I do love it when I get the chance to rip the shit out of a game. Mario Run literally just released at the time of writing, but this post is going up tomorrow. So it’s the 15th now. Anyways, why is Mario Run so bad? So many reasons. Honestly I wouldn’t mind reviewing as many Mario games as I can at some point. It’s a shame we’re starting on a terribly low note isn’t it.

Well I mean, it isn’t all bad. I suppose we must give credit where credit is due. It does look nice. But to be fair so does pasta and that has more depth than Mario Run. Honestly the game does look extremely good. But that isn’t much of a standing point for excellence. We’re at a point in gaming where our phones can run much more powerful programmes. Mario Run looks like the DS version, which was quite nice I guess. I have a DS though.

On top of that, I did like the small “nod” to Super Mario 64, a much better game than this. I think it was a nod. If it wasn’t I have no clue what it was. More of a headbutt I’m guessing.


But that’s enough of the positives, let’s move onto the negatives. Boy are there a lot. I mean, where honestly do I start? I’ve got my list next to me and it’s nearly a page long so I may just pick the best ones out.

Lets start with the writing I suppose. It’s the most logical step forwards. Now I’m not expecting a Super Mario game to have the best writing. Lets be honest, the games are far from good story and writing wise. Mario Run basically falls into this category rather well. There are little to no attempts at any jokes whatsoever.

Mind you, that didn’t stop them from trying to incorporate an entire story into an app. God they tried. Simple Nitendo Mario game format is applied. Bowser kidnaps Peach, Mario must stop him at all costs. It’s the run of the mill stuff. Surprisingly though, it doesn’t work in this game. Need I say why? First off it’s an app, they have the depth of a blank piece of paper at the best of times. On top of that, microtransactions completely bugger the game. I’ll get onto those in a bit.

Now the fun of Mario was jumping around, right? Well, apparently not. Mario auto jumps over enemies and small obstacles. Basically it’s next to impossible to actually lose, which makes large chunks of the game redundant. What’s the point in having enemies and obstacles if we don’t have to do anything to avoid them? There isn’t a point, I didn’t lose a single game. It’s far too easy.

Maybe I’m expecting too much? It is an app after all. But I was expecting at least a small portion of challenge. The “game” manages to take every ounce of challenge away by having Mario just avoid every obstacle in his path. Useless, that’s what the game becomes.

But that doesn’t matter so long as the game plays well. Well sod off if you thought the game would run properly. No sir, it lags like hell. Maybe that’s just my phone, I do have an iPhone 5C so I’m running on old tech at this point. But still, if it’s available on my phone then it should be able to play on my phone without it freezing every time Mario picks up a mushroom. Hell, the game is even laggy on some menus. It’s Office Freakout all over again.

For some reason the game wanted to send me push notifications. Now the only game I have ever allowed push notifications for is The Simpsons Tapped Out. And even then I disabled them after a short while. Don’t enable them. You’ll get nothing but push updates and “great offers on premium currency”. It’s just not worth it at all.

I mean, in general the game is just poor. Even without all of the gameplay problems it’s just repetitive. You get the first three levels for free. After that, it’s £8 for 24 levels. This is where my main problem rises with Mario Run. Excuse the language for a second, but I really need to get something off of my chest.

Fuck you Nintendo.

What Nintendo is doing to the mobile gaming community and platform as a whole is sleazy at the least. If this was EA or Ubisoft this stuff wouldn’t be brushed under the rug so easily. Nintendo get a free pass from everyone. Not from me though.

I refuse to account the paid levels as apart of the experience as most will not purchase them. So what you’re downloading is a Mario runner (a type of game done to death.) that has a whole three levels to choose from. It’s just the same old slap dash shit Mario formula but somehow one hundred times worse.

There is a premium game you can play with tickets and I did give that a go. Basically you just collect the most coins and the winner gets Toads. What do the Toads do? Well I’m glad I’m pretending you asked. You use them for your “Kingdom Builder”. What, you thought Nintendo would just make a running game with three levels? Of course not, they need to staple some extra bits of string to make it look like it’s worth playing.

Basically the Kingdom Builder is useless, I found it completely worthless and there was no reason to do it. You just build sheds and houses and things. I don’t know, it was boring. You use the coins in the game to buy things. Buy what exactly? I’m not too sure, I bought a toad house, then the game crashed and I’d had enough at that point.

Call me unprofessional, but I played the game for a half hour or so, maybe not even that. It was genuinely so dreadful I couldn’t bare to play it. There’s a difference between a weak Mario game and an atrocious one. This is on par with Hotel Mario, Mario Teaches Typing and Mario is Missing.

Stay clear of this for as long as you live. I’m off to play Super Mario 64 DS to cleanse my pallet.


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Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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