undertake is jumping (and grabbing coins while doing so). Sometimes, Mario will do the jumping for you. He’ll automatically jump over small obstacles and over ground-bound enemies. For some reason, that took some of the fun out of the game since there isn’t much more to do than jumping.

All things considered, Super Mario Run doesn’t really offer anything that other iOS games doesn’t offer. Replace Mario with some other dude, and it’s a game on the level of Monster Dash or the billions of “jumping guy” games in either App Store.

But hey, at least the game is free right?

Super Mario Run: Insert Coins To Continue

Wrong. After three really short levels which accumulate perhaps three minutes of game time, you are politely told that you need to pay a cool €9,99 to unlock the other worlds. Perhaps that would have been acceptable, if we hadn’t see the game in ten different skins before, or if it didn’t cost four times as much as the average competitor.

The short demo of three levels didn’t leave us wanting for more, so when we were presented with the screen below that kindly asked us to pay up, we closed the app and removed it. We’re going to keep playing Microsoft Solitair if that’s all right by you, Nintendo.

It appears that, behind the paywall, even more micro transactions are lurking. We already got a taste of some mechanics that imply that coins (and the lack of them) are playing a key part in progressing in the game. We’d have loved to find out more, but y’know. The price isn’t right.

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