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.
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.
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.
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.
> "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.
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 was only referring to buttons.
It's all about using existing UX mechanics versus Nintendo bringing over awkward console mechanics to a touch screen device.
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 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.
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 also thought it wouldn't be allowed, but apparently it is. If they just released a separate free version there'd be no problem.
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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.
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.
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 (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.
If that's intentional it's quite an insidious dark pattern.
Now I stick to puzzle games that provide a large amount of enjoyment relative to the cost. The Room series is phenomenal.
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.
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" 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.
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." 
"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." 
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." 
I think the whole point is to get a coin highscore and/or collect the purple coins in every level.
The levels also have different obstacle and coin layouts depending on the special coins you are going for.
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.
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?
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.
Short play sessions have nothing to do with depth or lack of it.
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'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.
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).
nintendo is sticking to an old school pricing model by making a f2play game?
damn im old, like older than 5 years old old
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.
They are available through steam.
Personally, I don't think any of id's pre-DOOM games hold up well. But that could just be me...
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.
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
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.
The majority of us do. Disappointing they launched exclusively on iOS.
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.. :-)
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 played 1v1 CoDBlOps once. It was really boring.
And then there is the pay money for currencies shenanigans.
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.
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 :)
> 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.
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.
Now I really want that.
Pokemon Go meets Super Mario meets Fitbit...
I guess this game would really need very light-weight AR headsets though.
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
It's an organizational problem, and one that's not going away anytime soon.
Worst part is all my friends are saying it's a great game!
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.
- 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
I wonder if this is because of the heritage? The first games didn't have a large pallet to work with.
Even if it was, it's been more than 15 years. You mean trademarked? Copyright?
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.
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.
At the least, there's no F2P Stamina meter for the core gameplay, which would be a very legit complaint.
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!
- 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.
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.
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.
Maybe an audio game could work? 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 have yet to find a good solution for finding the gems and avoiding the cruft of the various stores.
But that's not surprising after seeing the Wii interface.
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!
See also: Skyrim Pinball. Welcome to the future.
Not going to lie, no matter how great the game is, I'm pretty disappointed.
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.
some kind of miraculous game that would marry fitness
(via real-life running) with gamification
As I scrolled and scrolled to find United States in the list, I was thinking surely the OS has an API
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.
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.
location.href = _WARP_ + 'ch/index.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!
That said, it's not looking very good at the moment, and has fallen consistently from days before release, and still falling this morning.
Now I have to do a Google search.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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":
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.
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.
You're missing some context here, as to someone who plays iPhone games the word 'Run' suggests that the game is an infinite runner. 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.
 see Sonic Runners, Rayman Run, etc.
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.
And also.. It brings back childhood memories to play Mario.
This will fit right along my daughters' other 96 run games.
Have we reached 200 yet?
Why do you rob a bank? 'Cause that's where the money is.
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.
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.
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?
Maybe it's good, but deceptive enough I uninstalled it.
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.
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.