When Nintendo announced last year that its first major mobile release Super Mario Run would be $10 to unlock all of the content, many were shocked. Mobile games are known for being free or just a couple of dollars, with in-app purchases. Thankfully, the Mario-themed title is free to start. Like many other "free-to-try" games, though, your available content in this version is extremely limited.
That doesn't detract much from your potential enjoyment, as we've had the free version downloaded for months and still get consistent play out of it. Super Mario Run unfortunately doesn't let you know everything you can do in the free portion of the game (spoiler: a surprising amount), so that's why we're here to show you how to get the most out of it.
The core mode of Super Mario Run is the Tour. Here, you find what you would normally expect from a mainline Mario game. It has six main worlds, each consisting of three platforming levels and a final boss level. When the game first launched last year on iOS, it only had a couple of levels available for free. Over time, Nintendo has added more levels to the free version, with certainly more to come.
Currently, you can play the entire first world (four total levels), including the first boss level against Bowser himself. Though the levels themselves can be completed in a minute or less, each one has four different difficulties to play through. Added recently, you can play through the levels with no time limit and infinite bubbles (think lives) so that you will be able to complete it no matter what. That is a good start if you aren't confident in your skill.
For those that know how to play the game, there are three different types of special coins-pink, purple, and black-that you can find and earn in each level. Finding all of the pink coins, for instance, will unlock the next level of difficulty for you to do. These coins become increasingly harder to collect, and you must get all of them in one play-through for it to count.
Building Your Kingdom
The second of the core game modes is the kingdom-building aspect. This is the most mobile-esque portion of Super Mario Run, where you rebuild your kingdom that was destroyed by Bowser. The regular coins that you collect throughout all of the levels can be used here to make new toad houses and decorations that bring in more toads, therefore, unlocking more buildings to buy in the shop.
It is a very addictive back-and-forth that will give you plenty of rewards to aim for as you play the game. There are even specific buildings that you can purchase that give you tickets for the multiplayer (more on in a moment) and even short, daily courses you can beat.
By far the most prolific and nigh-endless mode, Toad Rally is what you can go back to day after day even after you've beaten all of the available courses. A form of multiplayer, this mode has you face against another player's ghost in a race to see who can get the most coins and perform the best. Maps are unlocked through beating the main Tour mode.
There is an entire ranking and rating system that exists, moving you up or down depending on if you win or lose. Not only that, but you can collect five different colors of toads to populate your kingdom. Collecting certain amounts of them allows you to purchase new houses that unlock the five other playable characters. These include Luigi, Peach, Toad, Toadette, and Yoshi, with more on the way. Toad Rally makes it possible to have endless replayability without spending a penny on Super Mario Run.