What’s wrong with Super Mario Run?

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Last week, easily the most anticipated mobile game that wasn’t Pokemon Go! finally hits the Apple Store and made an impact like no other. Super Mario Run finally brought our favorite plumber to our phones in a new adventure. Like most runner style games, Mario runs across stages similar to levels from New Super Mario Bros. where you time his jumps and collect coins before time runs out. It’s a new twist to the already popular Mario franchise while remaining true to its core. It’s a huge hit for Nintendo, garnering over 37 million downloads in its first week. Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine for its famed plumber.

As it currently stands now, Super Mario Run has a 2½ star rating, with 1 star being the most rated review. Now, a lot of the criticism comes from its $9.99 pay wall, which in itself is justified and annoying at the same time. All it does is limit the amount of gamers that can enjoy the full game without shelling out some cash. And it’s a fun game as it sits with the Toad Rally and 3 levels from the World Tour. But is it worth the $9.99 price tag? The argument can go either way, but Nintendo could’ve capitalized on Super Mario Run had it sticked with the free to play business model while offering in-game purchases.

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By being able to compete against each other with the Toad Rally, Nintendo added a whole new level of engaging gameplay. Here you can compete for Toads to help grow build your Kingdom by meeting certain Toad requirements. You can even add Luigi and Yoshi as well, providing a new type of gameplay to Super Mario Run. Nintendo’s focus should’ve stayed on the Toad Rally by providing lots of rewards for players to earn. People love to compete against each other, and with the Toads at stake for each run, it’ll push the competitive edge for Super Mario Run. By removing the pay wall, players can casually enjoy the remaining levels the game has to offer. Instead, Nintendo could offer new skins like classic Mario, or even characters not in the franchise like Link and Donkey Kong in the mix. Plus since you can already purchase Toad Rally tickets, or just wait until they refresh, adding more items to purchase with real money won’t feel out of the ordinary with a full store of items to choose from.

Granted, it’s a bigger gamble to just give away a full game, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done already. Just look at Clash Royal, Candy Crush, and even Pokemon Go!, all with the same formula that allows the player to enjoy the full game with purchasable additions. It’s Nintendo’s first attempt at mobile gaming, one they can learn a lot from by viewing what’s big on the current market. Let’s hope they continue to pursue mobile gaming seeing as Super Mario Run is an enjoyable game.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.