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First Impression: Super Mario Run is the Perfectionist's Game

Achievement hunters, rejoice!

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Super Mario Run went live today and I did the thing I cautioned all of you not to do: dropped $10 on a game with no reviews. But I did for you, the people! Here's my first impression of Super Mario Run.

Super Mario Run is clearly meant to be more (or less) than a straight NES-to-iOS port of prior platforms. It's been thoroughly adapted to the platform, the most noticeable example of which is the single input control scheme. In Super Mario Run the only control is a simple tap of the screen. It's all about timing. You gotta jump at the right times to step on enemies, collect coins, bounce off walls and the like. You can hold your finger down if you wanna jump higher and you can double tap to perform a spin-move.

You cannot be killed goombas or koopas (although piranha plants can still knock the stuffing out of you). You can't run back and get that mushroom you missed. You are 100 percent on rails in Super Mario Run. And it's kind of sweet.

I'm sure this all makes Super Mario Run seem extremely limited in the same frustrating way that so many glossy iPhone games have been in the past, but it really hits its stride after you finish the first set of levels. When the rails push you on that first flag and you land a 3/10 ending, right when it seems like it would be most frustrating is right when you wanna go back and play it again... and again and again.

In Super Mario Run, the replay value is the value. I'm not much of a completionist, but seeing how easy it would be (or so I thought) to go back and get every last special coin, bonus, and the like I needed to keep playing.


Of course, there's still the problem of the online-only play and the hefty price tag, but I foresee many frustratingly fun hours of Super Mario Run ahead of me.

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