It’s Thursday afternoon, and offices across the nation are gridlocked because everyone’s decided to download a mobile game. You might have noticed that after a decade of losing money, Nintendo decided that maybe it’s a good idea to bring Mario to iPhone.
Yep, Super Mario Run is out on iOS right now. The game is mostly similar to what you probably wasted your childhood on, but there’s also a bunch of good and bad changes to the classic.
To help you get jumping and gold-collecting most easily, we’ve amassed some tips and tricks that the BGR staff have noticed from the last few hours of “working”.
You’ll need an internet connection
Blame this on globalization or the inevitable onwards march of technology, but you need an active internet connection to play the game. I know. It’s not exactly sensible, given lots of people are probably planning on using this to kill time on the subway, but Nintendo has spoken. If you don’t have a good internet connection, you’ll be out of luck.
In-app purchases are so hot right now
While we’re screaming at Nintendo, take a second to understand how the pricing works for this game. It’s a free download from the iOS App Store, but it requires a one-time $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock the full features of the game. In addition, there are more in-app purchases you can make for items and features.
Understand the game modes
There’s three game modes here: World Tour, which is the classic main gameplay; Toad Rally, which is kind of a player-vs-player multiplayer mode, but not in real time; and Kingdom Builder, which lets you build your own Mario world. They all feed into each other — you take the coins you earn from World Tour and the toads you get from Toad Rally and use them here.
Jumping is different
The first game mode you’re probably going to explore is World Tour, and the first thing you’ll probably notice are the differences to the classic side-scrolling Mario experience. Some things have been automated now: you hop over small obstacles and enemies automatically, although it slows you down a little.
Jumping, the game’s only real control, has been changed quite dramatically. You can tap for a short jump, or hold for a longer jump. You can also do parkour-style jumps from wall to wall, which adds more of a vertical element to the game, as well as interrupting the eternal scrolling. It takes a few levels to get used to, but overall it adds more to the classic Mario experience.
Pause Buttons change everything
A side-scrolling game relies on never-ending concentration and focus. In classic Mario, two seconds of inattention will kill you, so you’re relying on a mix of memory and instinct to navigate the course. World Tour mode, on the other hand, includes a bunch of pause blocks. Hit them, and Mario stops temporarily, which gives you a chance to see what’s coming up and make a plan of attack.
It’s a big change to the game, and you’d be well advised to make use of them. It might feel like it’s slowing the gameplay down, but it helps you focus and think more tactically to get through obstacles.
Play different characters
There’s more than just Mario to choose from here, and all the different characters have different jump options. Struggling to reach an untouched treasure trove of coins? Try switching to Peach. You can get to the character swap menu once you’ve selected a World Tour level from the button on the bottom right. Different characters are unlocked by doing different things, like completing the main storyline, linking a Nintendo account, or building stuff in your Kingdom.
Don’t touch the “How to Play” button
It’s not a handy list of tricks and tips, it’s just a replay of the video you sat through when you opened the app the first time. There’s no escape once you start it. Just cut your losses and force-quit the app, but preferably don’t touch it in the first place.
Register with a Nintendo account
Since you’re probably going to spend the $10 to unlock the app, you’ll want to make sure you keep the purchase if you accidentally delete the app, or switch devices. The best way to do that is to burn two minutes of your life, do what Nintendo wants, and set up an account. Just use a password different from the one for your Yahoo email, mmkay?