Nintendo released its first Mario game for smartphones and tablets today, Super Mario Run, available for $9.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
So what does this mean for Apple and Nintendo? And what’s the game like to play?
We went hands-on with Super Mario Run live today on Geared Up, the new weekly podcast and Facebook Live show from GeekWire and Gear Live, hosted by Andru Edwards and me, covering the latest news about consumer electronics and video games, and checking out the latest tech gadgets and gear.
This week, we cover the latest on the Apple AirPod release plans, the final days of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and then go hands on with Super Mario Run. As I play the game for the first time, Andru shares some his tips and tricks — including secrets for time management, how to go back and capture more coins, and what to do after you conquer all of the levels in the game.
“It’s a game that’s all about timing, so the timing can be difficult, but it’s not a frustrating game, and I think that’s key,” Andru explains. “It’s a good balance that way.”
Andru recommends that people download the game and try out the initial free levels before paying the $10 for the full experience. He said he views the game as the start of something new for Nintendo, and is excited to see what the iconic game company does next on smartphones.
Here are more of his comments from the show.
On the cost of the game: “I think the people who are used to in-app purchases are kids. Adults hate in-app purchases. I have never seen anyone who has said, I really love to keep paying over and over for treasure and coins and whatever, to continue going through this game. People hate that. The thing here, though, and I’m not sure how big of a deal it will be, is that this is on the much higher end of pricing for iOS games. $9.99 to unlock the full game. Even something like Minecraft is only $7. So this is definitely up there, in terms of pricing. But at the same time for me, $10? That’s less than two Starbucks coffees.”
On the style of Super Mario Run: “It looks like a Mario game, it sounds like a Mario game, it feels like a Mario game when you play it. I think Nintendo and Apple are going to make a lot of money with it, and there’s going to be a lot of excited kids and adults. … This is Nintendo, through and through.”
On the user interface and gameplay: “I’ve played so many mobile games where they tried to put a controller on the screen, but it just doesn’t work. When you try to superimpose buttons and controls on a display like this, it doesn’t work as well as it should. I think Nintendo did the right thing here by embracing the platform as it is. It’s a touch screen that doesn’t have physical controls.”
On the pace of the game: “It’s fun, and it’s also one of those games where, when you have a few minutes, you can jump in, you can play a level or two, you can jump out, without that time commitment. I have some games on my iPhone where, if I don’t have 10 to 20 minutes, there’s no use opening that app up and trying to play. You’re not going to get anywhere. This is one of those more casual things where you can just go in, play for a little while, and then jump right back out.”
Listen to the podcast or watch the Facebook Live stream above, or download the MP3 here.