Super Mario Run
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Super Mario Run is an automatic runner platformer game for mobile devices. In the game, Mario is constantly moving to the right and the player can make him jump by tapping the screen. The game features four modes: World Tour, the main game mode where players go through 6 different worlds to rescue Princess Peach, Kingdom Builder, where players can customize their own kingdom with different objects, Toad Rally, a battle mode where players can race against another player's time, and Remix 10, where the player has to play through a series of 10 short courses multiple times as part of a quest to rescue Princess Daisy. Nintendo markets the game as the first Super Mario title that can be played with one hand.
The game was initially released exclusively on iOS in 150 territories worldwide on December 15, 2016, later released in South Korea on January 31, 2017, and in 14 additional territories by March 22, 2017. The game was later released worldwide on Android devices on March 23, 2017. Super Mario Run is free-to-start, with the full game costing USD$9.99. It is the second mobile application developed and published by Nintendo (following Miitomo), and the first Mario mobile game.
Unlike previous installments in the series, Mario (or one of the other 10 playable characters) perpetually runs to the right without any player input. If the player taps on the screen, they will jump, which can be affected by standing on certain blocks. In addition, if the player taps on the screen while sliding against a wall, they will perform a Wall Jump away from a wall. The player will automatically vault over certain obstacles and small enemies, such as Pipes and Goombas, without taking damage.
Normally, players are only able to take one hit before either being sent into a bubble, which they can then pop by tapping the screen (in World Tour and Toad Rally), or dying (in Remix 10 and World Tour if the player has ran out of bubbles). However, if the player obtains a Super Mushroom, their character will grow in size and can take two hits instead of one, outside of certain obstacles that instantly kill the player. Before the 3.0.4 update, only Mario and Luigi had the ability to take multiple hits, with all other characters instead obtaining 5 coins upon touching a Super Mushroom. In addition, players can obtain a Super Star from certain ? Blocks, as well as from Lakitu in certain situations. While the effects last, players with a Super Star can automatically defeat most enemies simply by touching them and are immune to most obstacles.
While playing the game, players are also able to listen to their own music on their device through iTunes or Google Play. While doing so, the playable character will wear oversized headphones and have music beats emanate from the headphones. This feature can be activated at any time through a Toad wearing headphones in Kingdom Builder or on the pause screen.
World Tour is the main gameplay mode of Super Mario Run, where players are tasked with completing 24 different levels in order to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. Each level has the player run through a series of challenges, usually centered around a certain enemy or mechanic, in order to reach the flagpole at the end of the level. In Castle and Airship levels, instead of a flagpole, the player will have to fight a boss, either Boom Boom (in Airship levels) or Bowser (in Castle levels). Upon completing the first 24 levels, World Star is unlocked, containing 9 levels which can only be unlocked by completing certain objectives. In addition, 4 additional levels can be accessed through special pipes in the Kingdom Builder mode.
Instead of a traditional lives system, the player can continue playing a level as long as they have any bubbles remaining, resulting in them being encased in a bubble and being moved back onto solid ground. The player starts with 2 bubbles at the start of each level, though more can be obtained by hitting certain ? Blocks. In addition, the player can prematurely use a bubble by tapping the icon on the top-left of the screen, allowing them attempt to collect any collectables they missed earlier in the level without having to restart the level entirely. Each level also has a timer, usually starting with 60 to 90 seconds. If the timer counts down to 0, the player will die, regardless of the number of bubbles they have left. However, many levels have Time Blocks that will grant the player more time when hit. The player's bubble count and time do not carry over between stages or runs of the same stage.
In every level, five Pink Coins may be found among regular coins and within Brick Blocks. If all five Pink Coins are collected in a single run, Purple Coins are unlocked within the level, which function identically to Pink Coins, but are put in more challenging locations. If all five Purple Coins coins are again collected, Black Coins are added to the level, with different locations to the previous 2 sets of color coins. Levels might have slight modifications made to them depending on which color of coins are available to collect. If the player collects all of the Pink, Purple, or Black Coins within each of the first 24 levels, they will unlock a corresponding colored pipe for Kingdom Builder mode, allowing them to access 1 of 3 bonus levels. In addition, if all of the Black Coins are collected in each of the 9 levels in World Star, the Gold Star Pipe will be unlocked, allowing access to a 4th bonus level.
Worlds 2 through 6, as well as World Star, can only be accessed by paying to unlock the full game. Only the first three levels of the game, as well as the first 30 seconds of the fourth level can be accessed for free. However, starting with version 2.0.0, by completing Bowser's Challenges, players are given an additional 60 seconds on the timer for Bowser's Castle Hangout, allowing them to complete the entire level.
In the version 2.0.0 update, an Easy Mode was added, giving an infinite amount of bubbles and time. However, after finishing a level, the player does not keep any Coins collected and the personal high coin count is not recorded.
