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Super Mario Run

Is Nintendo’s iOS title a smash hit or a poorly executed pipe dream?

In case you missed it, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run made its debut release on iPhone and iPad just under a week ago, on 15th December 2016, to mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Apptopia stated the game was downloaded 2.85 million times in its first day of release. In terms of day one success, these numbers beat Pokémon Go, which was downloaded just 900,000 times on its first day. However, interest in it did rapidly dwindle as updates dried up.

Super Mario Run, iOS Games, Mobile Games, Nintendo

Super Mario Run has received mixed reviews from fans, with praise for its look and feel being reminiscent of earlier titles, and heavy criticism from critics due its price point and overall performance. Many have stated that the games freemium model is not entirely transparent, and questioned whether the game is worth the £7.99 price point.

The Verge were quick to call Super Mario Run a “Compromised Mario” game with reviewer Andrew Webster criticising the games necessity for an ‘always on’ internet connection. They ended with stating that Super Mario Run was a promising start to mobile gaming, but incomplete.

Over on Forbes, reviewer Dave Their was happy to sing Super Mario Run’s praises for capturing the look and feel of other Super Mario titles, stating that it did little to change the series’ classic feel. However, unimpressed with the Toad Rally mode, Dave went on to suggest that Nintendo were completely unprepared for the mobile market. The Forbes review was sealed by suggesting that you can pick up better games on your mobile for less money than Super Mario Run.

Princess Peach – outdated views on women or sticking to a proven recipe?

On social media, many fans and onlookers have criticised Nintendo for missing an opportunity to put forward a new plot, instead sticking with a sexist portrayal of Princess Peach, supporting harmful stereotypes about women. It’s been a constant in the Super Mario world; Mario coming to the rescue of Princess Peach. Well, this plot does date back to 1980! Now in 2016, many are upset that Nintendo had an opportunity to move away from the notion that Princess Peach is helpless and cannot defend herself, but chose to embrace the Princess that bakes cakes and is a damsel in distress.

(See Also: Super Mario Run Gender Stereotypes – Recode.net)

The argument is that Super Mario Run was an opportunity for Nintendo to interact and engage with a new, younger female audience, many of whom may have never encountered a Super Mario game. Had Nintendo taken a different route and reinvented their portrayal of Princess Peach, they may have seen a new wave of fans – perfect as they gear up to launch the Nintendo Switch early in 2017.

Though not all fans have slammed Nintendo for their portrayal of Princess Peach. There are just as many players (many female) speaking out about how powerful she really is; she rules the Mushroom Kingdom alone and doesn’t appear to have a need for a man. Yes, she ultimately gets kidnapped and Mario comes to her rescue, but many state that this is the recipe for many adventure novels, games and movies.

Poor user reviews lead to share price nightmares

Super Mario Run, iOS Games, Mobile Games, NintendoHead on over the App Store, and you’ll find many reviewers all leaving differing reviews and opinions. Many are upset over the confusion of the freemium model. Currently Super Mario Run has an average rating of just 2.5 stars*.

Over on Metacritic and you’ll mostly find favourable reviews from the likes of Digital Spy (100/100), Pocket Gamer UK (90/100) and Trusted Reviews (80/100). Yet, along with the App Store and gaming forums, the reviews from players are less favourable, with an average score of 5.6 out of 10.

Super Mario Run mobile game have led to an 11% fall in the firm’s share price.” This is bad news for Nintendo, but also for DeNA Co, who co-developed the title. They’ve also seen their shares drop by 14% over the same period.

“A $10 upfront cost to unlock the game is a huge ask and one that flies in the face of current mobile games being free-to-play,” Daniel Ahmad, an analyst for researcher Niko Partners, told Bloomberg.

Super Mario Run has topped the charts for the most profitable games in many nations. Analysis firm App Annie said its monitoring of the game points to more than 37 million downloads in its first three days. On average, it said, people spent more than 13 minutes every day on the game.

When all is said and done, Super Mario Run for iOS is a great first foray for Super Mario in the world of mobile gaming. The price point is a concern for many, although it’s no different to picking up console titles like TellTale’s The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodic adventures. Although there are titles available for download from the App Store for cheaper, we’ve come accustomed to paying a premium for major franchise releases.

Have you downloaded and played Super Mario Run yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to us on social media.

Editors Note* – 2.5 stars score in App Store correct at time of writing
[appbox appstore id1145275343?mt=8]

About the author

Kristian Wingfield-Bennett

Kris is the Lead Marketer at ANDi Games Ltd. Learn more about Kris and the work he does by visiting www.get-andi.com/about