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Super Mario Run review: a fun but compromised Mario on iPhone
Oftentimes Super Mario Run, the first smartphone game created by Nintendo, feels like a compromised version of the classic games. To work comfortably on a touchscreen held in one hand, Nintendo has had to change its proven formula. This isn't new for Nintendo, a company that, particularly with portable gaming, has found creative ways to adapt its most beloved franchise. But Super Mario Run is, for better and worse, different.While Super Mario Run may look like a traditional side-scrolling game, it's actually an automatic runner, a genre popularized on mobile by Canabalt and Temple Run. On his own, Mario perpetually runs to the right of the screen; you control his jumps, though there's some variation. Tap the screen for a quick hop, and hold your finger down for a longer leap. From this simple framework Nintendo has created a surprisingly robust experience. With a combination of taps and presses, Mario can perform wall jumps, catapult himself over enemies, flutter through the air, and grab onto ledges. Environmental features modify his behavior, like blocks that stop Mario from his endless skitter eastward, or other blocks that make the squat plumber perform backwards aerials. For a game controlled by a single thumb, there's unexpected room for creativity and even exploration.