Super Mario Fun Run

The third Nintendo mobile app should have been its first.

Super Mario Run is here! Finally! The one thing that no one wanted was Mario on the mobile phone1. We were wrong. After Miitomo launched and was unapologetically a classic Nintendo move2, we got Pokémon Go, which Nintendo benefitted from but wasn’t directly involved in. People loved it! Nintendo previously announced Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games in 2015. But to our surprise, an announcement of Super Mario Run came at an Apple keynote presentation in September with Miyamoto himself on stage. A surprise indeed3.

Super Mario Run falls in line with a genre of similar games on mobile devices called “endless runners,” but Super Mario Run isn’t endless. There are obstacles and a goal. The only difference is Mario keeps moving. He’s on a mission and he’s not going to stop. Some have said the game doesn’t feel like a Mario game. This game is called Super Mario RUN after all4. Mario always feels different based on his venue. The first time he showed up on the Nintendo 64, it felt nothing like the Mario we were used to – but it wasn’t bad, it was great!

Super Mario Run is the first Mario game you can play with one hand. It makes it super accessible. It is also one of the largest reaching Mario games, as it was released in over 100 countries. It’s a new frontier for Nintendo to make software on non-Nintendo devices5.

This game is one of the most polished gaming experiences on a mobile phone, period. It has great level design6, a simple yet deep control mechanic, and all levels require skill and can be mastered without cheap hits or other lame mobile game mechanics. It’s simply one of the best games to come out on a mobile device since the iPhone debuted.

Super Mario Run does have flaws, however. The Toad Rally mode feels like grinding, and it has inconsistent difficulty with the opponents. The World Tour mode feels like a game though. A real game. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a Mario game and it’s fun.

I couldn’t write about this game without talking about the price. Nintendo is asking $10 for this game. Compared to other mobile games out there this may seem expensive, but mobile pricing for apps and games has been unsustainable for quite some time. I’ve had friends who have told me they were unwilling to pay $3 for an app they use everyday. But the fact is, developing and maintaining software or games is expensive. If you like something, support the developers with your wallet. Several great apps and companies have closed their doors because people were unwilling to sustain them, which hinders competition and allows for shit to flood your app stores. Most app stores have a refund policy now, so if you don’t like something, you can return it – just like real stores. It really disturbs me that everyone expects everything for free but will complain about what they get.

Nintendo is going about their pricing scheme the right way. They are presenting three levels of the game you can play without limits. If you like the game, you can pay $9.99 and unlock the full game forever. Nintendo is not presenting it with any micro-transactions. One and done. Try it out – if you want more you can pay, and if not, don’t. This seems to be hurting the success of the game, but I think it’s better than if you saw a $10 price tag for a game you couldn’t try. I don’t agree it’s a bait and switch even if it does show up in the “Free” category.

All and all it’s a good start for a new world for Nintendo, and I’ve had a ton of fun playing it. I think it’s fun for everyone and my friend explained it best:

I’m not a very strong video game player. This game is great for someone like me though, because the worlds are short and survivable, and the lives are essentially infinite. It takes the pressure off, a LOT.

Sidenote: I’ve also really enjoyed the marketing Nintendo has done for the game. See the two videos below:


  1. People were imagining a port Super Mario Bros. with touch screen buttons. Not a new experience. 
  2. Meaning that it didn’t make sense, and was kind of weird but kind of cool but only for a minute. 
  3. Nintendo and Apple working together! 
  4. I love the parkour moves and acrobatics Mario performs in this game. They are so fluidic. I hope they make their way into another Mario game someday. 
  5. Hard to imagine a few years ago. 
  6. A Nintendo standard. 

My Thoughts on the iPad

The iPad Arriveth

Ah yes. The iPad has come. I seriously thought the internet was going to crash just covering it’s announcement and release. So what is it? A tablet computer, a giant iPod touch, or a plate to make fresh salsa? A little of all those really.

When it was originally theorized that Apple was making a tablet computer , most mockups showed a tablet computer running the Mac OS X. In January when it was finally announced, and that it would be running the iPhone OS, and the reception was chaotic at best. Why would they release a giant iPhone? Doesn’t Apple know that people want to run Photoshop on a touch interface? I want to word process on it too!

Hype soon took over regarding how this was the future. This was computing going forward. I think that statement can be misleading. We aren’t going to abandon the keyboard and mouse anytime soon. Not when we’re working. But we will when we are consuming. The internet has so much media… and we must consume it all! This is the gap the iPad fills.

Surprisingly, a good number of people who have laptops uses them most of the time just to surf the web. Why do that on something that only has 2 hours of battery, a full keyboard, and a crappy trackpad (unless you’re on a MacBook). You could have 10 hours of battery life, something easy to hold, and very small and portable.

It’s a media consumption device at it’s best. You aren’t going to use this to write articles (even though Apple is bring iWork to it) , you aren’t going to do massive photo editing with it,  and it certainly won’t replace pen and paper.

Final thought. I got to play with one… it’s fast, nice to read on, and wonderful to hold. If you have a desktop computer, and want a laptop… mostly for browsing… get an iPad. Will this changes things? Yes. This is the newspaper/magazine of the future… and it’s here now!

Image Credits:
Armed And Dangerous qwghlm via Flickr
Sky Light Peter Kaminski via Flickr