A Gold Goomba Event are held in this mode. In this event, Gold Goombas appears in certain levels, indicated by a Gold Goomba icon in the level select screen. Defeating a Gold Goomba earns a stamp in the stamp card at the end of a level. During the event, levels with Gold Goombas don't affect the high coin count. There are two types of the Gold Goomba Event: "Mega Event" has four stamp cards with 20 stamps spots each, and "Lite" has four stamp cards with 5 stamp spots each (with the fourth card having 10 stamp spots instead of 5).
List of levels
Toad Rally has players compete against "ghosts" of other players in one-minute runs through randomized levels, with the goal being to collect the most coins and Toads. Toads can be attracted by performing certain actions, such as Vaulting Jumps, Rolling Jumps, and stomping on multiple enemies in a row without touching the ground. By performing these actions and collecting Pink Coins, the player will also fill up a meter presented near the top of the screen. Once the meter is filled up (or a Super Star is obtained), the player will temporarily enter a Coin Rush, where objects will dispense considerably more coins than normal, enemies will supply more coins upon being defeated, and Toads will be more easily attracted. Coin Rushes can be prolonged by performing certain actions (the same as those that fill the Coin Rush meter) or collecting coins.
At the end of the one-minute round, both competitors' total number of coins and Toads will be compared, giving them a numerical score. The player with the higher score will win, resulting in them taking the Toads of the other player. If the player wins the match, they will gain the Toads both they and their opponent collected during the match. However, if the player loses, they will lose a few of their Toads they had before the match started. Using certain characters can also result in a difference in the amount and variety of Toads gained. If the player plays as one of the Yoshis, Toads of the corresponding color will become more likely to be attracted. If the player plays as Toadette, the player will be able to attract Toads more easily.
Players are able to choose between 5 different opponents from the menu screen, each being found in one of 7 different environments. Each match has somewhat randomly-generated levels, with the levels being made up of small segments from World Tour levels using the selected environment, strung together into one infinite level. While matches can initially only be played in the plains environment, they are able to unlock more as they progress through the World Tour. The environment chosen also impacts which colors of Toads can be obtained during the match.
An event called "Loads of Coins Event" are held in this mode. After a match, the coins that are collected are multiplied by 1.5.
In Friendly Run, accessed through the Friends List, the player can compete against the ghosts of friends in a round of Toad Rally. However, unlike a normal Toad Rally, the player will neither gain nor lose Toads. In a Friendly Run Event, they can earn Rally Tickets, which can be used in regular Toad Rally or Remix 10. Initially, Friendly Run can only be played once a day. However, the limited number of plays increases to three when World 1 is cleared, and to five when World 2 is cleared.
In Kingdom Builder, players can place down various different structures and decorations into the Mushroom Kingdom, allowing them to customize the area to their liking. While most objects are only aesthetic, some objects can be used to obtain coins, Rally Tickets, new characters, or access bonus stages. Objects can be obtained by buying them with coins in the in-game shop, the Bonus Game in Remix 10, and from giveaways during special events. However, most items found within the shop require the player to have a certain number of Toads of different colors, obtained through Toad Rally, in order to buy them.
Objects are divided into 3 categories: Decorations, Buildings, and Special. Decorations can be placed on grassy patches of land, while buildings and special objects can only be placed on specific plots of dirt, with some larger buildings requiring 2 or 4 spaces in order to be placed. Special objects are generally interactive or produce some special effect that buildings and decorations do not have. ? Blocks can reward the player with coins or Rally Tickets, special Toad Houses allow the player to play minigames to gain coins or Rally Tickets, colored pipes allow access to bonus stages, and Rainbow Bridges unlock new sections of the kingdom, with even more space to place objects.
At the start, only one section of the kingdom is available to place objects on. However, by unlocking more Toads through Toad Rally, more sections of the kingdom can be unlocked, allowing the player to place down more objects. New sections of the kingdom will also have Thwomps blocking certain plots of land, preventing objects from being placed where they stand until the Thwomps are destroyed using Hammers, which can be obtained by completing each world in World Tour, although Thwomps can be replaced as buildings once the player obtains enough Toads.
Remix 10, introduced in version 3.0.4, has the player go through 30 areas, each containing a series of 10 bite-sized levels all played in a row, in order to rescue Princess Daisy. Each level is filled with 3 Bonus Medals, 5 in the case of "Special Remix," "Secret Course," and limited-time courses. The goal is the complete all 10 stages while grabbing as many Bonus Medals as possible, without dying. Completing ten courses without failing rewards 2 extra Bonus Medals, and collecting all Bonus Medals rewards 3 more medals.
No Game Over screen is included; if the player fails to complete a course, they will proceed to the next one. Completing all the stages rewards the player with new items to customize their kingdom in Kingdom Builder mode. However, if the player fails a boss battle against Bowser or Boom Boom, found at the end of each area, they will lose all Bonus Medals earned during the 10 courses and will return to the last Goal Pole, and upon fighting the boss again, the player will be given a Mushroom.
