Super Mario Run, the automatic runner from Nintendo, is finally available on iOS, and you can get it now for free. Why is this so exciting? Well, it’s Mario on your iPhone! More than that, it’s Nintendo’s first major smartphone game, and suggests the company is open to the idea of bringing its property to other platforms.
Before you start vaulting, pouncing, and stomping your way through the Mushroom Kingdom, we have tips and tricks to get you started. Super Mario Run looks simple enough, but it’s deceptively challenging. Collecting those red coins—there are five in each level—is harder than it looks, and requires timing and patience.
How to play
The idea of Super Mario Run isn’t new. While it may look like a traditional Mario game, it more closely resembles other automatic runners. If you’ve ever played a game such as Jetpack Joyride, Super Mario Run is a lot like that; Mario perpetually runs from left to right, and even vaults over small objects on his own.
It’s a simple concept that proves to be a little more complex than it looks. To jump, lightly tap the screen. To jump higher, press and hold on the display. And if you tap while jumping you’ll do a spin in midair, allowing you do travel over greater distances.
The game is designed in a way that both casual and hardcore gamers will find challenging. The point is not only to reach the end of the level, but to collect all the challenge coins, which are scattered around each course. Collecting all challenge coins will open up new challenges, extending the replayability of the game.
While Mario vaults over objects on his own, there are still ways to die. If you fall into a gap, you’ll pop into a bubble and get to try again. When Mario stops spinning, tap the screen to break the bubble open. There’s also a timer in each levels, and if it runs out you’ll have to start the level over.
In addition to challenge coins, there are also different blocks scattered around each level. The pause block, for example, will stop Mario in his tracks, giving you time to plan your next move. The time block, meanwhile, will add ten seconds to your timer.
If you’ve played Mario games in the past, you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. Luckily, there’s more to it than just running and collecting coins.
Add some friends
Nintendo has made Super Mario Run into a social experience. When you add friends, you’ll need their 12 digit ID, which Nintendo makes easily shareable. From the game’s main screen, tap on the Friends tab in the upper left corner and then tap add. There, you’ll see your player ID along with options to share your ID over a message or email.
Once friends are added, you’ll be able to keep track of stats and other information. There are also options to link your account to Facebook and Twitter, and an invite tab, which sends a URL to friends and family to check the game out.
Redeem your rewards
When you sign in to you Nintendo account, you’ll get points to redeem rewards. For example, very early on Nintendo will reward you with Toad, who you can use in the main game. There are other characters, too, such as Luigi and Yoshi, who all have their own unique ways of playing the game.
Other possible rewards (at the time of this writing) includes a gold Mario statue, Toad Rally tickets, and decorations for the Mushroom Kingdom, which you can decorate however you want.
There are daily challenges, too, which you can see by going to My Nintendo on the main screen. Here, you’ll find ways to collect points. Some are easy: Add a friend and get 100 points. Others, such as completing World 1, take more time. Points can then be used to redeem rewards.
Play Toad Rally
Super Mario Run isn’t just about collecting coins; it’s also very competitive. In Toad Rally, you can compete against friends and others around the world by being stylish. The better style you have, the better your score will be. You also get a higher score by collecting more coins.
The overall point is to get Toads to cheer for you. The more stylish your moves, the more Toads will come to cheer. That means doing flips in midair and have a smoother run through the level (which is endless in Toad Rally).
While you’re playing a Toad Rally match, there’s also a Coin Rush gauge that fills when you perform certain actions. When it fills all the way, you’ll have even more opportunities to fill up on coins.
Once a Toad Rally is completed, the number of coins you collected, along with the number of Toads you impressed, will be tallied. On my first attempt, my final score was 273, but it’s possible to get scores much higher than that.
Build your kingdom
The Toads that cheer for you will then join your kingdom, which will allow you to rebuild it. Tap on the build icon in the bottom right corner and you’ll be brought to the Kingdom Builder screen, where you can get, move and place buildings. You can use coins you’ve collected to buy decorations, buildings and special objects, including Luigi’s house. You’ll need to fulfill certain requirements before a lot of the special items are available.
When you first start, you’ll get a free Bonus Game House, which is where you can play bonus games to collect more coins and Toad Rally tickets. You can place decorations and buildings only in certain designated areas. Two spots are taken up by Thwomps but those can remove them when you collect a hammer by playing the world tour.
There are also rainbow bridges, which can be used to connect different parts of your kingdom.
Nintendo doesn’t give users a lot of settings to change but there are a few key options. In addition to turning off friend requests notifications, you can also change rendering settings and graphics settings. If you have an older iOS device, this might help the game run smoother and also reduce the load on your battery.
Super Mario Run is compatible with the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 2 and up, iPod touch (6th generation), and the iPhone 5 and up.
Super Mario Run is free-to-play, which means you only get access to some of the game before Nintendo asks you to pay for the full experience. Players get access to the first world, which includes three levels plus a castle. There are six worlds in total, all of which have their own challenges.
The game is fairly expensive for a mobile game ($9.99), but as far as I’m concerned it’s worth it. The only way to save Princess Peach is to buy the game, so what would you rather do? Play the first three levels over and over or save the Princess?
Super Mario Run is available for iOS, with plans to launch on Android soon.