When Nintendo announced it was making games for mobile platforms, fans were eager to get their hands on the first release. Nintendo came out with more concrete details on September 7th of last year… at Apple’s iPhone 7 announcement event. Predictably, the first game featuring company mascot Mario came to iOS first back in December. Though Android users got the first crack at Nintendo’s second mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, we’ve been waiting three months to try our hands at Super Mario Run.
Well the wait is almost over. According to Nintendo’s official Twitter account, Super Mario Run will scuttle on to Android devices on Thursday, March 23rd. That matches up with a previous statement from the company back in January of this year. Assuming that the game uses the same format as it does over on iOS, Super Mario Run will be free to download and try, but for access to all ten worlds players will need to pay $10 in a one-time in-app purchase. That’s a stark contrast to Fire Emblem Heroes, which is free to play in perpetuity, but needs some heavy in-app purchases (up to $75) or quite a lot of grinding to be competitive.
Super Mario Run fits broadly in the auto-runner genre, like Ubisoft’s Rayman games that have made it to Android before. Players can make Mario jump with a single tap, though there are surprisingly complex mechanics underneath the one-touch setup. The 2D stages with 3D graphics will be familiar to long-time fans of the series. Other game modes include a basic “kingdom builder” and non-synchronous multiplayer races in the Toad Rally. Reaction on the App Store has been less than stellar – the game currently has only three stars out of five – with many complaints that the six worlds available at launch are too short. It’s available for pre-registration on the Play Store now.