After Miitomo, it was obviously only going to be a matter of time before Mario himself made his first official appearance on smartphones. But even though I knew it was coming, I have to say that at the time, the news of Super Mario Run felt pretty big to me.
Sadly, while the idea of Mario making his mobile phone debut is quite an exciting one, I didn’t think the game was really very interesting. It’s visually very similar to New Super Mario Bros. U and doesn’t provide much in the way of innovation. The unique twist of the game is that Mario always runs forward and all you do is tap the screen to jump. It feels very basic when compared to the other platformers in the series, but it also lacks the addictive nature you normally find in smartphone games. Oh, also you have to pay £10 to have all the levels, which feels like a lot. Though he doesn’t often do so, I feel Mario’s rival Sonic did the concept a lot better in Sonic Runners.
Outside of the usual platforming, you can also build a little Mushroom Kingdom of your own. You earn coins in levels, which you then use to build things and attract Toads. I never found this very interesting. One cool thing is that the game got some Super Mario Odyssey content before the game even came out (in the form of Pauline and Cappy statues) but this is pretty minor. You use this feature to unlock more characters by building different structures. You can unlock Luigi, Toad, Toadette, Peach and various Yoshis.
The best content in the game came a little later, when they added a feature called Remix 10. In this mode, Princess Daisy has been kidnapped and then you run through sequences of ten mini levels in order to rescue her. This is fast paced and fun. To be honest, the whole game should have been built around it. You can also put headphones on Mario so that you can listen to your own music instead of the game’s bland soundtrack – although, ironically, the Remix 10 music is better than all the rest. It felt weird to see him hopping and jumping around the Mushroom Kingdom while Anathema played – but weird in a good way. In the end, you unlock Daisy and can use her for the first time in a platformer, which I’m sure her fans appreciate.
To be honest, I didn’t really think it was worth spending £10 on, as the additional content was quite superfluous. You get all you could from the experience in the free version. I’m sure some fans got more enjoyment out of it than I did, but I found the whole thing very generic. I’d happily recommend skipping it.