Super Mario Run: A Comprehensive Analysis of Pros and Cons


Super Mario Run is a mobile game developed and published by Nintendo, featuring one of the most iconic characters in the gaming world, Mario. Released in December 2016, it marked Nintendo’s entry into the mobile gaming market and garnered significant attention. This analysis aims to provide an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Super Mario Run, exploring its gameplay, graphics, monetization, and overall gaming experience.


  • Familiar Gameplay: Super Mario Run retains the classic side-scrolling platformer gameplay that made Mario famous. Players navigate Mario through various levels, jumping over obstacles, collecting coins, and defeating enemies. This familiarity appeals to long-time Mario fans.
  • Accessibility: The game is designed to be accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. Mario automatically runs forward, and players control his jumps with simple taps on the screen. This one-handed gameplay makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play.
  • Level Design: Super Mario Run features well-designed levels with a variety of challenges and secrets to discover. Each level offers a different experience, keeping the gameplay engaging and rewarding.
  • Graphics and Sound: The game boasts impressive graphics and captures the essence of the Mario universe beautifully. The music and sound effects are also reminiscent of the classic Mario games, enhancing the overall nostalgic experience.
  • Toad Rally: Toad Rally is a competitive mode where players can challenge their friends or players worldwide in time-based races. It adds a layer of competitiveness and replayability to the game, encouraging players to improve their skills.
  • Kingdom Builder: Super Mario Run includes a Kingdom Builder mode that allows players to create and customize their own Mushroom Kingdom. This feature adds depth to the gameplay, as players can unlock and place various elements in their kingdoms.
  • No Energy System: Unlike many mobile games that limit gameplay with energy systems or timers, Super Mario Run offers a one-time purchase to unlock the full game. Once purchased, players can enjoy the game without interruptions.
  • Offline Play: The game can be played offline, making it a great choice for on-the-go gaming. Players don’t need a constant internet connection to enjoy the main gameplay.
  • Regular Updates: Nintendo has consistently released updates and new content for Super Mario Run, keeping the game fresh and exciting for long-term players.


  • Limited Free Content: Super Mario Run offers only a limited number of levels for free. To access the full game, players must make a one-time purchase, which can be a deterrent for some users who prefer entirely free-to-play titles.
  • Always Online Requirement: While the main gameplay can be enjoyed offline, certain features like Toad Rally and accessing friend lists require an internet connection. This can be frustrating for players with limited connectivity.
  • Short Playtime per Session: Super Mario Run’s bite-sized levels are perfect for quick gaming sessions, but some players might find the gameplay a bit too short-lived, especially compared to console Mario games.
  • Price Point: The game’s initial purchase price may deter budget-conscious players, especially in an era where many mobile games are free to play with in-app purchases.
  • Lack of New Characters: Unlike some Mario titles, Super Mario Run focuses solely on Mario as the playable character. Some players might miss the variety that other Mario games offer with different characters like Luigi and Yoshi.
  • Limited Interaction: Super Mario Run simplifies the controls to make it accessible, but some players might miss the precision and complexity of traditional Mario platformers.
  • In-App Purchases: While the game doesn’t feature pay-to-win mechanics, it does offer in-app purchases for special items and characters. This can be seen as a disadvantage for players who prefer a completely premium experience.
  • Battery Consumption: Super Mario Run can be somewhat demanding on device batteries, which can be problematic for extended gaming sessions on older devices or when you’re away from a charger.
  • Repetitive Gameplay: While the core gameplay is fun and engaging, it may become repetitive for some players after extended play, especially if they’ve already purchased and completed the full game. 

To play Super Mario Run, you can follow these steps:

  • Download the Game: Super Mario Run is available on both iOS and Android devices. You can download it from the respective app stores.
  • Launch the Game: After installing, open the game on your device.
  • Start Playing: Super Mario Run is an endless runner game, so Mario automatically moves forward. Tap the screen to make him jump, and tap and hold to make him jump higher. The goal is to collect coins, avoid obstacles, and rescue Princess Peach.
  • Complete Levels: Super Mario Run consists of various levels, and the objective is to complete each one by reaching the flagpole at the end. You can also try to collect all the pink coins and purple coins in each level for additional challenges.
  • Build Your Kingdom: In Super Mario Run, you can build your kingdom using the coins you collect in the game. Customize it with decorations and buildings.

As for alternatives to Super Mario Run, here are the top 10 games you might enjoy:

  • Rayman Adventures: This platformer offers similar gameplay to Super Mario Run, with beautiful graphics and challenging levels.
  • Sonic Dash: Join Sonic the Hedgehog in this endless runner game.
  • Temple Run 2: Run through perilous environments, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles.
  • Jetpack Joyride: Help Barry Steakfries fly with a jetpack, collecting coins and power-ups.
  • Subway Surfers: Dodge oncoming trains and obstacles in this popular endless runner.
  • Canabalt: A fast-paced, side-scrolling platformer where you have to make split-second decisions.
  • Limbo: A dark and atmospheric puzzle-platformer with unique gameplay.
  • Leo’s Fortune: This platform adventure game features beautiful graphics and physics-based puzzles.
  • Badland: An atmospheric side-scrolling adventure with physics-based gameplay and stunning visuals.
  • Tiny Wings: An addictive and charming game where you control a bird as it soars and dives.

These games offer various gameplay styles and challenges, so you can pick the one that suits your preferences the most.


Super Mario Run has both its merits and drawbacks, making it a game that appeals to a specific audience. Its accessibility, nostalgic graphics and sound, and classic gameplay are definite strengths that cater to Mario fans of all ages. The absence of an energy system and the option for offline play make it a convenient choice for mobile gaming on the go.

However, the limited free content, always-online requirement for some features, and the game’s upfront purchase price may deter some potential players. Additionally, the game’s relatively short levels and simplified controls might not satisfy players seeking a more complex and challenging Mario experience.

In summary, Super Mario Run is a solid addition to the mobile gaming landscape, offering a taste of Mario’s world on smartphones and tablets. Whether it’s a worthwhile download depends on your love for the Mario franchise, your gaming preferences, and your willingness to invest in a premium mobile gaming experience.


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