What if Super Mario Run was a Free to Play Game?


For those who might have been wondering what Super Mario Run would look like if was a free to play game just like Pokemon GO, the folks over at PocketGamer have given us a look at a parallel universe where Super Mario Run is indeed free to play. Apparently though, the hypothetical free to play version of Nintendo’s latest iOS game is a lot harder, with cheap deaths and painful enemies.

Super Mario Free

In a universe where the game is free, Mario only has a certain amount of energy, and the poor lad gets tuckered out whenever you play a level. If you run out of energy you’ll have to pay up, wait around, or bother your social media pals to keep playing. It’s much harder too. And if you ask why? Well, so you’ll die, and the developers can try and get a bit more cash out of you, of course. When you fail in this game you’ll need to watch an advert or wait five minutes before you can try again.

And that’s not all, it gets worse:

Bubbles are handy tools in Super Mario Run. Whenever you start a level you get two, and can use them to save your skin or return to an area with a coloured coin. In the free to play version you’ll have a persistent bubble collection and will need to top it up with in-app purchases. 

Well, this one is obvious. They don’t make craftsmen like they used to: free to play builders always need about 16 hours to make even the simplest stuff. Come back tomorrow, maybe? 

You worked hard, you got a reward, and then the game holds back half of it until you watch an advert. Though, the devs make it sound like they’re being generous.

Oh well, I guess a one time purchase of CDN $13.99 to rid ourselves of all this nonsense sounds kinda fair, don’t you think?


  • Ben

    The app economy and expectations is absolutely insane. Nobody thinks that they should get books, movies or music for free but for some reason the masses turn their noses up at any cost for an app. It created this stupid nickle and dime IAP system. People need to be paid for their work. I will always choose and app that is upfront payment over an IAP app. I like what nintendo did with what is basically the old freeware model. No ads.. here is a taste.. like it? ok Buy it.
    I’m sure there are some that like the IAP system. Not this guy.

  • Nintendo made a great game and I have no problems supporting their efforts with this iPhone launch. ‘Cheapest’ Mario title I’ve ever paid for 😉

  • Daniel Bley

    I hate Freemium. I don’t even bother trying new games from franchises I used to like (like Asphalt from Gameloft, for example). I don’t mind paying 1, 5, 10 or more for the WHOLE game. In game micro transactions are like ransom. I bought Mario Run on day 1 and I’m really enjoying it (damn you, black coins! :P)

  • drew204

    I really enjoy this game and am glad that I paid for it. I really don’t understand why people are so upset. Either pay it to play or don’t. It’s not like anyone is forcing you either way.

  • Bingo

  • It’s possible to do Freemium better than others, Supercell is onto something with Clash of Clans, which is like a drug whenever they offer ‘limited time’ discounts on IAPs over holidays periods. Of course, I’m just relaying experience ‘from a friend’, right??

  • Mamba

    Because we’re living in an era, where people always feels like they
    have something to say, and don’t have to take responsibility for saying
    it; where people thinks their personal opinion on something for someone else, matters more than that other person’s preference; where people expects to be given everything, but appreciates nothing.

  • drew204

    Well put.