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Super Mario Run (supermariorun.com)
269 points by yellow_postit on Dec 16, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 243 comments

I played through the first couple of levels and was instantly hit by how much better the level design, gameplay and characters were than the usual mobile game. I happily plonked down my ten bucks.

I cleared the game in a single lunch hour, but I'm not disappointed. The game design easily surpasses anything I've ever played on my phone, and there's a bucket of replayability. Pink/purple/black coins to get, speed runs on rally to try, etc.

Giving the first 3 levels for free was a good move - the install is essentially a demo that is enough to let a customer decide if they want to front for the whole game.

I didn't have a problem paying, but I've read a lot of whining on twitter and other places. Younger gamers have an expectation that everything on mobile should be free, but kudos to Nintendo on having the balls to stay away from cheap pay2win tricks and stick to an old school pricing model.

I don't know if it's going to turn a profit, but I really hope so. This race to the bottom amongst mobile game devs is madness and has to stop.

I'm surprised by how much your experience differs from mine. For me this is like every other auto running side scrollers with a Nintendo skin and nothing more. It's the same mechanics as almost everything else with a lower amount of difficulty with the auto running and jumping (I mean he even automatically jumps over enemies!!).

It seems so...tangential to what Mario games are and so much like every other side scrolling running game out there.

I also find hitting the exact buttons incredibly frustrating. They claim one handed play but on a 9.7" iPad when you have to hit a button in a specific place on the screen it's not one handed play. At least not for my hands and I thought they were decent size.

> It's the same mechanics as almost everything else with a lower amount of difficulty with the auto running and jumping

We'll have to agree to disagree, but this is essence of Nintendo's acclaimed level design. Yes, the basic run through is easy, which makes it accessible to anyone. But I'll be damned if getting all the black coins isn't excruciatingly tough. The beauty is that the same game can be played on many levels.

Just collected the black coins in 1-1, and some in 1-2. The black coins seem to be what this game really is about, and damn does it a good job with it. Actually amazed at what it does with just a 1-button input method.

Sad to see so many people critize the $10 price tag. Obviously that was expected, but as an iOS dev myself, it always saddens me too see the rejection of people to basically pay for anything on the AppStore.

10 USD for 1 hour of play is a lot of money in general. That's not akin to:

> "it always saddens me too see the rejection of people to basically pay for anything on the AppStore."

Because the point is that the value one gets out of it, is too little for the amount of time it is fun. That is, of course, assuming there's no replay value.

There is replay value however I, for one, prefer a difficult game, and prefer one difficulty only. I know, game designers want to make everyone feel 'awesome' these days. All kind of ladders, including for single player! I don't like that. Give an immersive first time experience where the player has to overcome difficult hurdles. Getting stuck? Tough cookie, practice and get better, and you'll feel awesome once you progress further. Compare WoW TBC with how WoW has every difficulty for raiding these days. By the time you get to the highest difficulty it isn't epic anymore.

On a different note, 10 USD is a lot of money for poor people. Then again, those people are unlikely to have an expensive iOS device.

Sometimes I pay $10 for a cup of coffee and a croissant, which are finished in half an hour. I feel that I get $10 of value out of it, and on a similar scale, I would probably get $10 of value out of this game (if I could get it on Android...). I think a big difference is something another commenter said: I don't know that I'm going to get more value out of paying for this game than I would have if I played a different game for free, whereas I know I'm going to enjoy my coffee and croissant.

Not to mention the calories in the croissant probably last you more like 2 hours and the coffee buzz probably lasts about 4.

You _know_ Nintendo is going to publish a high-quality game, because they've been doing that for a hundred years.

> (I mean he even automatically jumps over enemies!!)

If Mario auto jumps over an enemy, you've missed a crucial chunk of coins on your quest to a top score. High scores is what this game is all about. When you really learn a level and squeeze out every coin possible, Nintendo's charm shines through.

I've been playing the first level for 50mins. There's so much depth there. One of my added friends has 230 coins on that first level , and so am still trying to beat him !

Have you dropped the $9.99 yet? I actually felt rewarded by the ramp up in difficulty. If you've only gone through the 1st 3 levels, you've only just played the demo. Have you tried collecting up to the black coins?

Are we playing the same game? There's not a specific button to hit on screen that I've seen, it's basically the lower 1/3 of the screen that is a giant button that can be tapped anywhere.

Oh maybe you're thinking I was talking about game play. No, all the different menus and screens especially the ones where it's just a single button for progressing to the next screen. Those buttons must be hit directly. On a 9.7" iPad I have to use two hands to do that when I see no reason tapping the screen in a large area couldn't progress to the next area.

I was only referring to buttons.

Did you ever think of your 9.7" iPad as a one hand device to begin with?

Of course but two things. First, Nintendo markets it as a one-handed game and other than pressing the tiny buttons I can actually play it just fine one handed and second, there is no reason to require this tiny, little button area to be pressed when you could more easily press a larger area (as is common in most mobile games).

It's all about using existing UX mechanics versus Nintendo bringing over awkward console mechanics to a touch screen device.

The UI really turned me off the game. The gameplay itself was reasonably fun, but actually starting the game required going through ages and ages of tutorial and story nonsense. Then going from one level to the next is a lot more cumbersome than it needs to be.

I kept thinking of the original Super Mario Bros. as a contrast. You press start, and it drops you right into the game. When you complete a level, you start the next one. Simple. Sad that Nintendo couldn't replicate that here.

I absolutely agree with you about paying actual money for a full game. The problem with this though is I've been burned a few times buying a game, only to have it become free with in-app purchases later on: functionality that was previously included is removed and players must now periodically pay to get it back (usually in the form of some kind of temporary 'power boost' pack).

I guess the developers reasoning is they can get as many suckers as possible to pay for the full game after initial launch, then after a couple of months they squeeze more money out of it by changing to a pay-to-win format which hugely increases their user base.

It's a disgraceful approach and I certainly won't deal ever again with any devs who do this. Unfortunately, such devs don't really get much shaming so they probably get away with it.

Are you describing a situation where you initially pay for the full experience only to later have some of those features you specifically paid for become in-app purchases again which you have to re-purchase? If so, surely that's not legal? I've seen apps where something similar to this happens before but people who bought the original full price purchase are grandfathered in.

There's also the scenario where a previously-purchased game becomes ad-filled.

One example: I purchased Rovio's Bad Piggies outright for a couple bucks way back when when there was the ad-supported version and the fully unlocked ad-free purchased alternative. Sure, my current version has all the features I originally paid for, but the experience has gone to shit.

The purchased version was a complete and ad-free game at the time. Now my version of it is filled with ads for their other games and "consumable" IAP options at damn near every pause screen, every menu and the loading screens because they made the game "free", which essentially downgraded my experience back to the free-to-play version they started with. I didn't lose any game mechanics, but I lost the ad-free experience I paid for.

I had this same experience with the original Angry Birds, also from Rovio.

Yes, exactly. New Star Soccer is one game that did this; original purchasers lost features they'd paid for.

I also thought it wouldn't be allowed, but apparently it is. If they just released a separate free version there'd be no problem.

It certainly should not be legal...

