Japanese gaming firm Nintendo has finally taken the plunge into iPad gaming. The company announced it will release its first paid app for iOS mobile devices today, December 15. From the famous Super Mario Bros line of classic console games, the title of the new app is Super Mario Run.
Nintendo confirmed that Super Mario Run will only be available for iOS powered devices for now. The company said an Android version will come along at some point, but no release date was provided for that platform.
The iPhone and iPad gaming market is enormous, but leaving Android users out in the cold – even temporarily – could be a mistake.
According to the latest data from Gartner Research, Android and iOS hold a combined market share on smartphone sales of a staggering 99.1%.
As of Q3 2016, only 12.9% of that market share belongs to Apple, down from 14.6% in Q3 2015. Android, however, carries an immense majority of the market share, rising to 86.2% this quarter from last year’s 82.2%. Samsung has the largest Android sales, responsible for 22.3% of all smartphones purchased in Q3 2016.
Super Mario Run for iPad
Gaming is about to get a lot more interesting for iPhone and iPad owners. Super Mario Run is based on the iconic Super Mario Bros series, and offers similar game play to the classic console versions. Mario moves horizontally across a landscape, jumping obstacles, squashing enemies and collecting coins on his way to each level-ending flag pole.
Nintendo said it designed Super Mario Run for one-handed play. Mario’s character is constantly in motion, hence the name, ‘Run‘. All the player must do is tap the screen to jump. It will take a lot of finesse, however, to time out all those taps, ensuring Mario leaps at the right time, and the right height, to complete 24 all-new courses – 6 worlds in total.
There’s also a challenge mode called Toad Rally in which players can compete against others all over the world, showing off their most stylish jumps. A crowd of Toads cheer on Mario, and those who earn a high enough score may impress a Toad enough that he comes to live in their personal kingdom.
To access Toad Rally, players will have to earn Rally Tickets by playing the game, earning style points for fancy jumps and accomplishing certain goals. Or, they can skip all that and use in-app purchases (IAPs) to buy as many Rally Tickets as they want.
Toad Rally is important for taking part in another unique function of the game called Kingdom Builder. Players can custom-design their own kingdom using items and buildings they win in Toad Rally. However, Mario is a very busy man – and he’s a plumber, not a contractor. Players will need to use the Toads they collect in Toad Rally to get build their kingdom.
As of today, Super Mario Run is available on the Apple iTunes Store for free download, compatible with iPhone, iPod and iPad gaming devices sporting iOS 8.0 or higher. However, the free version is only a demo, granting players access to a few low levels. To unlock the full game, players will have to pay the $10 (£8) price tag.