While Apple spent much of its press conference today talking about the new gadgets and gizmos to come from the tech giant, approximately six minutes were dedicated to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealing Super Mario Run, the first official mobile game starring the iconic plumber.
SMR follows traditional Mario platforming combined with “endless” runner gameplay where the goal is to reach the flagpole at the end of each level. Players can’t control Mario’s actions albeit jumping. He will continuously move right, but there will be blocks that can move him left or start and stop him. You can also hurdle over Goombas instead of stomping them.
A new mode to the Mario franchise called Toad Rally was introduced in which players can compete against one another. Levels here are determined by time and have no flagpole, putting the “endless” in endless runner. While playing through a level to get the highest score, you can see what your opponent did when they played their “ghost.” The score is determined by how many coins are collected and how many Toads appear on screen, the latter of which depends on how often you pull off “daring (moves).” Toads you gather from each match will become residents in your own Mushroom Kingdom, though no details were given on that.
And don’t feel left out Android users. Although SMR came off as an iOS exclusive, Bill Trinen, senior product marketing manager for Nintendo, while translating for Miyamto said, “We want as many people as possible all around the world to be able to enjoy playing as Mario, and they’ll be doing it first on iOS.” The “first” indicates the game will likely come to Android at a later point.
On Nintendo’s Facebook page, they announced SMR’s release window as December 2016 for iPhone and iPad. During the Apple conference, they said SMR will be downloaded at a set price instead of the more commonplace free-to-play model found in many mobile games.
Miyamoto also announced that Mario stickers in iMessage will be available when the iOS 10 update launches on Sept. 13.
Editor’s thoughts: While predictable, an endless runner “Mario” game is a pretty exciting and weird announcement. If you would have told me five years ago that Nintendo would be making original games for phones and tablets, I might have accused you of witchcraft and tried to burn you at the stake. I also love, love that Nintendo said it would be downloaded at a set price point. The term “free-to-play” has always made me iffy that I’m not getting a full experience, and I’m glad to see Nintendo sticking to their guns on this.
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, assistant news editor at The Daily Sentinel and former editor-in-chief of The Pine Log at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is now an alumnus. Check out his blog, follow his “completely relevant” Twitter updates and view his LinkedIn profile.