  If you do not have a backup available to restore to, we regret that we have no
  alternate method for preventing the ads from being displayed. However, we will
  be happy to make it up to you with in-game currency for Bejeweled Blitz,
  Plants vs. Zombies 2, Solitaire Blitz, or Zuma Blitz. Please contact support
  and provide the receipt from your original purchase of Bejeweled or Bejeweled

Music companies were/are notorious for doing something similar.

I can't tell how many CD's I bought in the early aught's right when a band I loved came out with a new album - only to see it in Target a few months later with several "previously unreleased" tracks on it as a bonus.

It drove me crazy since it happened so frequently.

That's different, the re-release has new content which wasn't in the original that you bought? And the original continues to work?

Instead imagine that half the disc you originally bought turned out to be self-destructing ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3064327.stm ) but you can buy a re-release without the issue for a discount if you trade in the old disc.

Ya you're right, this is cross-industry. Lord of the Rings did the same thing with its franchise. They released all the "Theater Version"s first knowing the hardcore fans wouldn't be able to wait the many months after for the extended edition. It's an annoying tactic to say the least.

Like all App Store purchases, you didn't pay for the full game, you paid for access to an app id which points at mutable bits of data that you can't stop from mutating.

shareware has always been an effective method but has been thrown to the wayside thanks to the 'freemium' model and games bloated with ads.

Check out the mobile Rayman game if you liked this one. Same concept, same level of polish. I haven't played all of Mario yet but Rayman has a surprising amount of depth in the later levels, as they slowly add concepts and mechanics while keeping the controls simple.

Rayman Jungle Run was startlingly excellent for a mobile game. I actually 100%ed it, collecting all 3000+ Lums, which I hardly ever do even with PC/console games.

So I saw Rayman Jungle Run on sale awhile back but it has "In app purchases." I bought one or two paid apps with in app purchases and never again. You can nickel and dime me if you're a free app but not if I spend money on it. How is Rayman?

IIRC Rayman Jungle Run and Rayman Fiesta Run are not at all annoying about in-app purchases. I paid once for the game and that's it, I don't even remember what was available to buy, cosmetic stuff probably. They're great fun and I highly recommend them.

The latest iteration, Rayman Adventures, is free-to-play and so suffers from the usual mobile free-to-play tropes. It also suffered performance issues on my (good) phone.

Rayman Fiesta Run (Google Play Store) got obnoxiously annoying to the point they included forced video ads of Rayman Adventures.

Rayman Fiesta Run (Amazon App Store) has some UI issues (like buttons reacting at press rather than at release potentially purchasing pay2win stuff unintendedly), but at least it doesn't have the forced ads.

When I purchased the game at launch date, it didn't have the pay2win stuff, and it was really enjoyable, but eventually the updates degraded the game experience.

If I ever purchase a mobile game again I'll certainly backup and cherry pick the update which gets the best balance between less bugs and less mis-improvements.

buttons reacting at press rather than at release potentially purchasing pay2win stuff unintendedly

If that's intentional it's quite an insidious dark pattern.

In-app purchases are not inherently problematic, it's when they are used as a core mechanism to play the game that they become a problem. I have no problem with in-app purchases to make things easier, or let people skip levels when it's not a direct competition between players. That might even induce some developers to actually put some challenge into the game. The problem is when it's not just challenging, but nearly (or actually!) impossible without the in-app purchases. Then we're talking about a bait-and-switch, and that infuriates me as well.

Mobile Strike is awful about this. I have strong feelings about that game in particular because I rarely play games, but this particular one got me to try it (probably due to a massive marketing campaign) and then I ended up spending far more money and time on it than probably all other mobile games I've ever played combined. After all that I realized I didn't even enjoy it, and soon they came out with new upgrades, which was enough to make me realize I should never play it again and consider the time and money already spent as a learning experience.

Now I stick to puzzle games that provide a large amount of enjoyment relative to the cost. The Room series is phenomenal.

I'm not trying to be pedantic here or unnecessarily argumentative when I disagree and say indeed, in-app purchases are inherently problematic.

They open up pandora's box and allow game devs to focus on superficialities to increase revenue (such as a bonus level, ways to skip level, etc..). Were the playing field completely even -- no in-app purchases -- gameplay would necessarily have to win out and people might spend more time reading mobile game reviews.

When you can be angry bird and get on the top grossing list for a long, long time because you got in-app purchases, I believe it skews the data and as a result, many are poorly informed as to which game truly is the best.

> allow game devs to focus on superficialities to increase revenue

But you've defeated your own point by using the word "allow", which while it it accurate, illustrates why it's not inherent. It's not inherent because they aren't forced to. Is it likely? Sure. Are the incentives all screwed up? Sure. But it's possible to use in-app purchases in responsible ways (such as purchasing future "episodes" of more story driven content, extra level packs, etc as long as the core game provided "enough"[1] content).

1: Which is entirely subjective, and I submit that some people that would have been completely happy with content delivered as is without the ability to download more for cost interpret the situation differently when they see extra content available.

IIRC, it's completely cosmetic--you can purchase other characters from the console game to play as, but they're mechanically identical. There may also be something to unlock later levels without playing through earlier levels first, but I 100%ed the game without buying a thing and it never felt unsatisfying or grindy.

It's worth checking reviews. There are good and evil uses of in-app purchases and to reject anything on this basis means missing out on some good stuff.

"I don't know if it's going to turn a profit, but I really hope so."

Speaking of profit, what I find almost as fascinating as the game itself is the process and culture shift that occurred at Nintendo in order to make it a reality. For example, Satoru Iwata had previously said:

"What I believe is that Nintendo is a very unique company, because it does its business by designing and introducing people to hardware and software - by integrating them, we can be unique. And because we have hardware and software developers in the same building, they stimulate each other." [1]


"If I was to take responsibility for the company for just the next one or two years, and if I was not concerned about the long-term future of Nintendo at all, it might make sense for us to provide our important franchises for other platforms, and then we might be able to gain some short-term profit. However, I'm really responsible for the long-term future of Nintendo as well, so I would never think about providing our precious resources for other platforms at all." [2]

Iwata died in 2015, and was succeeded by Tatsumi Kimishima, who has stated:

"We want to grow smart device gaming as one of the pillars of Nintendo's revenue stream." [3]

[1] http://daringfireball.net/linked/2013/08/09/nintemdo

[2] http://www.idownloadblog.com/2013/08/10/nintendo-pres-on-mar...

[3] http://zeldauniverse.net/2016/05/09/kimishima-says-nintendo-...

Very interesting. Kind of how Apple was all about skeumorphism and went flat a week after Steve Jobs died.

Iwata was right until video game hardware became deeply commodified. "AI" toys are getting big (as annoying as that is), that's where Iwata's vision has potential.

I don't think the whole point of the game could have been to "clear" the levels. I mean, Mario auto runs and auto hops enemies. Save from having to manually jump pits its not really that hard to get to the end of a level.

I think the whole point is to get a coin highscore and/or collect the purple coins in every level.

I may not have expressed it well, but I agree with you 100% - clearing the levels for the first time is only one part of the fun.

The point is definitely collecting the special coins. The pink coins seem to get harder to obtain as the game goes on. The purple coins afterwards are even harder, and the onyx coins are really challenging.

The levels also have different obstacle and coin layouts depending on the special coins you are going for.

