Submitted by Sammy Snyder on
There is no doubt about it, Nintendo's Super Mario Run is an App Store hit. The app racked up more than 20 million pre-registrations before its release, and it was downloaded 10 million times since its launch with an estimated $4 million dropped in IAPs, according to App Annie. However, the app has also earned a disappointing 3-star review on the App Store, mostly from 1-star reviews due to the premium price of $9.99. We already discussed the purchase price here, and came to the conclusion that the game is worth $10 if Nintendo plans to issue free future updates with new worlds. Today we are going to look at our 5 gripes about Super Mario Run since it isn't perfect.
Premium Price -- Users who give 1-star reviews based on price ruin the App Store for everyone. This not only holds back mobile gaming, but it is the reason the App Store is flooded with lackluster freemium titles. Users should refrain from rating titles if they did not pay for the full version. Knocking down a game's rating that you didn't play does not send a message to the developer, but instead it robs other users the ability to make an informed decision. Now that we got that out of the way, while I don't think $9.99 is too extreme for Super Mario Run, there are a few reasons why the price tag can seem a bit high at times, and I will list most of those reasons below.
Too Easy -- Super Mario Run is all about completion, such as going back through all the levels to collect all 5 Pink coins, which is not an easy task. The major problem with the game is that finishing all the worlds will take you less than an hour. Mario Run does have a high replay value, and is challenging if you set your mind to completing every level in their entirety. This means beating your best coin tally, collecting all the challenge coins and so on. However, the game can feel like a letdown when you smash through all 6 worlds in around 20-minutes. Saving Princess Peach is just too easy and leaves you feeling a little cheated when it is all over, even when there is a lot more game to play after you have finished. I just wish Nintendo had made the Tour secrion a little more challenging, not impossible, but at least not so easy to complete the first go around.
Toad Rally -- The side game where you compete against other players to collect different colored Toads is really addicting, but running out of Toad Rally tickets is a huge bummer. I don't want to encourage Nintendo to add IAPs to a premium title, but there has to be an easier way to earn more tickets once you have completed the game. It's really easy to blow through your initial tickets, and I can't help but feel cheated when I can't access a section of a game that I paid $9.99 to play.No True Multiplayer -- Super Mario Run requires an internet connection to play, but it doesn't offer a true multiplayer experience. You can compete against other players in Toad Rally, but you're not racing them at the same time. You instead race a ghost version of your competitor based on their fastest time for that level. The game also requires 12-digit player ID codes to connect with friends and family, although Nintendo has hinted that there will be an easier way to locate other users in their iOS app in future updates.
Nintendo Account -- I get it, Nintendo wants me to join their ecosystem, and maybe I will some day. It is cool that you can link a Mii to your account, and earn extra bonuses, but it's not cool that you can't unlock Toad without connecting an account.
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Super Mario Run is a promising first step for Nintendo in the world of mobile gaming. Miitomo was a big letdown, but Mario Run shows that Nintendo's can make decent games for mobile devices. The continued success of Super Mario Run all depends on how long Nintendo decides to support the game in the future. The $9.99 price tag could end up being a non-issue if Nintendo releases free updates with new worlds, and way to easily earn more Toad Rally tickets. This is a great chance for Nintendo to woo back many customers they have lost over the years.