Gamachronicles: Super Mario (part 10)

Today we are going to focus on the most current generation of Mario games on iOS and Android. Typically we’ve been focusing on just the core Mario Bros games, but for this installment of Gamachronicles, we will cover both Super Mario Run and Mario Kart Tour.

Gamachronicles are multi-part features on a famous or noteworthy game series, diving into some of its most memorable moments and providing additional perspective on its history.

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is a side-scrolling, auto-runner mobile game developed and published by Nintendo for iOS and Android devices.

It was released for iOS in December 2016 and for Android in March 2017. The game represents one of Nintendo’s first games developed for mobile devices, and one of the few instances that a game in the Mario series was officially released on non-Nintendo hardware.

The game offers three primary games modes.

  1. Tour: the core game mode, most similar to New Super Mario Bros. The objective is to collect all of the special coins in each level. There are three types of coins per level, with a new type unlocking once all coins of the current type have been collected (i.e. collect all three pink coins and unlock the ability to collect the purple coins).
  2. Rally: a competitive run against the ghost of another player. A stylized cutout of their character runs along side the player for reference. Whoever collects the most coins wins the race and collects different colored Toads.
  3. Remix 10: a race to collect as many special coins as possible over a series of ten remixed levels from Tour mode. A special map is included to help players track their progress.

In addition to the three main game modes, there is an overworld map of the Mushroom Kingdom that players can customize to show off various items they have unlocked.

Players can download the game for free and play the first few levels, but must pay $9.99 to unlock the rest of the game.

Editor’s note While I was initially satisfied with Mario Run’s gameplay, and I did purchase the full game, I also quickly lost interest after a few weeks. However, I did start playing again recently once the Remix 10 mode was added. Remix 10 is fun and varied enough to make the other modes more interesting as well…at least for a while.

Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart Tour was released on September 25, 2019, as a mobile racer with more in common with endless runners than Need for Speed. It deviates from the traditional gameplay of the Mario Kart series, where the objective is to be first across the finish line, and instead utilizes a points-based system.

There are four options of speed: 50cc (namely “leisurely”), 100cc (“fast”), 150cc (“very fast”) and 200cc (“too fast”). Unlike previous instalments in the series, much of the driving (notably acceleration, jump boosts) is performed automatically.

Mario Kart Tour includes features from previous Mario Kart games, such as underwater racing and hang gliding from Mario Kart 7. The game also introduced a new Frenzy mode, which occurs when a driver gets three identical items from an item box. Each character can get a unique item (also known as “Special Skill”) from item boxes.

Editor’s Note While Super Mario Run didn’t seem spectacular when it was released, in comparison I thought Mario Kart Tour was very fun and well designed. Especially when you compare it to Sonic Racing on Apple Arcade, which is no where near as good or enjoyable, and Mario Kart is free to boot.

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