As a long time mario player, I was unimpressed. Nintendo clearly doesn't have experience building F2P vortexes and it shows with the surprising introduction of "hey, your castle leveled up!"

EDIT - I didn't realize that the first 3 levels were only what's available. I didn't make it past the 3rd level.

-- this game has dozens of context switches in the first 10 minutes, not even counting the uninteractable tutorial (Even other endless runner games let you run and figure out how to jump by tapping without 4 text boxes).

I will agree that the levels are better designed than the average mobile game.

Maybe my tastes are just changing? I feel that Nintendo has historically innovated in gameplay with their Mario games but I just wasn't sucked in this time.


context switches in the beginning about "connecting a Nintendo account" and later, for push notifications - "Push Notifications are important" > User presses OK > Allow Super Mario Run to send you Push Notifications?

What is a Nintendo account & why would I care? What on earth would a push notification for a Mario game tell me? It doesn't feel polished to me.

What's the appeal?

You say you spent $10 on a game that you beat in an hour. I get that there's replayability but there's only so much in a game like that.

If I really wanted to play Mario I could go home and play it on dozens of different devices on a nice TV while resting comfortably instead of on a limited form factor in public where there's dozens of other things to do.

Much respect to Nintendo for making a good game, but it seems like a game that just exists because it can. No depth. What value do we get as consumers if we encourage the game industry to move further in this direction?

No depth? Most games played on smartphones are designed for playing in short increments, many of them for playing with a single hand. That's what Super Mario Run is. It's designed so you can play in just a couple of minutes, and you can play with one hand while commuting, or like I did today, play with one hand while eating lunch.

As for clearing it in an hour, clearing each of the levels once isn't a challenge, nor is it the point of the game. If you want to complete the whole thing you must play each of the levels 4 times, and that's assuming you play perfectly each time (and you won't). And that's just for Tour mode. For Toad Rally mode you're competing against other people (not live, but against their time trial ghosts) and doing tricks to try and impress toads, where winning gives you a bunch of coins and a bunch of toads. And then you use those toads in the kingdom builder mode to unlock new items to put in your kingdom and to upgrade your castle, etc.

So yeah, you can play through all of the levels once pretty quickly if you want. But that's not really experiencing the game.

This is a good description. I think people need to think of Super Mario Run more like Super Mario Kart. You can drive through all of that game's tracks in less than an hour too, but that doesn't mean the game is over.

Rally is really fun! Changed my outlook on the game entirely.

Doesn't it require an internet connection/cell service? not ideal for subway commuters.

It does. With my commute I have intermittent connectivity in the stations and none in the tunnels. I can usually start a level while at the station, play it while underground, and then finish at the next station. It doesn't require internet in the middle of the level, just at the start and at the end. And if you finish a level with no internet, you'll get a "Connectivity Error" dialog with a Retry button, so you can wait until the train pulls into the station and hit Retry. I haven't tested yet what happens if the app is terminated while in this state.

the anti-piracy crippleware garbage is the worst part.

> No depth? Most games played on smartphones are designed for playing in short increments, many of them for playing with a single hand.

Short play sessions have nothing to do with depth or lack of it.

The appeal is what Mario has always been to me - gameplay mechanics and level design. I'll concede that this may not be interesting to a majority of people, but Nintendo games have always immersed me due to the consistency of their in game universes. Once you get the controls down, you can apply the lessons to any level, and things just work the way you expect them to. It's a level of intuitiveness that I have not seen anywhere else. Yes, that's replays after the first hour, but that's not an order of magnitude different to game length in the 8/16 bit era.

You are right that there are many ways to play Mario on many different devices, and I'm not arguing that focused gameplay in front of a big tv isn't the best way to play for extended hours, but for ten minutes waiting in a queue or on the subway (when there is an internet connection available - don't get me started on that because I'm not a big enough fanboi to be happy with that situation), it's much more convenient than carrying along a 3DS. I think Nintendo did their homework on how people will play this game. It's accessible enough to play in short bursts, which suits mobile gamers.

I do respect that you don't see any depth in this. That's fine. I know that enjoyment of games is very subjective. I'm biased in that I grew up in the golden era of 8 and 16-bit 2D games, so I'm aware that this type of game has more appeal to me than others. (Nintendo probably knows that my demographic is more likely to convert to a purchase as well, but I digress) I've tried to stay engaged with recent stuff on Playstation, but triple A titles require large time commitments and have lots of grind, and hence don't appeal to me. This does.

I downloaded the demo today (have yet to buy the full game, but will likely give it a shot) and was very impressed. I didn't realize the internet connectivity was a requirement, which is a minor bummer, but I was gratified to find a small, focused game whose first three levels hinted at the challenges that may (or may not, again just a demo player) be hidden within.

I'm curious to find out how conversion from Pokemon Go -> Pokemon Sun/Moon games and Mario Run -> Mario Switch plays out, because both mobile games have succeeded at getting me more interested in investing time and money into their big-brother console relatives.

>Once you get the controls down, you can apply the lessons to any level, and things just work the way you expect them to. It's a level of intuitiveness that I have not seen anywhere else.

Huh. That's how I feel about Megaman. I suppose you disagree?

Anyways, since you're talking about new games, and seem to have an enjoyment of the 8-bits, have you tried Shovel Knight? It's incredibly well designed, and absolutely packed with content (with a third campaign coming next year. for free).

Thanks for the response. Even if it's not my thing, it's good to hear your perspective.

Have you tried Mega Run? /shameless plug.

>Younger gamers have an expectation that everything on mobile should be free, but kudos to Nintendo on having the balls to stay away from cheap pay2win tricks and stick to an old school pricing model.

nintendo is sticking to an old school pricing model by making a f2play game?

damn im old, like older than 5 years old old

I guess you're not old enough to remember the original Quake, released with a shareware license where the first episode was free. Someone will probably come along and shake their fist at me, but if Quake isn't old-school, I don't know what is.

I'll shake my fist :D

Id software pioneered the shareware model in 1990 with Commander Keen, six years before they used it in Quake.

In fact, Keen, Keen 4, Wolfenstein 3D, and Doom all used a three-episode shareware structure where the first episode was free and the rest were considered the "full version."

Doom 2 did not use this structure because Doom itself was a good enough advertisement for it. id then used it again in Quake, but fully broke from it with Quake 2, which just had a demo with a few levels.

ID most certainly did not pioneer the shareware model. Shareware as a model is nearly as old as the personal computer.


Technically correct, but the specific Apogee model of shareware (one free episode, two or more commercial episodes) was much more successful than the original model of distributing everything for free and politely asking people to pay for it; it was pioneered by Id's publisher Apogee.

Ah, good point. I stand semi-corrected :)

This is the oldest I can think of, 1989 - Hugos House of Horrors:


Not Id, but Apogee, pioneered "the Apogee model" of shareware with the Kroz trilogy in 1987. Apogee published Id's Commander Keen and Wolfenstein games.

Which is playable on the internet archive at


I thought of Kroz immediately when I saw yesterday's Unscii submission:



Ah, yes, I forgot about this! Thanks for the correction!

Commander Keen games were a staple of my early video game experience.

No reason to stop now: http://store.steampowered.com/app/9180/

They are available through steam.

As a new player who tried these games... they don't hold up. I'm sorry, but without the nostalgia, it just isn't fun. Technically impressive? Yes. But not fun.

