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Nintendo has finally launched their endless runner, Super Mario Run, on to Apple's mobile smart devices. The game is Nintendo's third major attempt at courting the mobile gaming audience and it's currently available for download from the iTunes App Store.
You can head to iTunes right now and download the game for your device. It's rather tiny, clocking in at just 205MB. They note that it's "Free" but that isn't entirely true. Yes, you can download the game for free, but what you're actually getting is a free trial of Super Mario Run.
If you enjoy what you play from the free trial, it's possible to unlock the full game for $9.99. Nintendo decided to go with this method because they felt it best represented what they wanted out of the Super Mario Run game. It's a complete divergence from the way Pokemon Go is setup by Niantic Labs, which is entirely free-to-play but there's a cash shop attached so you can buy what you need when you need it. The free-to-play model ended up being huge for Pokemon Go thanks to the game's reliance on traveling around in the real world and requiring players to purchase certain kinds of items in order to stay on their game.
In the case of Super Mario Run, you blast through the trial and if you want more you simply unlock the full game, which includes access to a total of six different game worlds. The World Tour mode will allow you to play through 24 different levels across those six worlds as you attempt to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser's castle.
There's a leaderboard challenge mode called Toad Rally, which offers players a competitive way to show off their running skills against other players. And there's a Kingdom Builder mode, where you can gather coins from the Toad Rally mode and use it to decorate and build up your own custom kingdom from more than 100 different items present in the game. It's a small way to infuse some replay values into the title.
Some of you might be wondering what the hook is for Super Mario Run? Well, it's designed to be played with one button. Basically, Nintendo has been marketing it as a game you can play with one hand, since the only requirement is to jump. It's based on the premise of being easy enough for casuals to pick up and play, but challenging enough for hardcore gamers to master.
Mario automatically runs and gamers must time their jumps throughout the obstacle courses to get to the end. The first major gameplay for Super Mario Run was showcased during the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime gave Jimmy a rundown of the gameplay, along with the first ever live demonstration of the Nintendo Switch, which can be played either docked at a television with full HD support, or you can carry it with you as a portable device with 720p HD support.
Gamers will have to wait until mid-January to get more details on the Nintendo Switch, but you can download and start playing Super Mario Run right now on any iOS 8.0 or higher iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.