I’ve been waiting for Mario to come to my cell phone since I first got one in 2008. Until today, though, I’ve always been disappointed. Sure, there are “Mario-like” knockoffs all over the app store — most of them unplayable — but there’s never been anything of Nintendo’s caliber for me to really sink my teeth into, to really capture the same kind of magic I felt when I was 10 years old and beating my brother over the head with a controller because he wouldn’t let me have my turn. (Our parents took the Nintendo away after that.) But all of that’s over now, because Mario Run is here to fill the nostalgia void in our hearts like nothing else could.
Of course, you may be skeptical (so was I). Because Mario has always been played with external controllers — and touch controls are notoriously bad — it makes sense to fear (FEAR!) that the gameplay wouldn’t translate. And when the trailer for the game first came out I was worried that because of the word “run” in its title, Nintendo’s biggest offering to the app store would be another completely unfair and greedy freemium game that would only serve to make all of us frustrated (while earning Nintendo major ducats because it’s not like we weren’t going to play.)
But hey, how bad could a Mario game you play with one hand be?