Personally, I don't think any of id's pre-DOOM games hold up well. But that could just be me...

Wow! I have to go back and play through these games. I really do wonder how hard the games will feel now that I'm a grown adult..

Quake is referred to as 'old' now? But it came out only - oh darn, two decades ago. Man there are young adults there for whom real time 3D graphics on the PC have existed through their whole life. Ok, I feel older now :)

Whenever and wherever someone mentions Quake 1, there will be fists being shaken and bumped!

frantic, fluid gameplay, even on lousy hardware (heck, I started quaking on a 486 dx2 66 and it ran quite okay at 320x240), insane difficulty, clever map design and lots of secrets to be found... seriously, that game was soo frigging amazing.

Don't even get me started on multiplayer... although we old folks have played our share of deathmatches on Doom/Doom2 (Dwango, anyone?) or Duke Nukem 3D, it was really Quake 1 (together with the booming Internet) that started this whole frenzy. And oh boy, then QuakeWorld came and made it really playable at 300ms+ pings (28800 bauds dial-up!), then we got mods like Team Fortress, and from there it escalated.

o/ fistbump and thank you for the trip down the memory lane.

Can I just say hell yeah! Original Quake was awesome, then Quake World made dial up tolerable when playing online. Quake was also one of the very early high rez OpenGl games. I remember getting my first 3dfx Voodoo card and realizing at that moment that it was a turning point in gaming.

Dude, I got my 3dfx Monster 3D card, which could do glorious bilinear filtered 640x480@16bpp Quake 1, using a wrapper called Glide, remember that?

The funniest thing about that card was that it only could do 3D graphics, so you still needed a 2D video card for normal video output. Monster 3D came with a short vga-vga cable which you used to connect your 2D card's video output to the Monster 3D, and then its own video output to your actual monitor. When you ran something using 3D, it simply took over your monitor and shut down the previous card's signal eheheh

Good times!

It's not free-to-play. It's a $10 game with a free demo. Pay attention.

I have an Android phone, so I'll have to wait, but I'll likely buy it regardless if it's good, just to vote with my wallet on the payment model.

I despise anything that's not pay-for-cosmetics or buy-the-damn-game-once. I can pay for my entertainment, but I'm not playing a game that's designed around microtransactions, eschewing the game mechanics.

> I have an Android phone

The majority of us do. Disappointing they launched exclusively on iOS.

It is coming to Android early next year though.

Same here. I would rather just spend money on the game one time rather than being prompted for microtransactions.

Just paying for cosmetics is something acceptable for me. In CS:GO, you can pay for the skins but you don't have to. Yet, I'd still prefer the CS:Source model where you just pay the game once and then download any cosmetics you want for free. But well, that model won't come back any time soon.. :-)

Yeah, I remember fondly the custom servers, surfmaps, gungame (no, it's not a Call Of Duty-thing) mod, etc, etc. I miss those days, but I'm not sure I'd want to go back from other advancements we've made. Everything is much easier to get working and get into now. But the microtransactions for gameplay impacts is not an advancement I want.

We can only hope the gaming market keeps growing enough that indie developers can fill the shoes of AAA-games of yesteryear where we can have large enough playerbase and mod community and self-hosted servers.

...I wouldn't be too sure that the old model. QuakeWorld is still going, and I've had more fun with Cube 2 and Xonotic than most games.

I played 1v1 CoDBlOps once. It was really boring.

I'm sooooo sick of micropayment games. I play plants vs zombies 2 on my phone while in lines. I had a quick look at the cost for all the optional plants. Its almost $90. Even AAA games aren't that bad or at least have a reason for $90 like 3d graphics.

And then there is the pay money for currencies shenanigans.

You despise Pay 2 Win (P2W) and prefer Buy 2 Play (B2P)

So you aren't old enough to remember demo disks?

The graphics are nice (similar to New Super Mario Bros.), gameplay is smooth, and I really wanted to like this, but I just can't get into it. I think it comes down to this:

My favorite games are the ones that embody some sense of freedom, and I just don't get that here (at least not from the first 3 levels). I completely understand Nintendo's decision to go with the single-finger jump-only game mechanic for a touchscreen device (I've never been a fan of virtual D-pads). But unfortunately, that decision has transformed Mario from a game about discovery and freedom into a game where you're - quite literally - not allowed to stop and take a second look at something.

As a natural consequence of this change in game mechanics, we seem to be forced into a constant state of hyper-focused speeding through what might otherwise be an attractive setting with subtleties to be explored. If I pass something that looks interesting in Super Mario Run, I'll likely never see it again (no, I'm not really motivated to repeat levels for coins - but I would be inclined to explore new paths through the game if I weren't always forced to be on the run).

Making matters worse, the few times I did attempt to explore a little (by jumping back off the walls), the clock ran out in what felt like an unreasonably short time compared to other Mario games.

In the back of my mind, it feels as though this change reflects something more profound about how society has evolved in the past decade. Maybe our competitive and demanding nature has overshadowed the desire for individual discovery and creativity. We don't need a landscape-oriented view of the horizon anymore; we only care about what's immediately at hand in our myopic view of the world because, let's face it, this is 2016 and we're too lazy to flip our phones around to landscape mode, let alone to confront the harrowing idea of plotting our own course through life. Just put us on the conveyor belt and tell us when to jump - and how high.

OK, that may be taking it a bit too far, but I'm still not buying the full game - and it has nothing to do with the price.

I would agree with everything you said if I thought I was getting a "real" Super Mario Bros game. I think if you go in the the mindset that you are buying a Mario themed Crossy Road / Temple Run, etc type game you won't be let down.

This is something very simple that non-gamers can play and compete with you. I have many friends who would never step in to a CSGO/Overwatch, SC2, or LoL/HoTS game with me but simple games like this can work. I personally don't find it rewarding alone, but I enjoy being able to compete with friends on something they feel comfortable playing.

Not everyone is a "true gamer". I look forward to exploring Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but a majority of the population won't. There will no doubt be more Mario games, perhaps even on phone, which has more depth. For now however, I see nothing wrong with trying to be more inclusive. In the days before 1 finger mobile games those kind of people really had little choice in what they could play, and more importantly for me, I could never compete with them :)

That's a fair point. I definitely had the wrong expectations going into the game, but that's part of the frustration. It looks, sounds, and moves so much like the Mario games I've enjoyed in the past that my mind naturally expects the gameplay to be similar. If it were themed any differently, I probably wouldn't be as critical - it'd just feel like another Geometry Dash-style game (not necessarily a bad thing, but not a favorite either).

I love your description of the game, and felt the same way. But what interests me more, as an occasional Nintendo system-owner, is that this game provides a nostalgic, but limited on-ramp to full-fledged console or mobile games. If this game does its job, I suspect it will remind folks of Mario and their fond memories of their first platforming experience, and draw them to purchase a 3DS, Wii U, or (more likely) Switch. I'm kind of thumb-upping Nintendo for not releasing previous games on iOS because this approach mines nostalgia while providing a better baseline for gameplay amongst folks willing to seek out a solid mobile/TV experience.

