With over 50 million downloads in the first week, and almost doubling Pokémon Go in-app purchases on its first day, Nintendo can say they've won, once again. This time, with Super Mario Run. Pokémon Go did its job by reuniting the Nintendo community, but they needed a strong follow up. On September 7, 2016, Nintendo announced the arrival of Super Mario Run, a Mario revamp, and the next mobile game to take over the world for a week or so. I, like every millennial growing up in the late 90s/early 2000s, could not wait for a full blown Super Mario mobile game, you know, to kill time playing in the bathroom and what not. I waited the 3 and a half months until it’s December 15th release.
On that day, I finally received an email, notifying me that the game has gone live. Eureka! I downloaded it immediately, and the first thing the game asked me to do was link my Nintendo account. Eh...what Nintendo account? Step skipped. I began playing the first level, and sweet nostalgia hit. “This is amazing!”, I thought. I was running through the same field I had 15 years prior, but there was one noticeable difference. This time, I couldn’t stop running. Why can’t I turn left? Mario???
Just Keep Running
And so, my dissatisfaction began with the relaunch of one of the most important gaming characters of all time. I powered through the first 3 levels of Super Mario Run, only to realize that I could only play the first 20 seconds of the first Bowser stage. My time was up. I had to pay. Wait...pay? $10?? For a mobile app??? Ironically, I would have paid $49.99 to play the same game on my console without thinking twice, or even a preview. But for some reason, paying anything over $0.99 for a mobile app is cringe-worthy. Still, I succumbed. I gained access to the remaining full 6-world package. To fully—up to gamer standards—complete each level, you must collect all 5 pink, purple, and black (they look green, but Nintendo swears they’re black) coins, in separate stages within the same level. Arguably, that’s 72 levels of gameplay, 2/3 being repetition. After a few days, I had enough. To be honest, it would have been 10 minutes had the competitor in me not needed to beat this game.
Don't Knock It 'Til You've Tried It...?
Overall, I can’t say I regret the time I’ve dedicated to Super Mario Run. I still play from time to time during those bathroom breaks I talked about earlier. Plus, I wouldn’t say it was the biggest gaming mistake I’ve made. I did spend 5,000+ hours playing Diablo 3, which translates to over 7 months of 24-hour gaming. But, Mario, I wished for more. The short term play was a success. The real question is, when the fad dies, what's next on their agenda?