At long last, Nintendo’s long-awaited Super Mario Run has sprinted into the App Store, in what is certainly the biggest iOS game launch of 2016 after Pokémon Go.
Marking the first time Nintendo’s most iconic character has been available on iOS — outside of dodgy third-party game emulators — a demo of Super Mario Run is downloadable for free, while the whole game priced at $9.99.
Super Mario Run was first announced at Apple’s iPhone event back in September.
Similar to the running games we’re all familiar with on iOS, Mario runs through each level automatically, with players using tapes taps and swipes to make him jump, change direction, and stomp on his enemies.
It features three modes in total, including a World Tour in which Mario travels across six world to rescue Princess Peach; a Toad Rally multiplayer mode, in which players compete to earn the highest score; and an intriguing-sounding Kingdom Builder creation mode.
The game has been available to play in Apple stores for the past couple of weeks, and early user feedback has been positive. One recent dampener, however, was the announcement that the game will require an “always on” internet connection to play. According to Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, this is done for anti-piracy reasons.
“We had thought at one point that it would be nice to have the World Tour mode available standalone, to be able to play without that connection,” he told Mashable. “But then the challenge is when that’s operating in a standalone mode, it actually complicates the connection back to the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes. And because those two modes are relying on the network save, we had to integrate the World Tour mode as well.”
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