> My favorite games are the ones that embody some sense of freedom, and I just don't get that here (at least not from the first 3 levels). I completely understand Nintendo's decision to go with the single-finger jump-only game mechanic for a touchscreen device (I've never been a fan of virtual D-pads). But unfortunately, that decision has transformed Mario from a game about discovery and freedom into a game where you're - quite literally - not allowed to stop and take a second look at something.

> no, I'm not really motivated to repeat levels for coins - but I would be inclined to explore new paths through the game if I weren't always forced to be on the run).

These two statements are almost completely incompatible. Discovery and exploration in Super Mario Run is all about finding where the coins are hidden, discovering the path through the level that gets them, and mastering the mechanics in order to actually reach them. Making it to the flagpoles is only the first stage of the game, the heart of the game is about mastering the mechanics and levels in order to reach the pink, purple, and black challenge coins.

> we only care about what's immediately at hand in our myopic view of the world because, let's face it, this is 2016 and we're too lazy to flip our phones around to landscape mode, let alone to confront the harrowing idea of plotting our own course through life.

I think the myopic view on display here is coming into it with a preconceived notion of what you want it to be, failing to experience what it actually is and judge it on its own merits and how well it achieves what it set out to do, instead judging it based on what you decided you wanted it to be.

> My favorite games are the ones that embody some sense of freedom

I think in this case they've expressly designed for a different group, the speedrunners, and those of us who want a leisurely exploration experience will look elsewhere. Exploration and a small screen can be uncomfortable bedfellows.

I'm in a similar boat. I wanted to enjoy this, I love Mario games, but I don't like it. The gameplay is annoying because it's all about executing jumps properly, but when you mess one up you have to start the whole level over. That's not fun for me.

Ever play Super Mario Land 2 for the Gameboy? It felt like a full-fledged Super Mario World and it was achieved with only 160x144 resolution. The lack of a D-pad really did ruin immersion for me. All it would need is a Left, Right, and A button touch zones at the bottom.

For a long time, I've said that Super Mario Bros 3 was my favorite video game of all time. Lately though, when I think back on the hours I spent playing Super Mario Land 2 on my original Game Boy, it may take the crown. Amazing game! First appearance of Wario! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_Land_2:_6_Golden_C...

While watching the promo video, which gives zero information on what it is, I was actually under the impression it was a tie-in with a fitbit like device that you might use with headphones, and the audio would trigger you to jump at specific moments, and it would use that movement for jumps in some simulated run in a game it could show you later, and it would score you based on speed and jump accuracy.

Now I really want that.

I thought it was like that, expect that instead of specific moments in time there were specific real-world locations using geo-location.

Pokemon Go meets Super Mario meets Fitbit...

I guess this game would really need very light-weight AR headsets though.

That does sound fun.

They could sync those moments quite precisely (think NTP) so that everyone jump at the same time. Then it would also be fun to look at...

I like the game but unfortunately Nintendo really does suck when it comes to online accounts.

I had signed in on my iPhone then also set it up on my ipad. After finishing a few levels on the iPad i went back to my phone.

The phone let me finish a level, THEN came up and said 'cant progress as you're signed in on another device' and the app crashed.

what the fuck is the point of signing up for an account if it doesnt even sync across devices

Nintendo has always been terrible when it comes to non game software - whether account management, digital store, the user facing portion of their OSs, etc.

It's an organizational problem, and one that's not going away anytime soon.

The UI may have been terrible, but they all ran just as solidly as their games.

Let's hope the new Nintendo Switch console gets a good UI. The Wii, 3DS and Wii U have a UI that does look outdated and is clunky. Everything is separate app that takes ages to load. The XBox UI isn't good as well. The PS4 UI is easy to use and very fluent, nevertheless a few more options to customise the home screen wouldn't hurt.

I tried to connect my Facebook account and while it searches for "Friends" it crashes every time.

This is a known issue (reported in the notifications section). An update is coming to fix it.

It's always been bad. Navigating through all of their hardware menus is such a pain. Compare downloading games and updates on a Wii U or 3DS vs. a PS4. It's like navigating an ATM machine. But I tolerate it 'cause their games are always so damn charming.

I only tend to play games when i'm bored on a plane flying somewhere - the necessity for it to be connected to the internet for copyright protection after I pay $10 is devastating. I'm sure they will still make a lot of money and I make up a very small fraction of their market, but it's still quite frustrating being punished as a paying user.

I live on a farm with expensive/limited satellite net. I'm also a huuuuge Mario fan and retro game collector. I /was/ really excited for Mario Run but the always-on requirement makes it a no-buy for me and really disappointed me.

Worst part is all my friends are saying it's a great game!

I'm sure it'll be cracked eventually, so you could just pay for it then get that.

I really don't understand why they made it always on. They could have made it like steam where if you don't login for a few days you get locked out (or very limited access). I still want to buy it when it comes out on Android to support the paid game model with no IAPs.

Yes, this is disappointing. My Internet here is very flaky and it takes the joy out of playing this game somewhat.

Games are my fall back when I'm bored and don't have an internet connection, other wise I don't generally play mobile games.

Many of the other comments in this thread are low-effort "mobile games aren't real games, lol."

After playing just one level, you can tell that Super Mario Run the real deal and not a cash-in (and it gets hard, especially if you want to get Black Coins). If you have an aversion to mobile gaming, give this a try.

You can play 3 levels without having to pay anything and it doesn't nag you until then, which means that Nintendo only gets your money if they can convince you if it's worth it. And they do.

Yes... but the magic is in how they can convince you:

- Animation : it's better than Disney, seriously, this is pure keyframe genius

- Characters : I miss Yoshi, and I bet I'm not alone...

- Color Scheme : the Nintendo palette probably is patented, it's hard to pull off the balance they have between the character's color, the foreground & background within a 2D side scroller

- Challenge vs Payoff : the game play is inviting & rewarding in a odd / charming way

- Approachability : I'm biased but there's something uniquely fundamental about Mario Bros that universal in it's appeal..., it's Beatle-esque

Downloading now...

> Color Scheme : the Nintendo palette probably is patented, it's hard to pull off the balance they have between the character's color, the foreground & background within a 2D side scroller

I wonder if this is because of the heritage? The first games didn't have a large pallet to work with.

Yoshi's here. You can get him via Toad Rally.

> colour scheme patented

Even if it was, it's been more than 15 years. You mean trademarked? Copyright?

It wasn't meant literally.

> Many of the other comments in this thread are low-effort "mobile games aren't real games, lol."

Most people are on Android though, so there are a lot of people who can't give it a test run. I think that leads to more garbage comments like that.

I am surprised at how many comments are here but with only a single one mentioning "build". If you are playing the game, exit Tour, spend some Rally Tickets you earned collecting Colored Coins to compete against other players in Style competitions to get Toads to cheer for you and come to your side, which will level up your Kingdom and (based on the numbers of each of five colors of Toad you have) unlock the ability to Spend the normal Coins you find to Build not only Decorations, but also Buildings such as a Bonus Game Area where you can win Prizes. Then exit all of that and go to the Missions section of the My Nintendo menu to claim your Points to redeem for Rewards... and don't forget to come back every eight hours to the bonus game and every day to the rally and other random time intervals to complete various missions. Oh yeah: you also have a global count of how many of each kind of enemy you have killed, and when you meet objectives you increase your Enemy Level so you get more coins when killing that kind of enemy while competing in the rally. You can also unlock different characters to play as; I believe that Toad is a Reward you can unlock for 0 points just for having bought the game, so go do that now. OMFG this is complex and reminds me more of what I hear from people talking about scary games like FarmVille and Candy Crush than Mario :/.

