Apple-resisters rejoice: the rather brilliant Super Mario Run is now playable on Android.
Nintendo launched the famous moustachioed plumber’s first foray into smartphone gaming way back in December last year, but initially the app was an iOS exclusive – much to the annoyance of the ‘droid crowd.
Six whole months later, and Nintendo have finally rolled out the game to Play Store users. Price-wise it’s the same deal as before: you can download Super Mario Run and play a few levels for free, but unlocking the full version requires a one-off payment of £7.99. That might sound a bit steep for a mobile title – a lot of angry internet people seemed to think so when the Apple version was released – but this is a fully-featured game with a number of modes and serious replayability. There’s also the fact that it’s made by one of the best developers in the world. If the idea of having a Mario game with you everywhere you go is appealing, we reckon it’s worth the cost of a couple of pints.
To fill any newbies in, Super Mario Run differs to previous 2D Mario games in one quite significant way. Nintendo have riffed on the popular “endless runner” genre that has become synonymous with smartphone platformers. Basically, Mario will move automatically in one direction while you tap the screen to control his jumping. There’s complexity hidden within this system, though. You can hold the screen to make him leap further, and a combination of pressure and timing allows you to pull off stylish moves. It’s a simple (and very playable with one hand, which is cool) system to get to grips with, and in no time you’ll be wall-jumping, vaulting over stupid goombas and using special blocks that momentarily change the direction Mario runs in – essential for coin-hoarders.
As well as the World Tour – which may or may not involve saving a certain princess – there’s a moreish competitive mode called Toad Rally where you compete with other players to earn the respect of Toads, and Kingdom Builder, which lets you design your own Mushroom Kingdom. All in all it’s a pretty sizeable package.
The iOS version has also been updated with new characters, an easy mode and more fresh content, so if you’ve been looking for a reason to dive back in, this could be it.
Oh and while you’re at it, have a look at the other mobile games we’ve been hooked on recently. Don’t mention it.