Super Mario Run is a lot like those imitation cereals you might have grown up with. No matter how good they taste, you can’t get over the fact that they’re not the real thing.
Unlike those imitation cereals, Super Mario Run is actually one of the most expensive options on the market. At face value, Super Mario Run is a $10 autorunner game. At a time when autorunner games typically run anywhere from $0.00 to $0.99, that price point is borderline cocky.
On top of all this, Nintendo even had the gall to force players to always be online when they play Super Mario Run even during single player games. It’s enough to make you want to throw an adult-sized tantrum.
Before you do, though, consider the possibility that Super Mario Run might just save the entire mobile industry.
Super Mario Run isn’t your typical Mario game, and that’s a very good thing. This is a Mario game designed to deliver a kind of experience that only your mobile device is capable of achieving. Yes, it’s an autorunner game, but it’s not just another autorunner game. No other entry into this genre possesses the same impossibly tight jump controls that require you to perfect the art of the split-second jump. No other autorunner game contains the same type of brilliant level design that encourages you to explore the optimal route.
Most importantly, there’s no other autorunner game out there that has that has that rare quality known as the Nintendo polish. Every little design detail in Super Mario Run is bursting with personality and quality. You could churn out a game similar to Super Mario Run in a few days (some people already are), but you could never equal the game’s character.
When you get right down to it, Super Mario Run is exactly what a premium mobile game should be.
Super Mario Run isn’t perfect, but it’s also not a “free” game that strongly encourages you to spend money if you want to really be able to play it. This isn’t the type of game that makes people lose faith in the idea of mobile gaming.
Instead, Super Mario Run is a high-profile mobile title that shows there are some games that can only work on mobile devices. It’s simple to play but not so simple that you feel like you’re playing a cheap imitation of something substantial. You will continuously come back to this game and not feel like you’re settling.
Super Mario Run will no doubt inspire knockoffs, but maybe its already astonishing success will force mobile developers to think a little differently and recognize the value of a brand built on trust and quality.
I’d buy that for $10.