Whoa. I'm about as far as tap screen to make Mario jump through the level right now. Paid $10 and I doubt I'll ever do all this stuff. I'll probably try for some purple coins. I love speed runs, so hopefully I figure out how to do that in there somewhere.

But I think young people, who have hours and hours and hours to spend just GAMING need this kind of thing now. They aren't as content with just running through levels, trying over and over again until you get it right. There has to be a ton of stuff to explore.

Maybe they got it just right then.

Old guys like me who love Mario will just tap and jump through the levels and have a great time. People with more time will have a wealth of stuff to figure out.

Granted, random game mechanics unrelated to the core Mario gameplay have been a staple of the franchise since before smartphones were invented.

At the least, there's no F2P Stamina meter for the core gameplay, which would be a very legit complaint.

Yes, they have "gamefied" Mario!

I believe that this game's always online DRM is incredibly disrespectful and will not buy it. I don't want to pirate anything. I actually want to pay real money once for a polished mobile game rather than getting mostly junk for free. Nintendo got that part of the equation right, I'll give them that. But because of the always online DRM, it's unusable on the subway or on an airplane. If I can't use it when I want it the most, what's the point of spending real money?

PS: This website is ridiculous. It takes forever to load up, and the marketing video is just a stupid video of a bunch of people doing parkour in slow motion or some junk like that. They probably spent 6 figures on that dumb video that nobody really gives a crap about. Then there's another loading screen after the video, and once that's done there's a really crappy UI for a slideshow that's not even responsive. IMO, idiotic executives fingerprints are all over this shitshow with bad decisions left and right. Nintendo is a fantastic company who is capable of amazing things, but they don't really get the web or mobile technology. Sad!

That website was frustrating.

- splash page that has to load the background video before you can do anything.

- you have to start watching the video on the splash page to skip it.

- horizontal navigation in the about page.

- clicking the obscure "here we go!" back link in the about page has to reload the video before you can do anything.

It looks really nice, but the interaction is incredibly slow and cumbersome.

I don't have javascript enabled. I saw a totally blank screen.

(Enabled javascript, did not get much more useful information...)

The announcement video had me thinking this was some sort of Pokemon GO / Fitbit cross-over. Thankfully, it's just a game.

Thankfully? I would be very excited to have another AR game. I feel like most so far have dropped the ball, but I also feel like AR gaming is going to be completely dominant in 10-20 years.

Would have preferred an AR Mario game to just about anything else Mario. Then again I'm not a huge Mario fan in the first place.

Same here, I felt pretty let down. I was thinking that Pokemon Go was such a hit that this was a natural follow-on to that, and that it really _might_ have people running down the streets (and hopefully not into traffic) with smiles on their faces.

Admittedly my AR vision got weirder and weirder along with the various parkour moves, and when the guy jumped an impossible distance my brain felt like it was going to collapse, wondering how this game could possibly work.

lol, all that mental effort and then: Touch platformer.

I thought the same. But running while looking at your phone seems like a recipe for disaster.

Maybe an audio game could work? Imagine a simple app that plays the coin sound when you jump.

> Imagine a simple app that plays the coin sound when you jump.

Imagine calling it a magic leap. Oh, and nobody ever makes the first jump ;)

I agree btw, I also initially thought this was a AR game. Perhaps Nintendo were making one, or its a hint for things to come?

While I do think that'd be awesome, and also has potentially interesting health effects (not necessarily all positive!) I think it is also dangerous in crowded cities. It'd be unpredictable. Imagine someone suddenly jumping in the air while you picked up a cup of coffee on the go from Starbucks? Or while you got your smartphone in your hands?

I wonder how successful this game would have been if it was the exact same but with non-mario graphics and without the nintendo hype. I would imagine most people would see "$10 for yet another runner game" and dismiss it out of hand.

I have yet to find a good solution for finding the gems and avoiding the cruft of the various stores.

It's not just a runner game though. I think calling it Super Mario "Run" gives it the stigma of other run games that copy Temple Run. But, it's more akin to Rayman.

How many Micky or Donald cartoons by Disney would be popular, if not for Micky or Donald? And the graphics of Mario Run are really excellent and thus a very important part of the gameplay experience. Also, the further I play the game, the more I see very carefully hand-crafted levels, which are an important reason, why Nintendo games are as successful as they are.

Rayman Jungle Run was reasonably similar, and it did fairly well for itself.

That took way too long to get to the actual playing... choosing my country(?!), linking to a nintendo account etc.

Yeah the onboarding is terrible.

But that's not surprising after seeing the Wii interface.

A terrible spinner to select countries for sure, but after that it improved in terms of UX , except the online accounts, but Nintendo has always had terrible online account management.

Based on the videos on the landing page, I was getting the impression this was a VR/fitness game. Everybody running around had me thinking you needed to run in order to your avatar to do the same. I was actually disappointed how little you actually have to do to play the game when I navigated a couple screens in to get the full-picture.

The Mario Run big promo video[1] seems to have just copied the marketing approach for Pokemon Go[2]: feel epic and show people in real life. However, Pokemon Go actually involves walking around in the real world, but Super Mario Run does not at all.

Seems like a definite miss in the marketing message, since I thought the same as you on first watch. I even saw the announcement at the Apple Event, but upon seeing the first video ad Nintendo created, I thought, "wait, does this have a fitness element to it?"

Definitely makes me wonder what kind of fitness-minded games could be done by Nintendo, though!

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpdfg5km60w [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sj2iQyBTQs

Well this is what happens when you let Americans market your video games.

See also: Skyrim Pinball. Welcome to the future.

A slam to an entire country does not contribute to the conversation.

Played a bit. Seems like a solid runner -- feels a bit more like the Rayman Run games than Canabalt or Jetpack Joyride to me. Curiously, it's more technical than any of those. Not sure I'm going to play more soon, but that's mostly because I'm playing on a 12.9" iPad Pro and the game feels like it's designed for screens half that size.

From the video, I really thought this was going to be some kind of miraculous game that would marry fitness (via real-life running) with gamification -- the kind of magic that only a truly visionary company could pull off. Like Fitbit only with real entertainment and joy attached.

Not going to lie, no matter how great the game is, I'm pretty disappointed.

> that would marry fitness (via real-life running) with gamification

I know I'm about a decade too late, but I've recently gotten hooked on DDR, which is exactly this for me. It's a pretty addictive game, and it feels like a real workout.

Could always go old school, and try to find an original Track and Field game mat :)

It's Flappy Mario. The only reason it's popular is the brand. The game itself is not bad, but it's not special. The extras on top of the game only make it worse.

Super Mario Run is a much deeper game than Flappy Bird.

    some kind of miraculous game that would marry fitness
   (via real-life running) with gamification 
Here you go,


Dude yes! That's exactly what I thought too. Oh well.

Am I the only one who feels in places the UI was rushed? Like the generic sans font in the splash screen, and buttons that look like Aqua from 10 years ago?

