First off, this is a Mario game like we’ve never seen before, game mechanics-wise. The developer has thrown away with the two directional side-scrolling 2D platformer that was first introduced in the NES era, in favour of limiting movement to one side. Not only this, but Mario runs automatically, only stopping when he hits a red pause box, or when something two or more bricks deep blocks his way. Whilst this seems strange at first, you soon come to realise why the decision was made: so that you can play with just one finger or thumb. This makes the game incredibly easy to play, especially on the go, which is how most people probably will.

The Mushroom Kingdom returns, and with it all of the backgrounds and environments we all recognise. Old faces in Luigi, Peach and the like return, with the same recurring enemies of Bowser, Koopas and Goombas. It all creates a sense of nostalgia for those who have played Mario titles in the past, whilst feeling fresh and innovative at the same time.

There are two main game modes: tour and rally. The former is the main campaign, and consists of six worlds, with four levels in each. It may seem short at first, but scattered throughout the individual levels are three different coloured coins which, when collected, reveal secret worlds to extend game. It’s a fun addition, and brings longevity to levels which otherwise wouldn’t have needed replaying. The other game mode, rally, acts as an online face-off between other players, as their ghost-like player from a past run becomes your competition. Compete and win, and you’ll be rewarded with Toad tokens, which give you more opportunities to race in Toad Rally. Another prize that Toad Rally offers is the loyalty of different coloured toads, each one giving you different unlocks. For example, the more green toads on your side, the closer you are to unlocking Luigi. Again, it ensures you persist with the game in order to unlock your favourite characters.

Mario runs automatically, only stopping when he hits a red pause box, or when something two or more bricks deep blocks his way.

Gold coins also make a return, and in Super Mario Run can be used to purchase in-game goods. These are fairly limited however, only really including decorations for your Mushroom Kingdom. But the rewards are within the gameplay itself, and with characters and new worlds to unlock, you won’t be focusing too much on how your Kingdom looks.

Super Mario Run is a very good start to life for our moustachioed man. It goes against what previous Mario titles have been about, but at the same time feels exactly like you’re stepping into the world that you know so well. In this instance, it’s definitely a case of better late than never for Android users.

[appbox googleplay]