Super Mario Run is out on iOS devices. How does it fare? ...maybe too fair.
I've been a Super Mario Bros fan for a long time, having played most of the entries over the years. Most recently I completed Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D Land. They were spectacular and probably my favorite Super Mario games since Mario 64. I also played through most of the New Super Mario Bros series, and Run seems to take inspiration from those the most, despite having been around for a decade now.
The visuals and audio are nearly identical to the New Super Mario Bros series, but it really stops there. Gameplay is completely changed and simplified for the mobile interface. While it works well, I think it may be missing some of what the original has to offer in depth.
You'll notice right away that Mario now automatically runs and tapping the screen makes him jump. There are some different elements like certain steps that make you change direction. It all works rather well and feels really tuned. Then you realize that Mario also automatically does things without any input. Mario now jumps over Goombas making them a non-threat at all. Not that they were much of a threat to begin with, but they still made you watch your step. You can also jump right in front of them or launch into a badly timed jump through their face, but unlike the original games, this does nothing to Mario and instead the frail little Goomba submits to an easy death.
Everything also seems to be timed to the run as well, so it feels more like a ride than a challenge, granted there are some parts that you wonder if you will die. That likely stems from the series having such an extensive legacy that it evokes memories of certain elements rather than the game actually feeling challenging though.
In my time with the 4 level demo, I didn't die a single time. I'm sure it gets harder as it goes, but the entirety of my playtime, I couldn't help but want to just go turn on my Wii U and fire up some of the greatest Super Mario titles out there (most of the original ones are on Virtual Console too). The game also requires to be online at all times to play, which is almost expected these days but also kind of weird. What if you're a kid on a trip out in the middle of no where. Not cool.
I'm probably not the target demographic for this game despite being born when the plumber duo first hit the scene. It just feels to have taken away the skill and legacy of Mario being an extremely accurate and tuned platformer that, to this day, developers still look up to. Again, it's not bad, it's just not what I expect from the franchise. It just feels like an abbreviated casual version of the real game, so why should I play it when I can play the real ones? (Cuz its on mobile, derp lol). I grew up with Mario and what it represents, so I'm just not sure if I can follow this incarnation into this Mobile Mushroom Kingdom this time.