(Pocket-lint) - Having started its life as an iOS exclusive, Super Mario Run is now available for Android users.

Nintendo tweeted last week the app would be available on 23 March, but it actually arrived a day early.

Super Mario Run became big news last year when it was announced at Apple's iPhone 7 launch event. It's the first time Nintendo has released one of its popular game characters in a mobile game.

In its first few days on the Apple App Store, Super Mario Run became one of the most popular games ever to hit the iPhone, and it was also one of the top 10 grossing apps for a little while. In its first four days, the app was downloaded 40 million times and has since soared passed the 50-million mark and beyond. The Android version will be identical feature-wise to the iPhone app.

The app requires internet connectivity at all times to play the game. It is a free download, initially offering three stages, but you'll need to do a single $9.99 (£9.99) in-app purchase to unlock the rest of the levels. You'll be able to play the World Tour mode to complete and unlock levels, or play Toad Rally, trying to beat other players' scores to win different coloured toads to bring to your kingdom.

When the game launched for iOS devices, the single-in app purchase cost £7.99, but it rose to £9.99 after Apple revealed it was putting up its App Store prices by 25 per cent to counteract the effect of Brexit.  

Writing by Elyse Betters and Cam Bunton.