As we learned this morning, Nintendo’s added a new-ish mode to Super Mario Run. It’s called Friendly Run, and it essentially allows you to play Toad Rally without spending any in-game currency (which, itself, is capped at 99 tickets). It’s Toad Rally without any of the pressure. Which, I suppose, is good for practicing for the real thing.
The catch, though? Friendly Run has a daily play limit. If you haven’t beaten World 1 yet, you can only play the mode once per day. After that, clearing World 1 gets you three daily plays. Clearing World 2 gets you five daily plays.
What in the world are they thinking here?
More on Super Mario Run
You charged your $10 fee, now get out of the way
I think they caused a little brand harm with their choice to start as a free title before charging folks, though. Look to the absurd count of 1-Star reviews for proof of that. The game should have just been a $10 purchase right away, it seems.
This move, though? I don’t get it at all.
Nintendo sanctimoniously said that they’re charging a one-time fee with Super Mario Run in order to, basically, cut out all the mobile gaming B.S. that plagues the genre. No microtransactions, no timers for items, nothing like that. Yet here we are with a new game mode that actually restricts play with daily limits.
Look. Nintendudes. You charged us the dang $10 entry fee, so maybe it’s time you got the heck out of the way of the game. Why in the world should we see daily play limits on a new mode?
I can’t even justify the decision to myself. I’m genuinely stumped.
I’m not ready to start yelling about how Nintendo’s first take on mobile is doomed. It’s not. Super Mario Run will absolutely make the company a ton of money, and it’s already been downloaded tens of millions of times.
The good news here is that the mobile scene is one that’s great for adaptation. Super Mario Run itself can be quickly updated once Nintendo decides to stop tripping over itself. Hopefully DeNA, the mobile game making company Nintendo’s partnered with now, offers some wisdom up for the maker of Mario.
I think Nintendo’s long term presence on mobile could be incredible. Decisions like these need to stop, though.