Nintendo and Apple made history yesterday when the two companies announced that Mario was finally coming to iOS devices. Super Mario Run is the first Mario game ever for Apple’s iOS devices and many people were surprised by the announcement.
I’ve waited years for Mario to appear on iOS devices, and at first I was extremely happy while watching the keynote address yesterday. Finally Mario on my iPhone and iPad! After all these years I'd be able to play one of the most venerable characters in video game history on my iOS devices. Woohoo!
Not your father's Super Mario game
But then I realized that Super Mario Run is a bit different than previous Mario games on Nintendo’s own systems. It’s designed to be played one-handed and Mario simply runs to the right. You can’t make him move to the left apparently, and thus all you do is hit the jump button.
Here’s a video preview of Super Mario Run that will show you how the gameplay functions:
As you can tell from the video, Super Mario Run is definitely a bit different than other Mario games when it comes to gameplay. Visually it evokes memories of previous Mario glories, but will that be enough to satisfy iOS gamers once they start playing it? I think the jury is still out on that question.
Who cares about playing Mario with one hand?
Now I don’t want to be a Negative Ned here, but something about this just rubs me the wrong way. When I play a Mario game, I want total control over him. And that just doesn’t seem to be the case with Super Mario Run.
I suppose that Nintendo designed Super Mario Run this way so that casual gamers could easily play the game one-handed. But who really cares about that anyway? I sure don’t since I have an iPhone 6s Plus and using it one-handed to play a game would still be awkward and probably uncomfortable.
In a sense I feel like Super Mario Run is sort of half of a Mario game. Yes, we get Mario jumping and running, but we don’t actually get to control him the same way we have on Nintendo’s many different video game consoles.
Super Mario Run will still be a big hit
Perhaps I’m just being too critical since I haven’t tried the game yet. It might be surprisingly good despite how it was designed by Nintendo. I have no doubt it will rocket up the sales charts in the iOS App Store and probably stay at the top of the heap forever. Millions of people will install it on their iOS devices without a second thought.
Right now though I’m feeling quite skeptical about how much fun Super Mario Run will actually be to play. After all these years it will be a terrible disappointment if the first Mario game for iOS devices turns out to be a stinker.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. After all, half a Mario loaf is better than none.
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