I first fell in love with the world of Nintendo when I got my very first console, the Nintendo 64 for Christmas in 1998. Since then I have seen technology explode, including a few generations of consoles, and the birth of the touch screen iPhone.
Like many, for years I have been asking and having plenty of discussions with friends on why Nintendo hasn’t released games to the iPhone. Next year will be 10 years since iPhone (which is almost hard to believe) and here I am finally playing Mario on iPhone – it may have taken 9 years, but it is really exciting to see Nintendo take this step.
So what is it like?
Well by now there is a big chance you have already had a go, so you know what it is all about. Mario runs automatically, you touch to jump, and you collect coins through a number of worlds. This gameplay is exactly why I was initially so worried since to me it just sounded like another typical run, jump mobile game I have played heaps of times and get bored of quickly.
However, since playing Super Mario Run on iPhone I feel the game has proved me wrong on a few things, and I can also appreciate why the game has been designed like it has. While it will always be a mobile game I do feel like I am playing a true Nintendo game and I am really enjoying it.
The very recognisable worlds which Nintendo have detailed certainly do help in almost instantly falling in love with the game and they simply look amazing on an iPhone display. The variety of levels Nintendo have created have impressed me – there’s hidden passages, tubes, enemies, and more – which definitely increase in difficulty as you go along. As a casual gamer, I am finding some of the levels to be quite difficult.
I feel a big reason as to why these worlds are so challenging is because Mario runs automatically, which initially sounded like a bad choice. It is very easy to not jump at a certain point and miss the opportunity to collect coins in a certain area – there’s no going back either unless you jump off a wall or object, but even then Mario can only jump a certain distance. By having him run automatically it brings an added challenge to the game and removes the need for an additional control, like a virtual joystick perhaps. This also means it is entirely possible to play this game one-handed.
The final battles are very odd to me, though, as they are far too easy in comparison to the levels – in a way this feels a little anti-climatic. When I had to battle Koopa I won on the first try, which had me thinking “is that it?” There is also the very odd Toad Tally mode where you can essentially challenge your friends yet, requires the use of virtual tickets which quickly run out even when paying for the game.
All in all, Nintendo have done well with designing their very first game for iOS – it will for sure succeed in bringing a bigger and newer audience to the world of Nintendo and to the new Nintendo Switch console due early 2017. I’d love to see more games come to the iPhone and iPad – Nintendo, please bring Mario Kart!