Super Mario Run has released on Android ahead of schedule. Nintendo's popular mobile platformer was initially confirmed for a March 23 Android release date earlier this month, but the company has jumped the gun, deciding to release the mobile game on the Google Play Store a few hours before fans were expecting it.
Super Mario Run sees Mario and his pals (including Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad and Toadette) as they run through levels aiming to collect coins and avoid obstacles. There is also a multiplayer game mode that pits players against one another, competing for high scores. Players can also put together their very own kingdoms, letting others try out their creations.
Although the game sounds like a winning concept on paper, when the game debuted on iOS in December, it did so to mixed reviews. While some critics were not totally convinced that Mario's console gameplay translated well to smartphones, players were especially frustrated with the fact that Super Mario Run requires an Internet connection, not to mention the game's steep price tag.
The mobile title is officially free to start, with just a handful of levels, but those who want the full experience will have to dole out a whopping $9.99. Things have improved in recent days with an update earlier this week adding another free level to the game (four are now available), but it's unclear whether players will ever be fully satisfied and will agree that the high price point is totally justified.
What's also unclear is whether Super Mario Run will be a resounding success on Android. While the game certainly isn't Pokemon GO, the augmented reality mobile game that took the world by storm last summer, it has had great success on iOS. It made $14 million in three days and set an App Store download record, which isn't too shabby given that Nintendo is new to the world of mobile games.
The Super Mario Run Android release did get a few more months of hype leading up to it, with Android users eager to play the game that their iOS using peers have been playing for a while, and most importantly concerns about the price have subsided. These factors could mean that it does even better - or as well - as it did on iOS, but only time will tell.
Super Mario Run is now available on Android and iOS.