Yes they're essentially the same UI set from the Wii / Wii U and not well adapted to a touch screen device. For many screens, typically you'd just tap the screen but in this game you have to specifically tab a button in the center. Seems out of place especially that menu to select your region (what the heck is that about? The primary markets they're in are not near the top, either!).

> Seems out of place especially that menu to select your region

As I scrolled and scrolled to find United States in the list, I was thinking surely the OS has an API

You're not the only one. Those are the first two screens of the game (splash and then country selection) and I thought both choices were odd for the initial experience. Remarked to myself how out of place the font choice on the splash was. Odd contrast to the game itself and the world tour / toad rally screens which are typical Nintendo polish.

That first video is so inappropriate I can't get my head around it. I thought it was going to be an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go. Turns out it is just a regular game. I can't get back to the website to try it though, the promotional page sucks!

They really nailed this from an advertising and marketing perspective. From what I can see the gameplay is spot on too. Looks like Nintendo took a crowded genre, the runner, and completely pwnd it. Looking forward to the android release though as I own 0 iDevices.

Did they nail the marketing? The website makes it seem like I need to do some crazy parkour to complete the levels. I'm not even sure if you have to move around in the real world or not.

I tried it and didn't enjoy it. It largely comes down to tapping the screen when you want to jump... nothing else. Not having a real controller cripples this type of game.

> Not having a real controller cripples this type of game.

I disagree, this type of game is perfect for a touch screen. All you need to do is tap anywhere you like on the screen, you get all the tactile feedback you need.

Personally I love one button games so I don't see that as a negative at all.

I also disagree. I think they designed a great game for the only kind of interface possible on a small phone, which is tapping the screen. I don't play any phone games so maybe there are others that are similar, but this one is super polished and I'm enjoying it a lot.

I disagree. For the form factor this is the perfect game. If you wanted to play a Mario game on a portable device, you can invest in a 3DS. But for mobile games, these controls are perfect and tight. I've played dozens of games on my iPhone w/ a digital joystick and I am very happy w/ their decision to go with a tap control.

And yet, watch this game generate $1B.

I assumed as when the runners in the advert jumped it made the coin nose that would be what happened in the game , jump IRL to jump in game that would have been cool

So flappy bird?

Canabalt was a great game but this is nothing like Canabalt.

There is quite a bit of ingenuity and thought that went into making a game with a single user interaction (tap on the screen) but with also a fair degree of sophistication and strategy/decision making.

I've only played through about 6 levels and am impressed by the game play mechanics they have introduced with a limited interaction model.

My only wish is that it were a little faster.

I was hoping this would be like pokemon Go and push the trend of getting people out of the house. That's what the ad had me infer. Pokemon Go ---> Super Mario Run

Yeah, the video made me want to go outside and run, not take my mobile with me, and certainly not stay in and tap a screen.

the website redirect to /ch/index.html , and show nothing but `File not found."`

found this in javascript:

  case 'zh':
		location.href = _WARP_ + 'ch/index.html';
Chinese index page missing?

What year do they think this is that there is no Android version?

They have a "deal" with Apple to be first. Just wait.

How's that for a misleading commercial. I was 100% sure this was a Pokemon Go styled running game until I checked some Youtube videos.

The about page is more informative (https://supermariorun.com/en/about.html):

A new kind of Mario game you can play with one hand. Mario constantly runs forward, while you time your taps to pull off stylish jumps and moves to gather coins and reach the goal!

The video had me worried and excited it was some kind of AR based game

yeah seriously, haha. what's with the AR tease trickery

Nostalgia aside, SMR looks pretty underwhelming compared to other high-end runners like Rayman Adventures. Yes, it's remarkable that Nintendo caved to Apple's advances and they are likely to make a lot of money on this, but the game itself is just... meh, basically.

[1] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rayman-adventures/id10435896...

I thought this was going to be an augmented reality running app/game especially because of the recent Pokemon Go. Kind of disappointed when I watched the gameplay video.

Really would want to play this. I don't mind the concept especially the game is on par with those Rayman runner games. At least couple of the early ones were really great. The price is perhaps steep for what it is, not that it would stop me from buying this. Well the hype and interested might have mellowed down once the Android version comes out..

If you want to cash in on the success of this game, Nintendo's US-traded stock equivalent is NTDOY - it represents 1/8th share of the Japanese company stock, but traded in USD.

That said, it's not looking very good at the moment, and has fallen consistently from days before release, and still falling this morning.

Time to buy then if you believe in the success of the switch.

Don't believe in it one bit :) I'm on the other side of the market.

I watched the intro video and still have no idea what this app is or does.

Yeah that's one terrible video. Literally tells me nothing about the product. First thing that popped into my mind was Pokemon Go, but for Mario. Is this a Mario branded game which gamifies running in real-life encouraging kids to run to various locations to find coins or something?

Now I have to do a Google search.

Not sure why you've been downvoted. I feel the same way. I have no clue what this even is from the linked content.

You can tell what it is from the title. Super Mario is a popular video game character and has been for over 30 years. This is clearly a video game. Good job on being facetious though.

In all seriousness, based on the ad I was thinking this was some sort of Mario-themed AR game similar to Pokemon Go. It's not clear to everyone.

Exactly what I thought too, man. Don't listen to these people. They aren't providing useful responses.

Why do several people here think that "it's a video game" has any merit or descriptiveness to it?

It's obviously a video game. The real question is, what kind of game is it? And this question was not answered by the video. Plain and simple.

I just replied to one of your other comments where I argued that the title was enough to tell you everything you need to know. But I guess I can see how other people wouldn't see it that way.

For me, the fact that it is a game named Super Mario Run, made by Nintendo, for the iphone, instantly tells me that it will be a side scrolling runner-style game featuring Mario in Super Mario Bros style levels, with basic touch controls. In fact it occurred to me that I hadn't verified these assumptions and I just checked out the about page and found that it looks exactly like I expected.

I guess some people make the exact same assumptions I do, and this is totally not obvious to others, hence all of the miscommunication and arguing in this thread.

I replied to your other comment, and my stance is unchanged.

You got lucky in assuming what the game would be about. If you had done the same thing with other games (e.g. Pokemon Go) you would have completely missed the opportunity to discover a new kind of game.

I advise not judging things by their cover, unless you want to risk not discovering something new.

However, there is an abundance of information on the site about exactly what kind of game it is.

I won't defend the site design - it should be easier to get to https://supermariorun.com/en/about.html, but it still takes very little effort to find this.

It's a sidescrolling one-handed Super Mario game for iOS.

The ad is very confusing without context. It's not super clear, but you can close the video using the exit in the top right corner and then click "About":


It's a game. You play it for fun and entertainment.

> It's a game. You play it for fun and entertainment.

That's like me saying "food" when asked "What do you wanna eat?"

I'm guessing you aren't a gamer. Most gamers are not interested in the binary question of whether something is a game or not -- they are a step ahead of that.

I can see your point. But conversely I think "It's an iphone game named Super Mario Run" tells most gamers 90% of what they need to know.

You did not just say that. Alright -- here we go.

What you said is not true at all, and frankly, it sounds arrogant (which I don't mind, except in this case, you're wrong).

Let's go ahead and apply your logic to Pokemon Go: "It's an iPhone game named Pokemon Go".

