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Super Mario Run (known as Super Mario Parkour in the Chinese FAQ) 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.[1][2] Nintendo markets the game as the first Super Mario title that can be played with one hand. This game was developed with the Unity game engine.

The game was initially released exclusively on iOS in 150 territories on December 15, 2016, later released in South Korea on February 1, 2017, and then on Android devices, as well as 14 additional territories, on March 22, 2017. Super Mario Run is free-to-start, with the full game costing USD$9.99 (the price slightly varied in some countries). It is the second mobile application developed and published by Nintendo (following Miitomo), and the first Mario mobile game.

It uses the New Super Mario Bros. style for the game's art, but adds some twists in various elements like blocks that send Mario back. The game is free to start with the first world and Toad Rally, but later levels are required to be purchased similar to several of Nintendo's Free to start titles like Rusty's Real Deal Baseball or Stretchmo.

Gameplay

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 perform a Wall Jump away from a wall. The player automatically vaults over certain obstacles and small enemies, such as Pipes and Goombas, without taking damage.

Normally, players are able to take only 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). Instead of a traditional lives system, the player can continue playing a level as long as they have any bubbles remaining. 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 collectibles they missed earlier in the level without having to restart the level entirely.

However, if the player obtains a Super Mushroom, their character grows 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 has 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.

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.

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 wear oversized headphones (known as Headphone Mario) 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.

Game modes

World Tour

In total, there 6 Worlds with 4 levels. Completing each World will unlock levels for Toad Rally. Each level has a set of Purple Coins. Collecting all 5 in a level will unlock the second set in harder locations and collecting that set will unlock the third set in even harder locations.

Levels

Toad Rally

Toad Rally is an asynchronous multiplayer mode where players compete over the same level with the most style to impress Toads into joining you, if you don't impress them, some other kid gets them. When won, the attracted Toads are used in Kingdom Builder.

Kingdom Builder

This is the mode the game starts on. The player can decorate this kingdom with various decorations using coins and Toads. Some decorations give access to different characters and further expansion to the player's kingdom.

Remix 10

This is a new mode added in September 2017. This mode randomly splices together 10 sections from the game's various levels in quick succession with Rainbow Medals as collectibles in these stages. There is no Game Over screen in this mode and if the level isn't complete, the player can just move on to the next one without penalty. Finishing the stages and collecting the medal unlocks more items for Kingdom Builder and eventually unlocks Daisy]].

Development

The game was revealed on September 7, 2016, by Shigeru Miyamoto at the Apple press conference. At this event, the first gameplay was shown, with Hideki Konno demoing it and Miyamoto discussing the features and championing that the game can be played using only one hand. They also teased a third mode for the game that uses the coins obtained in the main game.

Updates

On September 29, 2017, the game received a major update. This update added a new mode called Remix 10, Daisy as an unlockable runner, and a new world called World Star after the completion of the first 6 worlds. Players can also listen to their own music while playing. If they do, Mario and friends wear a set of headphones while running.

Reception

Critical reception

Super Mario Run has received generally positive reviews, with the iOS version earning a score of 76 on Metacritic based on 59 reviews[3] and a score of 76.23% on GameRankings based on 30 reviews.[4] 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.[5] 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,[6], 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.

Sales

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.[7] 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[8], 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."

As of the October 2018 Financial Results Briefing, the app has been downloaded nearly 300 million times worldwide.[9]

Awards and acknowledgements

Super Mario Run was nominated for the "Best Mobile Game" award at The Game Awards 2017.[10] However, it ultimately lost to Monument Valley 2.[10] Super Mario Run also achieved 2017's "Most Downloaded New Game" from Google Play.[11]

App Store description

A new kind of Mario game that you can play with one hand.

You control Mario by tapping as he constantly runs forward. You time your taps to pull off stylish jumps, midair spins, and wall jumps to gather coins and reach the goal!

Super Mario Run can be downloaded for free and after you purchase the game, you will be able to play all the modes with no additional payment required. You can try out all four modes before purchase: World Tour, Toad Rally, Remix 10, and Kingdom Builder.

■World Tour
Run and jump with style to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches! Travel through plains, caverns, ghost houses, airships, castles, and more.

Clear the 24 exciting courses to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser, waiting in his castle at the end. There are many ways to enjoy the courses, such as collecting the 3 different types of colored coins or by competing for the highest score against your friends. You can try courses 1-1 to 1-4 for free.

After rescuing Princess Peach, a nine-course special world, World Star, will appear.

■Remix 10
Some of the shortest Super Mario Run courses you'll ever play! This mode is Super Mario Run in bite-sized bursts! You'll play through 10 short courses one after the other, with the courses changing each time you play. Daisy is lost somewhere in Remix 10, so try to clear as many courses as you can to find her!

■Toad Rally
Show off Mario’s stylish moves, compete against your friends, and challenge people from all over the world.

In this challenge mode, the competition differs each time you play. Compete against the stylish moves of other players for the highest score as you gather coins and get cheered on by a crowd of Toads. Fill the gauge with stylish moves to enter Coin Rush Mode to get more coins. If you win the rally, the cheering Toads will come live in your kingdom, and your kingdom will grow.

■Kingdom Builder
Gather coins and Toads to build your very own kingdom.