Unlike the game's other modes, players cannot choose their character. Most levels are played as Mario, except for the fifth level of each run, where Mario is replaced by a different, already unlocked character, randomly selected upon entering the area.
In addition, starting in Area 6, the 3rd or 7th level of the run will oftentimes become a "Special Remix," an already existing level remixed to contain a new enemy or element, or "Secret Course," a brand new level not based off of any World Tour stage. Occasionally, the 1st level of a run can be replaced by a "cloud" level that contains a Super Star, 5 Bonus Medals, and a bunch of coins. They only appear when the coin counter ends in double digits (i.e. 11, 22, etc) at the end of the run, and these special stages will only last for 15 minutes before disappearing. Rarely, a sparkling "cloud" level appears instead, which contains a Super Star and a high number of Bonus Medals.
One Rally Ticket is required to play Remix 10. However, players who have not purchased the full game are required to wait for a period of time between two games starting from Area 3, or use Rally Tickets to skip the time. However, as the player advances through the mode, the amount of time between attempts and the number of Rally Tickets required to skip the wait increases.
Various limited-time events are held in this mode, such as Bonus Medals that are collected are multiplied by 1.2, and the appearance rate of 5★/6★ items in Super Bonus Game are increased.
There are currently a total of 11 playable characters in Super Mario Run. At the start of the game, only Mario is available, with the rest being unlockable through playing each of the different modes.
Each character plays differently from each other; Luigi can jump higher than Mario, Toad can run faster than Mario, Peach can float in midair, Toadette can convert some Toads to the player's side before the final tally in Toad Rally, the playable Yoshis can flutter jump and obtain more Toads of their own color in Toad Rally, and Daisy can double jump. Prior to the 3.0.4 version of the game, only Mario and Luigi would grow big and be able to take 2 hits when touching a Super Mushroom. However, as of version 3.0.4, the rest of the playable characters receive a small form and thus can take 2 hits before dying as well.
1 - Only one Yoshi color will appear in each Remix 10 area.
Since the later 5 worlds of World Tour, and by extension Yellow and Purple Toads, are exclusive to the full version of the game, only Mario, Toad, Blue Yoshi, and Princess Daisy can be unlocked in the free version.
Once Mario defeats an enemy for the first time, it is added to the notebook. If Mario defeats a certain amount of the same kind of enemy, they will level up and drop more coins than usual when defeated in Toad Rally.
Obstacles are not included in the notebook as they cannot be defeated.
Items and Objects
Nintendo has supported Super Mario Run post-launch in the form of new content, special events, and bug fixes. The following is a list of updates the game has received since launch.
In addition, Peach, Toad, Toadette and the Yoshis receive their small forms along with the other playable characters, and the background for airship courses are gray, stormy clouds instead of white clouds in prior versions.
Super Mario Run has received generally positive reviews, with the iOS version earning a 77 on Metacritic based on 46 reviews and an 77.31% based on 26 reviews on GameRankings. The game is generally praised for its simple, yet intuitive controls and that the game retains the quality level design from previous Mario platformers. Critics also praise the social competitiveness of the Toad Rally mode and building objects as motivation from Kingdom Builder. On the other hand, the game has been criticized for its relatively short World Tour length and low replayability of the levels, as well as the requirement for the game to be online.
Michael McWhertor of Polygon gave Super Mario Run a 7 out of 10 in his review. He has praised the game for its mechanics being translated well into taps for a touchscreen, but laments how it has been compromised by the lack of power-ups and precise control the series is known for. The review has described Kingdom Builder as a "lengthy grind in service of unlocking mostly cosmetic items." In his final verdict, he has described the game as "an enjoyable but imperfect adaptation of the Mario games for touchscreen devices." Jose Otero of IGN has given Super Mario Run an 8 out of 10,, praising the game for its strong level designs and new mechanics though also citing three-hit boss fights with Boom Boom and Bowser as "relics from Nintendo’s past" and states that "they’re not as smart or clever as the rest of the campaign stages." He has also cited that the visuals are not impressive, especially compared to another mobile auto-runner platformer, Rayman Jungle Run, but has praised Mario's animations within the game. His final statement stated that Super Mario Run is an elegantly designed platformer with strong hooks despite not being the best-looking Mario game by a longshot.
Super Mario Run received 3.5 million downloads in its first day, eclipsing another highly popular app game, Pokémon GO, which had only 900,000. It has reached the No. 1 spot in the App Store's top grossing and top free charts in the United States.
During an October 2017 Financial Results Briefing, it was reported that the app had been downloaded more than 200 million times worldwide, with 90% of the downloads being from outside Japan. Despite the large amount of downloads, it was also stated that the game had failed to reach an "acceptable profit point."
Awards and acknowledgements
Super Mario Run was nominated for the "Best Mobile Game" award at The Game Awards 2017. However, it ultimately lost to Monument Valley 2. Super Mario Run also achieved 2017's "Most Downloaded New Game" from Google Play.
App Store description
References to other games
Names in other languages