That statement tells me nothing about Pokemon Go. I speak to you as someone who has played over 1200 hours of Pokemon Red, Yellow, Fire Red, Sapphire, Emerald, and Diamond. Gamers are experienced and humble enough to know that "Super Mario Run" could mean almost anything. Do not make the mistake of underestimating game developers, least of all Nintendo.

I posted a comment here about my first impression of the game's title:

"First thing that popped into my mind was Pokemon Go, but for Mario. Is this a Mario branded game which gamifies running in real-life encouraging kids to run to various locations to find coins or something?".

Other people on HackerNews seemed to share this viewpoint! It turns out this is not at all what the game is about.

> Let's go ahead and apply your logic to Pokemon Go: "It's an iPhone game named Pokemon Go".

You're missing some context here, as to someone who plays iPhone games the word 'Run' suggests that the game is an infinite runner[1]. So "an iPhone game named Super Mario Run" does imply more information (that it's probably an infinite runner, which is not quite correct, but reasonably close) than your Pokemon Go version.

[1] see Sonic Runners, Rayman Run, etc.

I'm not a gamer but I'm sure they're asking: Is it a side scroller? Is it AR? What are the mechanics? Will it be choppy/graphics intensive on my 2 year old phone? MMO? PvP aspects? Leaderboards? Pay-to-win or subscription? FFA or teams?

It was a 120s video. Showing gamers 5 seconds of game play would have told them about 70% of what they'd want to know.

I understand. But why?

There are 5 videos on that page. The intro video, titled 'Introduction to Super Mario Run' introduced me to what the app is, and what it does

Sadly, most of the promo to be the initial trailer which is the one with people jumping and running, like what?

It's a runner game. The character autoruns and you tap/swipe the screen to jump or do other moves. This is a pretty well established genre of mobile games, which avoids the usual usability issues of on-screen D-pads and the like.

This is a fun game. I cant even remember the last time I actually wanted to fire up a game because it was actually fun. Rarely play and when I do, it is just to kill time.

And also.. It brings back childhood memories to play Mario.

Someone needs to do an edit of that video where the mass of people at the end bang their face on a door with a note saying: "Sorry, we only had 5... come back after Christmas".

A little ironic that the video shows people actually being extremely physically active and then concludes with those same people heads down on a phone game at the end

Does it still have the always-online requirement?

Seems like it.

I appreciate the level of detail the game has compared to the average single finger jump game. But!, I think Nintendo is late to the game on this one. Had this game been launched a few years back a different story would've been. I'm not saying this is the wrong move, it's just a little late. The ad didn't help either, I honestly thought it was something similar to the pokemon game, where you had to run to get points or something, idk.

Another 'Run" game - just what mobile gaming needed!

This will fit right along my daughters' other 96 run games.


Now that your sarcasm has ended, if you give it a shot, it actually plays just like any of the DS versions but w/ auto run. It's definitely much more than just a runner. The level design is very polished too.

Well that and a $9.99 purchase price.

Has anyone done any reverse engineering to figure out what infrastructure this is running on?

I was a little confused to see an iOS release only - wasn't the thing built in Unity?

The homepage ad is amazing. It makes me want to put my phone away and play outside.

I have an iPhone 6 and immediately I started the game with no sound and apparently it is an issue with others. Uninstalled. http://wojdylosocialmedia.com/no-sound-audio-super-mario-run...

Flick the switch on the left side of your phone.

On iOS 10.2 it just craches as soon as it's opened. Not too impressed.

I'm using iOS 10.2 on iPhone 5s and it's working perfectly.

I'm on iPhone 6. Tried deleting and reinstalling which didn't help.

The video makes it look like it's similar to Pokémon GO.

A Yip, Yap, Ya-HOOO!

The App Store reviews are appalling though. How can people be so incredibly entitled I couldn't possibly understand.

I'm inclined to ignore this as another game hitch hiking on the Mario name.

Have we reached 200 yet?

boo, no AR

Horrible game, extremely low quality, thoroughly disappointed from the first screen to the end of the first level where I was disconnected due to no internet connection (which I did have). Uninstalled.

Really a pity this wasn't released internationally!

My Pixel is ready... :/

Why sell to 80% of the market when you can can take 20%. Dr. Evil must have a job on the marketing team.

When it comes to actually making money from your software, iOS is where the 80% is at.

Yup. I'm an Android user by habit, but were I to release a game for a mobile device, most of my effort would be around making sure the iOS version was as pin-perfect as I could make it.

Why do you rob a bank? 'Cause that's where the money is.

Depends on the game/monetization method.

I'm fairly confident (without having any data/just guessing) that Pokemon Go generated more money on Android than iOS because there's more devices and I don't think iOS users are that more likely to ingame buy for this particular game.

Also if you use a free+add based model I'd once again say Android would do well.

For a one time buy game that's relatively expensive like MarioRun I agree with your statement though. And I'm sure the exclusive partnership with Apple has other benefits, being announced at the KeyNote is great free marketing for example.

2/5 stars.

A Mario-themed Flappy bird clone?

How it stands out of thousands of similar "runner" games in app store? Only by having the sprite of Mario in it. Nintendo is nothing more but trademark-selling company nowadays.

And lots of people buys it not because of nostalgia but because you must respect classics to claim you have good taste.

The world of mobile games is infinite bullshit.

Some think the level design and mechanics (different blocks and timings) are important.

After all, pick any side scrollers or any first person shooters and you could say the same about those categories too, if you ignore the art, design, and mechanics.

Why play sonic once you beat contra?

I got really turned off when it was listed as "Free (with in-app purchases)". Turns out it's basically a 10 minute demo, after which you have to pay $9.99.

Maybe it's good, but deceptive enough I uninstalled it.

Personally, I find the 'free demo' model far preferable to the two alternatives, upfront payment and microtransaction hell. The former is problematic on iOS where there are no refunds (more or less; at least, Apple's refund process is cumbersome with no guarantee of acceptance) - I've purchased countless apps for a few dollars (after looking at the description and screenshots) just to realize, literally seconds after opening them and actually being able to try them out, that they were either poor quality or otherwise not what I was looking for, followed by deletion from my home screen. And the IAP option, well, it encourages designing the game mechanics to be as dissatisfying as possible, i.e. exactly the opposite of how game design is supposed to work, while constantly tempting you to leap ahead in the game by just paying a small fee. This is what most mobile games do, and it's horrible.

But in Super Mario Run's case, the problem is just that the game's too short. After all, what you call a "10 minute demo" (for anyone reading, it's not actually time limited) is 1 of the 6 worlds in the main game mode; the later levels are harder and thus more time consuming, but not that much. I got halfway through it today in maybe an hour, while collecting all the pink coins for each level.

EDIT: But not the purple and black coins. I just tried collecting those for the first two levels and it takes quite a bit longer. Still not a huge game but they clearly designed for replay value... I wonder why they didn't just add more levels, though. As Super Mario Maker has shown, it doesn't take that much work to create Mario levels when the tileset, mechanics, etc. are already in place.

I don't have a problem with demos, they're great. It's the fact it's not advertised that way that really irked me.

Maybe it's buried in the description somewhere, but the first indication I got that it was a demo was after wasting about 25 minutes downloading, installing, setting up a Nintendo account, downloading more levels, then learning the game mechanics.

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