(Pocket-lint) - Mario is finally available on mobile. After announcing that it was coming to iOS (first) during the iPhone 7 launch in September, Nintendo has finally released its first Mario game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Super Mario Run stars the eponymous plumber and it has been designed specifically for touchscreen devices. It is an endless runner (of sorts) and it is on the Apple App Store right now.
So here's everything we know about it, including how much it costs and whether it will appear on other platforms soon.
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Super Mario Run: Is it iOS-only?
Super Mario Run is available for iOS only at present but Nintendo and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto have both confirmed that an Android version is planned. It is thought that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch game is a timed exclusive, so we're not sure when the Android edition will appear. It won't be until later in 2017 we suspect.
Super Mario Run: How do you play it?
Miyamoto claims the magic of a Mario game is that anyone can pick it up and start playing. Super Mario Run has also been designed to make best use of mobile platforms and a touchscreen.
It is a side-scrolling endless runner style game. Mario runs automatically from left to right. And as he does, he will defeat enemies, vault over low obstacles and grab some surfaces on his own. You simply tap anywhere on the touchscreen to make him jump. The longer you tap, the higher he jumps. This is key to getting high scores and collect special coins that are hidden around levels. The idea here is that you should be able to play Super Mario with one hand.
In later levels, you will see blocks that will change Mario's direction, and others that will start and stop him with precision timing. But the goal remains simple: collect as many coins as you can, get the special coins for bigger rewards and get to the flag pole at the end of the level before the time runs out.
When you first play a level, you are tasked with collecting five pink coins dotted around the landscape. If you do, you are rewarded with in-game bonuses, then you are tasked with collecting five purple coins in the same level but harder to reach or find. Finally, if you collect those, you have to collect five black coins. It adds a lot of replay value.
In addition to the World Tour mode - which consists of six worlds and four levels per world, Nintendo has devised with a new way to play. It's a multiplayer battle mode called Toad Rally. The first thing you do in this mode is choose an opponent - like, one of your friends - from a list, and then you try to beat their high score. You aren't directly competing with them in real-time, however, just a ghost avatar that represents their best run.
Victory is based on the number of coins you collect as well as the number of toads you impress (the toad characters appear every time you perform a daring move, so you'll want to do a number of them as you make your way through the stage). Also, there's no flag pole in battle mode, just a countdown clock.
You're supposed to keep running, jumping, and collecting toys until time runs out. As you do, you may see a little sticker of Mario appear, and if you do, that's showing what your opponent did during his/her run (where they collected toys, gathered toads, etc).
In the matches you win, the toads that you gathered will become residents in your Mushroom Kingdom.
Another element in the game is being able to expand your Mushroom Kingdom using coins you collected. You can add scenery or buildings and in some cases they open up other bonus levels. This is available in the free or paid version of the game. All in-game items can be paid for with the coins you collect during levels.
Super Mario Run: When is it available and where can I get it?
Super Mario Run is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on the App Store now. You can download it for free here.
Super Mario Run: How much does it cost?
The base game is completely free to download. For that you get three of the World Tour levels, access to your own Mushroom Kingdom to build up and the Toad Rally mode. You can access Toad Rally by earning or accruing tickets in the game. Each battle costs one ticket so you can only play a certain amount of time per day.
After the three World Tour levels have been played (although there is plenty of extra play time considering you can go back to collect new coins, etc) you will have to pay £7.99 if you want to play any further levels.
After the £7.99 fee, Nintendo has promised that there will never be any other in-app purchases.