What's the Hype With the iPhone Mario Bros Game?

It's-a-me, iPhone-o!

Kid playing with iPhone

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When Nintendo announced they'd be taking their first steps onto mobile devices in 2016, there was one question that was on everybody's lips: when will we be playing Mario? It was great to get Miitomo, and Pokemon GO was in many ways a treat, but there was a clear absence of plumber jumping and princess rescuing. At Apple's September 2016 press event we learned exactly what a Mario iPhone game would look like, and when we'll be playing it.

Super Mario Run is an auto-running platformer coming from the App Store... December 15, 2016! The game will be headed to Android, too, but folks have to wait until 2017 for a firm release date.

How Do You Play Super Mario Run?

Players will control Mario as he runs across the screen automatically. Tapping will make Mario jump, and longer taps will make him jump higher. Players will use these controls to navigate a variety of environments based on classic Super Mario locations. Two locations — the World 1 grasslands and boss-level castle — were shown in action during the September press event. An App Store preview page for Super Mario Run has also revealed the dark and dank underworld you may remember from Super Mario Bros world 1-2

Auto-running platformers are fairly common on the App Store, with Ubisoft's Rayman releases (Rayman Jungle Run, Rayman Adventures) offering a particularly good example. Super Mario Run will take a different approach from these, presenting the game in portrait mode so that players can enjoy the game one-handed.

"You can play while holding on to a handle on a subway while eating a hamburger, or while eating an Apple," Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto said on stage at Apple's September event.

What's Toad Rally Battle Mode?

The second mode in Super Mario Run, Toad Rally Battle Mode will let players compete against each other asynchronously. Unlike the level-based challenges in the main mode, Toad Rally Battle Mode are endless challenges with a timer that ticks down, tasking players to get as high a score as possible to beat the competition.

Players will earn a score in two ways: by collecting coins and impressing Toads scattered throughout the level by performing impressive feats. Players will also be able to see the accomplishments of their opponent, with a ghosted "sticker" that shows the path the opposing player has taken the stage.

And impressed toads will do more than add to your score — they'll become citizens in your very own Mushroom Kingdom. This forms the third and final mode in Super Mario Run, where players will spend earned coins to customize the Mushroom Kingdom that they alone can rule over.

How Much Will Super Mario Run Cost?

Super Mario Run will be free to download, allowing everyone to experience a taste of the game at no cost. Players who want to continue Mario's adventure can do so by making an in-app purchase at a set purchase price.

When Can I Play It?

If you'd like to be notified when Super Mario Run is available, search "Super Mario Run" on the App Store on your iOS device, and click the "notify" button to get a push notification when the game becomes available to play.

In the meantime, Nintendo will be launching a Super Mario sticker set for iMessage alongside the launch of iOS 10 this Fall. Nintendo's next mobile games, set in the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises, are slated to launch before the end of March 2017.