And the #1 Game of 2016 is… Super Mario Run!

If you were to ask me what I thought the odds were of a Mario game coming to iOS, I’d put them somewhere in the range of peace in the middle east and a permanent drop in income taxes. Yet here we are. Nintendo spared no expense and proved that they can put out a mobile game that still meets their high standards. There’s not one feature about this game I don’t like.2016-12-25-01-30-44

I’m a sucker for anything Nintendo and will spend money on pretty much anything made by them that doesn’t have the name “Wii” in it, so I immediately dropped the $10 on the game and unlocked all the worlds. I don’t know how much time I’ve played it, but I can say with certainty that this game is absolutely in my top 3 games of the year.

First and foremost, we need to look at Super Mario Run as what it is: a mobile game. This is meant to be played in bouts of 3-5 minutes, but can be played as much as possible in one sitting. Moving away from the typical mobile shitshow “freemium” formula of limited plays, Super Mario Run is essentially a free trial that allows you to play the levels from the first two worlds. After that, you can pay to unlock the subsequent worlds.

The feel and response time behind this “runner” is where they got it perfect. The gameplay is simple, quick, and addictive. The draw of this game is to get the perfect run. Aside from just beating the level, there is the challenge of collecting the five colored coins, and there are three “sets” of increasingly difficult colored coins. Mastering each level is required to do so.

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The glorious message you get when you finish all three sets of colored coins.

I’m a huge fan of speedrunning, and for someone who likes speedrunning or just generally playing games fast, this game is ideal because it rewards perfecting each level. You may have to play a level 50 or more times before you get it down, but once you do, the feeling of satisfaction is incredible. Not to mention each attempt might only take you a couple of seconds. I just recently completed getting all sets of coins for all of the levels, and finished off the three bonus levels as well. Let me tell you – it was a pretty great feeling nailing that last level.

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Toad Rally is a cool way to extend gameplay time for this game as well. You spend Rally Tickets that you earn from collecting the colored coins in Tour mode, and then spend them “gambling” your Toad inhabitants who live in your little village that you rebuild. It’s simple, fast, and exciting – collect the most coins while putting on a show for the Toad judges. It’s really neat and is a change of pace when trying to master a new line gets tiring.

At the moment, I have practically infinite Rally tickets, so that is where I spend my time. As you level up your castle and collect more Toads from winning Toad Rally, you get new decorations and the ability to expand your Mushroom Kingdom. Some decorations offer up benefits, such as playing as new characters and getting bonus items and levels every 24 hours.

Overall, this game is the typical quality you’d expect from Nintendo and for $10 it’s a bargain and worth every penny. Go play it!

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