Super Mario Run brings Nintendo's classic Super Mario Bros. video game to iOS, with an Android version to come in 2017. In this endless runner and jumper, there are six worlds (and 24 levels) to traverse, but only World 1 (levels 1-3) is free. All six worlds will run you a hefty $9.99.
Engrossing story: Super Mario Run has a backstory that's easy to lose yourself in and hard to leave. Whether or not you're familiar with the game's history, you'll understand your goal. Bowser, your archenemy and leader of a race of evil turtles, has kidnapped your beloved Princess Peach and wrecked her castle. You must run and jump your way across six worlds to rescue her. Just make sure you don't trip or fall prey to Piranha Plants and flying Koopas (turtles).
Three unique modes: You can choose from three modes: Tour has 24 90-second courses to traverse; Rally lets you compete against friends and randoms in 60-second challenges; and Build tasks you with redecorating a destroyed Mushroom Kingdom with flowers, trees, and bridges, which you purchase with coins and unlock by collecting Toad followers. With so many options, you won't soon grow bored with Super Mario Run.
Easy gameplay: Super Mario Run can be played with easy one-handed swiping, tapping, and holding, which makes it a great game to play on the go. During testing, we found the game highly responsive to our touch.
Unlimited retries: No matter how many times you mess up, you can get back into the game.
Informative introduction: Super Mario Run provides an informative intro, which explains that Mario's running and vaulting over obstacles and small enemies is automatic. Tapping or pressing on the screen enables you to jump onto higher platforms and pull off some cool moves, such as kick-jumping and spin-jumping. Should you make a mistake, you'll pop into a bubble and get to try again. Once you stop spinning, just tap the screen to break the bubble open, and you'll be back in the game.
Friendly competition: Add friends in Super Mario Run, just to leave them in your dust.
Pay to play: You only get to play one-sixth of the game in the free version. To purchase all six worlds, you'll need to cough up $9.99, which is a lot for a mobile game. However, you'll also get 3,000 coins; one Question Block, containing a special prize or superpower; and 20 Rally Tickets, which you can use to compete in a Toad Rally, a special coin-gathering moves challenge against players from all over the world.
Internet connection required: Many mobile games today don't require a connection to work, so it's discouraging that you can't play Super Mario Run offline.
Super Mario Run packs all the excitement of Nintendo's old-school Super Mario Bros. video game into a lightweight app that you can play with one hand on the go.