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Trying Out Super Mario Run's Free Version

by Neal Ronaghan - December 8, 2016, 12:36 pm PST
Total comments: 3

Apple Stores in America are showing off Super Mario Run's first world. We investigate.

In case you missed the announcement, you can go to any Apple Store and check out a demo of Super Mario Run. The demo contains what appears to be the complete free version of the game - which is made up of three full levels and a time-restricted fourth. Essentially, it’s the first world. I played through the levels a few times, exploring and poking around. Here’s some thoughts.

Mario Does Parkour Now?

As you might have seen from videos, Mario vaults over Goombas when you get to them. That seems to prevent against frustrating deaths as Mario auto-runs. Ideally, you want to jump on the Goomba’s head as normal as you get credit for defeating it and can springboard off them to reach greater heights. Not every enemy is easily vaulted over, though. For example, Piranha Plants seem to always do damage.

Pink, Purple, and Black Coins!

Mario Run appears to have a bit of a high-score bent, with more coins present than in normal Mario levels. It actually seems to be a little inspired by New Super Mario Bros. 2 and its infrequent auto-run levels. In addition to regular coins, you can find five pink coins. Find those five, and then a new version of the level, now with five purple coins, is playable. After you find those, the black coin variant is unlocked. The basic layout is unchanged in those two latter versions, but a lot of the blocks, obstacles, and secrets are tweaked. It’s not quite a brand new stage, but it’s enough of a change to feel different. The purple and black coin stages seem like Master Quest versions of the original levels.

24 Stages Across Six Worlds

It’s been circulating for a while, but Super Mario Run has six worlds with four stages each. The last stage of the first five worlds are castles or airships, with the last two of the sixth being an airship and a castle. And I know this is cheating a little bit, but you could kind of look at those levels as having three different forms, so really there are 72 levels to figure out with 360 special coins to find.

Waiting for December 15

I walked away from playing Super Mario Run stoked for next week. It might not be the bold new 3D Mario game we’re all waiting for (that’s coming out on Switch!), but the early goings feel like the next step in Mario’s 2D legacy. Mario Maker opened up the toolkit for the old style, and Super Mario Run is showing a new one. Who knows - maybe the future will hold a future version of Mario Maker where you can make your own Run levels.

Talkback

LemonadeDecember 10, 2016

Just played the demo a few times at an apple store. Its ok, but a more accurate name would be Ultra Casual Mario Run.
Its very hard to die, mario will hop over goombas and koopas. Paranha plants and falling down pits will put you in a bubble and you will float backwards, then you tap to pop the bubble and continue.
I was able to that three times before it made me restart the stage. I didnt notice if you get another three bubbles, or just one.
It definitely plays ok and is fun, but I dont think we are the target audience.

SorenDecember 10, 2016

The always on internet connection sucks. I'm going on a trip and I was hoping to play some Mario Run on the plane but it looks like I won't now. Fine, more Rhythm Heaven time for me then.

LemonadeDecember 10, 2016

Rhythm Heaven is a better game than Mario Run, so I wouldnt worry too much.

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Mobi

Game Profile

Genre Action
Developer Nintendo
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Super Mario Run
Release Dec 15, 2016
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Mario Run
Release Dec 15, 2016
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Super Mario Run
Release Dec 15, 2016
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Super Mario Run
Release Dec 15, 2016
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral

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