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Super Mario Run review: Franchise’s first mobile game delights

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Learn the ups and downs and ins and outs of Super Mario Run, the first game in the series made for mobile devices. Credit: Nintendo

PLOT See Mario run in his first mobile game.

RATED E for Everyone

COMPATIBLE WITH iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, requires iOS 8.0 or later; Android, requires 4.1 and up; $9.99

BOTTOM LINE This will get you up to speed on Mario.

The first Mario game for iOS devices has finally arrived, and it’s been worth the wait.

The concept? Distill Mario games to their simplest elements while melding them with ideas culled from one of the most popular mobile games out there: endless runners. The biggest caveat is that Mario is always running from left to right across the screen. You’ll need to tap the screen to make Mario jump, and hold your tap longer to get him to jump higher. He can vault over enemies or stomp on them just like in the games, and can wall jump, utilize special blocks to pause the action, get boosts of speed, or even reverse in some situations.

You do all this with just one finger, using shorter and longer taps with finesse as Mario vaults over the heads of Goombas, Koopa Troopas and various other enemies. It’s truly hypnotizing watching Mario move in such a way that paints him as even more of an athletic character than usual. Watching him scramble up the edge of a well-placed question block or somersaulting in the air is just plain fun to see.

After completing the main game, you can take in the Toad Rally mode as well as Kingdom Builder, though neither is particularly dense. Toad Rally lets you compete against shadow Marios in a sort of time-trial event to see how many Toads you can get to come cheer for you as you rack up the coinage. The Kingdom Builder is exactly what it sounds like. You can purchase additional items from the in-game store with coins earned throughout the game.

Super Mario Run is a great way to introduce newbies to Mario or gaming in general, and while it’s a bit short on content for now, you can imagine a series of updates making it even better.

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