Super Mario Run Review

Nintendo Brings Mario to iPhones Worldwide With A Very Plain Mario Game

Written by | Gaming, Japan, Reviews

Finding Balance

After spending years playing Mario clones on iOS ranging from an okay to great in terms of quality, I came into Super Mario Run expecting to be blown away by his first official iPhone or rather mobile game. Suffice to say, I hardly even felt a gust of wind. Super Mario Run takes classic Mario gameplay and simplifies it to be played casually on iOS. In fact, you only need a single hand to play a quick 60 second level of Super Mario Run. Every control of Mario is now condensed into just a single touch of the screen, but all you can really control is how often Mario jumps.


Mario will automatically run through the various levels of Super Mario Run. He is unable to be stopped by anything except special movement blocks which will either cause him to stop or propel him in a direction. In this game, Mario believes himself to be an unstoppable force of nature, far from death’s reach. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. Mario’s auto running often leads to frustration rather than simplicity. I died many times while playing just because he wouldn’t stop running. You’ll often miss large swaths of collectibles because of his auto running, forcing you to restart the level entirely.

The Length of Levels in Super Mario Run

Luckily, most levels in Super Mario Run are fairly short. The game’s longest levels don’t take more than two minutes for completion. Level length lends itself nicely to Super Mario Run’s  post game content, Coin Collecting. Every level features three types of coins to collect: pink, purple, and black. You start off by trying to grab all the pink coins in any given level. Afterward, you go back to that same level and a brand new set of purple colored coins will have materialized in even harder to find locations, and lastly after collecting those, a third set of black will appear. By collecting coins you unlock new levels and various objects for your customizable main plaza where you’re able to place anything from small Toad houses to massive Christmas Trees.

A Short Game About Collecting

mario coin

Combined, the coin collecting and plaza add maybe an hour of gameplay. Both feel closer to a grind rather than something to accomplish in-game. Most of the coins are incredibly tedious to collect. This is especially true of the ones found in Haunted House themed levels. Boo’s while a staple enemy of the Mario franchise just don’t seem suited for a game where you’re forced to constantly run forward. In this game, Boo can only be defeated by a seldom-found backflip movement block. After collecting a coin in a Haunted level, I found myself struggling to complete within the time constraints. The Haunted coins contain far too large a difficulty spike for an otherwise standard Mario game.

Now, that’s the biggest issue, this is a very standard Mario game when you take away the wow factor of this being on iOS and the Auto Running. The graphics and art style are exactly what we’ve come to expect out of Mario in the last 10 years, there’s nothing new brought to the table. Power-up content has been minimized for Mario’s mobile adventure. There are only two real power-ups found in the game: the iconic growth mushroom, and an invincibility star. I suppose you could also count the coin rush boost found in the games Toad Rally.

Toad Rally

Toad Rally is Super Mario Run’s online mode. You’re pitted against a ghost of another player

while going through an infinite loop of one of the levels found in story mode. This mode is an absolute grind. You can use it to collect more coins and unlock even more new characters, but that takes 4-5 hours of just repeating level after level of ghosts. You can only get rewarded you win against the ghost you’re playing against, but victory feels totally random. Super Mario Run seems to match you up with people either entirely above your skill level or completely below, making the mode either demoralizing or monotonous.

What I can say about this game is that it set up a good frame for future installments. If it weren’t for the high price point of $9.99 for only 24 levels and maybe 5-6 hours of gameplay on a mobile device. I’d of suggest you go on your local iPhone and pick up this game right away. As of right now, however, I’d wait for either a larger content drop or a sale before purchasing. Currently, Super Mario Run is just a generic Mario platformer with a ton of potential to grow.

Super Mario Run
  • Gameplay - 7.5/10
  • Visuals - 8/10
  • Replayability - 5/10
  • Collectibles - 7.5/10
User Review
8/10 (1 vote)


Super Mario Run is just a generic Mario platformer with a ton of potential to grow. If and when Nintendo decides on doing so is when gamers should be willing to try out the game for themselves if an equal amount of DLC comes out and if Nintendo drops that somewhat high-for-a-mobile game price tag of $9.99 down, then we’ll be looking at a much more bang for the buck, fulfilling type of Mario game, you can take with you anywhere on the go. That is of course if they ever decide to allow if to play offline of course.

Last modified: December 21, 2016