Super Mario Run is a strong mobile game, there is no denying that. However, after completing 24 levels across 8 worlds, this trip to Mushroom Kingdom leaves a lot to be desired.
Mario feels great navigating the platforms that make up the short runs to save Peach for the millionth time. Jumps are perfectly bouncy and vaulting over Goombas to catch a hard to reach pink, purple, or black coin is satisfying. The game shines most here even if some of Mario’s new moves break the rules we’ve come to know. If I don’t jump I will place my white gloves upon the baddie’s head and spring into the air? Ok, ever since the NES days this would result in a life lost, but not in Super Mario Run.
This new mechanic is effective, but might make more sense in a platformer focused on speed running. Super Mario Run’s portrait orientation and vertical design detracts from the lightning quick gameplay that could be. Mario Run shines most when springing through the most traditional side scrolling maps that spend more time moving horizontally than up to the clouds. I was aching for Mario to gain momentum as he hit each platform to propel himself faster and with each jump farther, but to my disappointment this never happened. This would have been the better game; a mobile Mario adventure that relied on well-timed taps on your iPhone’s glass to hit more complex patterns of platforms.
Super Mario Run is a polished Nintendo experience with a high level of production and it feels good to play. It feels a little cheap to recycle the same 24 levels with different coin paths to create more “levels”. If you’re not the completionist type, you may put your phone down after about 2 hours. But asside from the lame one-dimensional boss fights and rule-breaking haunted house levels that tear down all you’ve learned until that point, Run is generally an enjoyable game.
Yes, you can play Super Mario Run while shoveling a handful of Koopacake into your face, but is that important?
Is it worth $10? That’s a whole other discussion.
Interested in Super Mario Run? Just play Rayman Jungle Run.