Super Mario Run: A Beginner’s Guide & Gameplay Review


When Nintendo made Super Mario available on mobile devices, many people were ecstatic. And why not? Mario is one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. Almost every person, young or old, can recognize who Mario is. This new mobile version of the game is titled Super Mario Run.

Super Mario Run’s gameplay is similar to that of Temple Run and other endless running games that are popular on mobile today. You’ll recognize many familiar elements that are a staple in most Mario games in the past. However, Super Mario Run also introduces unique features that were never seen in the game franchise before. Read on to understand the basics of the game and how it compares with its predecessors.

Super Mario Run Gameplay Basics

Many of us have been exposed to Super Mario games throughout the years. So what makes Super Mario Run special? Let’s talk about the basic features of the game first. Then we’ll know what this mobile version has to offer for new and long-time Super Mario players.

Image Source: Super Mario Run


Automatic Movements

One of the main differences of Super Mario Run compared to its predecessors is the fact that Mario moves automatically. You don’t have to press a button to make Mario move forward or backward, unlike in the previous Super Mario Bros. games. Mario will automatically move forward in this game, but players can’t go backwards!

The only way you can move backward is if you die and be carried in a bubble that can move back. Just tap the bubble if you reach a certain location where you want to start over. But remember that these bubbles are limited, so you can’t keep doing this. You also have to consider that there is a time limit in completing each stage, so going back can you at a disadvantage.

Aside from running automatically, Mario can also automatically hop over small obstacles. This generally includes hopping over enemies like Goombas (Kuribo) and Koopa Troopas (Nokonoko). Players will only need to control Mario when a big obstacle is ahead.

How to Make Mario Jump Higher

You can use Goombas and Koopa Troopas to jump higher. You just need to tap at the right time to pull this off. Meaning, while Mario hops on Goombas and Koopa Troopas, you have to tap at the same time too so he can perform a higher jump. You need to get the hang of this because it helps you avoid big obstacles and collect more coins in the long run. This is the only control in the game that is not automated too.

Collecting Coins in Super Mario Run

Like most Super Mario Bros. games, you will also collect coins as you move along in Super Mario Run. Collecting as many coins as you can is important because you need this to rebuild the Kingdom that Bowser destroyed when he kidnapped Princess Peach. Aside from regular coins, Super Mario Run now has special coins that have higher value.

Image Source: Super Mario Run

These high-valued coins are pink coins, and each stage have 5 pink coins that you can collect. They are usually hidden, so you will have to be quick and observant since Mario is automatically moving forward. If you get all pink coins in one run, a set of purple coins will appear next. These are harder to reach, but if you do manage to collect them, a new black set of coins will appear next. Collecting these are however very difficult.

As mentioned above, Mario moves automatically and he doesn’t go back. The locations of the special coins are also hidden, so you’ll need to be very observant and quick to get them all in one run. Some players like to repeat stages just to get all of the special coins. Collecting all of them gives a sense of satisfaction and achievement, which is understandable considering the difficulty in collecting them. These coins will also give you a higher score, which will come in handy during Toad Rallies. And speaking of Toad Rallies…

Toad Rally

This is the multiplayer feature of Super Mario Run. You will play against the ghost of other players in the game. It’s like a race, but instead of just trying to finish the course first, you compete for the highest score. Collecting coins can help you score high, and it helps you perform the race in style. And if you perform cool tricks, you get to score more points and attract more Toads.



What’s the point of attracting more Toads?

Remember, you have to rebuild the Kingdom that Bowser destroyed. Getting enough Toads will help increase the population of the Kingdom, and this makes it easier for you to rebuild it. Winning Toad Rallies will help you speed up this process. But also remember that you can’t play Toad Rally as many times as you want since it uses in-game tickets. These tickets replenish over time (like lives or hearts), so you just need to be patient.

Pros & Cons of Super Mario Run

Like many video games, Super Mario Run has its fair share of pros and cons. After this, we’ll discuss our verdict for the game.


  • Simple To Play – One of the main pros of this game is that it is very simple to play. You don’t have to play it a couple of times before you can get the hang of it. The mechanics are simple and straightforward. Most of the controls are also automatic, so you just need to pay attention to the screen and tap when you need to jump high.
  • Plenty of Other Mini-Games – Another good thing about Super Mario Run is that you don’t just have to stick to the original quest. There are other things you can do outside of the main levels, like the Toad Rally for example. You can also work on rebuilding the Kingdom, using the coins that you collected.


  • It’s Not Free – Unfortunately, the full content of the game is not available for free. Yes, you can still play it for around 10 levels, but you need to pay to access the rest of the game.
  • Requires Internet Connection to Play – Another con is that the game requires an internet connection to be played. There is currently no offline mode for Super Mario Run, so you have to be in an area where there is a stable Internet connection to play.

Final Verdict

After playing the game a couple of times and understanding how it works, I would say that this is still a fun and addictive game. Much like its predecessors, Super Mario Run can easily hook players in. The automatic controls can’t hinder you from enjoying the game. It made it even more exciting and challenging since you have to pay attention to the other elements and objectives of the game (like collecting coins).

Image Source: Super Mario Run

Mario would move forward on his own, so you just have to stay alert – especially for the times when you need to jump high. It’s just unfortunate that the full version of the game is not available for free. But it’s a good thing that there are many other things you can do outside the main levels (like Toad Rallies and mini-games).