iPhone-only so far
Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first official Mario game developed for a phone, is now live on Apple’s app store for a penny shy of $10. You can also download a free demo of the game featuring the first three levels if you want to give it a try before you buy.
Nintendo wasn’t exactly clear when on Dec. 15 its chubby little plumber would make his premiere on the iPhone, leaving some to speculate (OK, hope intently) that it would be exactly when the day started ... in New Zealand.
The anticipation continued as the day rolled over around the world. Once it was Dec. 15 worldwide, people started wondering if something had gone wrong.
The official Nintendo Twitter account in Japan simply stated Super Mario Run was coming to iTunes on Dec. 15 “Pacific time.”
The game has players controlling an ever-running Mario as he makes his way, mostly from left to right, through worlds decorated with breakable blocks, pipes and the many other familiar hallmarks of a Super Mario game.
The game features three modes: World Tour, Kingdom Builder and Toad Rally.
In World Tour, players have to navigate through six worlds, each featuring 24 brand-new courses, as they try to find and rescue Princess Peach.
In Toad Rally, players show off their moves in challenge maps as they try to impress a crowd of Toads and get the highest score. The game requires items called Rally Tickets earned in the regular mode to access.
Finally, in Kingdom Builder, players can build their own kingdom. This mode uses the items acquired during Toad Rally mode.
The game requires a persistent online connection to play, Nintendo told Polygon. You can learn all about why that is and a bunch of other things in our handy guide to the game.
Only own an Android phone? You’re out of luck: Nintendo hasn’t said when the game will be out on Android beyond sometime in 2017.
We’ve reached out to Nintendo to be just a little more specific about the Android launch window, to which a representative simply told Polygon that “information about that version will be revealed in the future.”
Since Super Mario Run made its global debut during a fall Apple event, it’s not surprising that the tech supergiant gets first dibs. Veteran designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently explained in an interview with Mashable that security was a big reason for the early Apple exclusivity.
“The security element is one of the reasons that we decided to go with iPhone and iOS first,” he said. “So this is just - based on the current development environment - a requirement that's been built into the game to support security and the fact that the three different modes are connecting to the network and interacting with one another.”
Android users don’t love being left in the lurch, though, especially when it’s up in the air how long they’ll be kept waiting for Mario’s first mobile game.
That wait was made more agonizing this morning, as iOS users tweeted about their anxiety to play Super Mario Run already. Nintendo neglected to say when on Dec. 15 the game would be available, and when it still wasn’t out by noon E.T., fans made their concerns loud and clear.