So the much talked about first official Nintendo released cellphone game is here. And while this isn’t a complete review, mainly because I don’t have any friends that have the game to judge the Vs a friend aspects of the game. I feel I’ve played enough to give a fair opinion and to suggest if it’s worth a purchase.
It should be no surprise that Nintendo’s first major cellphone game is basically just a Mario game at its core. But if you’re going to be on a new platform you may as well not try and reinvent the wheel and go with what you do best.
The gameplay is standard Mario affair but with an auto run feature making it easier to play with one hand. Hopefully that other hand isn’t manipulating a steering wheel folks. Potential car accidents aside, the game is a blast. You lightly tap the screen for a small jump and hold down for a high jump. Mario hops over smaller obstacles on his own and even attack Goombas and Koopas. Timing a jump during his attack will net you bonus coins and even have the Plumber do a different animation for your timed jump. All the enemies and levels are standard Mario affair with graphics similar to the Wii U version, which is a good thing. Some minor differences include invisible arrow blocks that when hit unlock a string of coins in that direction. If Mario hits a solid object he will reverse momentarily and then redirect in the appropriate direction. There are also “pause blocks” that bring him to a stop so you can properly plan your next move. But don’t take too long, the 60 seconds you are given within the level go by quick. And that’s mainly what killed me. Dying is much different than regular Mario games as you are given two bubbles at the beginning of each stage. When you meet your demise you appear in the bubble and begin to float in it to a previous point of the stage. Tapping it makes it pop and then you’re off again. You can use this to your advantage in case you missed coins or the elusive pink coins. There are 5 pink coins on each stage and collecting all 5 unlocks more difficult locations for the stages in which you found all of them. And then they change colors. All of this colored coin collecting is basically bragging rights to compare against friends.
So the big question is, it’s fun yes, but at 10 dollars is it worth it? Typically cellphone games are free with purchases coming in the way of upgrades and such to make the game easier. And while you can download Mario Run for free and try out the first few levels. It is indeed 10 bucks for the whole game. That full game does include 6 worlds, with 4 levels within each world each containing that classic face off with Bower. On top of that there’s the “Toad Challenge” which pits you against stock Nintendo AI players, which are basically ghosts running around on the same stage as you. Or you can challenge other users and friends ghosts, or Toads. Winning these challenges unlocks Toads that help you build up your Kingdom. In your Kingdom you can set up bonus levels or houses that let you play other mini games as long as you have enough coins that you can easily get replaying levels. You can also link your Nintendo account, assuming you have one, and use your Mii Instead of Mario.
So instead of giving this a score I’m just going to give it a recommendation to go ahead and purchase. Especially if you don’t own a handheld system and primarily play cellphone games. This is pretty much a full fledged Mario game that you would see on the DS or Wii U. Now excuse me I have some coins to collect!