Combine different buildings and decorations to create your own unique kingdom. There are over 100 kinds of items in Kingdom Builder mode. If you get more Toads in Toad Rally, the number of buildings and decorations available will increase. With the help of the friendly Toads you can gradually build up your kingdom.

■What You Can Do After Purchasing All Worlds

・ All courses in World Tour are playable Why not try out the bigger challenges and thrills available in all courses?

・ Easier to get Rally Tickets It's easier to get Rally Tickets that are needed to play Remix 10 and Toad Rally. You can collect them in Kingdom Builder through Bonus Game Houses and ? Blocks, by collecting colored coins in World Tour, and more.

・ More playable characters If you rescue Princess Peach by completing course 6-4 and build homes for Luigi, Yoshi, and Toadette in Kingdom Builder mode, you can get them to join your adventures as playable characters. They play differently than Mario, so why not put their special characteristics to good use in World Tour and Toad Rally?

・ More courses in Toad Rally The types of courses available in Toad Rally will increase to seven different types of courses, expanding the fun! Along with the new additions, Purple and Yellow Toads may also come to cheer for you.

・ More buildings and decorations in Kingdom Builder The types of buildings available will increase, so you'll be able to make your kingdom even more lively. You can also place Rainbow Bridges to expand your kingdom.

・ Play Remix 10 without having to wait You can play Remix 10 continuously, without having to wait between each game.

  • Internet connectivity required to play. Data charges may apply.

References to other games

  • Super Mario Bros. - Various sprites are featured as decorations for Kingdom Builder. The background music for Remix 10 features a remixed version of the overworld theme.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 - The background music for Remix 10 features a remixed version of the underground theme.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - The background music for Remix 10 features a remixed version of the overworld theme.
  • Super Mario Land - Mario once again rescues Princess Daisy. Remix 10's background music features the remixed version of the underground theme, and Daisy's character description mentions Sarasaland, a location from this game.
  • Super Mario World - When the blue star triggering Coin Rush is released, the "item dropped" sound effect from this game plays. Remix 10's background music features the remixed version of the overworld theme. The Blue Bonus Game House has a minigame that is played the same way as the Bonus Game from this game.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - When the player grabs a Super Star in Remix 10, a remix of the Powerful Infant theme from this game can be heard.
  • Mario Party 8 - Princess Peach and Bowser's artworks are taken from this game. Some of Princess Daisy's voice clips originate from this game.
  • Mario Party DS - Yoshi's artwork is taken from this game.
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 - The music for the Coin Rush results screen is reused in this game, which is heard after clearing a course. The sound effect that plays when a ? Block releases a Gold Flower is heard when a Roulette Block releases three Super Mushrooms/Super Stars.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U - Graphics are taken from this game. Music from this game are also rearrangements. Some of the crowd cheers are also taken from this game.
  • Super Mario 3D World - Toad's artwork is an edited version of his artwork from this game.
  • Mario Kart 8 - The timer countdown jingle from Battle Mode is reused for the countdown jingle in this game. Some of Luigi's, Princess Peach's, and Toadette's voice clips are reused from this game.
  • Mario Party 10 - Toadette's artwork is taken from this game.
  • Super Mario Maker - The Airship tileset is taken from this game. The axes at the end of a castle levels function the same as the axe from this game, rather than a button in New Super Mario Bros. U. The Key design is also taken from this game. Many objects use their appearance from the New Super Mario Bros. U style.

References in later games

Trivia

  • Super Mario Run is the first Nintendo game to be officially localized to Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Despite having no official Simplified Chinese language support and no official release in mainland China, Super Mario Run has an official FAQ page in Simplified Chinese, along with the other officially available languages. The Simplified Chinese FAQ can be viewed here.
  • On December 8, 2016, a demo of Super Mario Run was made available at Apple Store outlets worldwide.[12]
  • The MP3 background music added to the official site for the Ver. 3.0.4 (28 September 2017) update contains metadata - notably the TPE4 tag ("Interpreted, remixed, or otherwise modified by"), which has the value of "Kenta Nagata".

References

  1. http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/09/07/nintendo-announces-super-mario-run-coming-first-to-apples-ios
  2. http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/09/07/super-mario-run-coming-to-ios
  3. Metacritic score for Super Mario Run. Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  4. GameRankings score for Super Mario Run. GameRankings. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  5. McWhertor, Michael. (December 15, 2016). Super Mario Run review. Polygon. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  6. Otero, Jose. (December 15, 2016). Super Mario Run Review. IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  7. Pereira, Chris. (December 16, 2016). Super Mario Run Triples Pokemon Go's First-Day Downloads, But It Had Advantages. GameSpot. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  8. Andriessen, CJ. (October 31, 2017) Super Mario Run hits 200 million downloads, but sales are still lacking. Destructiod. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  9. Brian. (October 31, 2018) Super Mario Run closing in on 300 million downloads. Nintendo Everything. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Awards - The Game Awards 2017. The Game Awards. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  11. Announcing Google Play's "Best of 2017". Google Play Official Blog. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  12. Cipriani, Jason (December 8, 2016). Play Super Mario Run in Apple Stores starting today. ZDNet. Retrieved December 8, 2016.

External links

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