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Super Mario Run is too boring, easy and not worth $10

Before we dive in too far, I just want to warn our readers that this isn’t our full review of Super Mario Run. I’m leaving that to the folks who play more games and understand Nintendo and Mario games far better than I do. This is purely an opinion from me, someone who purchased Super Mario Run for $9.99 last week and finished it within 24 hours (humblebrag, I know).

It’s easy, boring and not very fun.

I get that you’re supposed to collect all of the pink coins, battle other gamers in the Toad challenges and outfit your kingdom with all kinds of goodies. I know that’s what adds the replay value for some folks.

But I’m not the sort of gamer that buys a title to then try to earn tickets and gold just so that I can then buy in game items. Placing a golden statue of Mario or buying shrubberies for my fictional Mario town is not appealing to me, because I don’t think of gaming so much as replaying levels or collecting items. So, really, this game was all about the initial playthrough for me. In that sense, Super Mario Run sucks.

I was able to pretty much just run through each level, all the way to the final boss, without an issue. I think I only had to replay a level twice, max, to finally just cruise through it, often by shear luck and jumping at the right times or finding the correct door in one of the awful ghost levels. I don’t think I can, to this day, beat many levels in Super Mario Bros. 3 so easily.

I guess that’s part of my problem.

For me, someone who hasn’t really been too involved in Mario, save for a quick jaunt with Super Mario Bros. Wii U and a couple of titles on the Nintendo 3DS, I sort of use Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3 as my basis for judgement. I knew Super Mario Run was going to be a different type of game, but I trusted Nintendo to add enough content to keep me busy. Personally, I don’t feel like running through various levels over and over again just to beat someone so that I can further decorate my aforementioned kingdom. It’s the same sort of reason I left Animal Crossing after a few hours of playtime, too.

I’ll give it this: the game is gorgeous, smooth and pretty much bug-free. In that sense, it’s a good title. And for folks, like Brandon Russell on our staff, who love replay value, collecting items, trying to get every coin and more, then the game probably is worth $10. I’m just not one of those type of gamers. And, to play Devil’s advocate, after discussing this opinion with Brandon, perhaps Nintendo made it easy on purpose in an effort to make it more accessible to other gamers who aren’t as familiar with Mario.

I know I’m probably in the minority of Nintendo fans

I get that I’m probably in the minority among Nintendo’s fans who appreciate that sort of thing, but I also think I might be in the majority of mobile gamers. My gut tells me that most folks who are buying Super Mario Run are probably very casual gamers, like me, who don’t want to collect things or replay levels and, rather, who would rather try to beat the game by finishing each of the included stages. Think of it as the Candy Crush kind of gamer: the person who just wants to move on to the next level until the game is “beat.”

Unlike Candy Crush, and I hate to use that comparison because I think that game sucked, Nintendo isn’t going to add additional DLC or levels to Super Mario Run. It’s WYSIWYG. That’s a huge bummer and something I wish I knew ahead of time. The whole reason  I bought the game is because I assumed that Nintendo was going to add additional levels over time or open it up to the community for some sort of level creation and sharing.

That’s the end of Super Mario Run for me, I think. I really don’t have any reason to dive back in, and I feel like it was a waste of $9.99. I’m not mad like most folks who didn’t understand that it was going to cost money to continue to play. I’m just mad that, even after I unlocked the rest of the game, it still wasn’t much fun. Maybe Nintendo doesn’t understand the mobile space as much as folks thought it did. Or maybe it’s just me who has a problem.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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