Play Super Mario Run in Apple Stores starting today

Nintendo's most iconic character is nearing his debut on mobile devices, pushing the company into new territory and new revenue streams.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Shigeru Miyamoto announces Super Mario Run.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Super Mario Run launches on December 15 in 100 countries exclusive to iOS devices, but what if you want to play right now? Starting Thursday, December 8, you can visit your local Apple Store to play a demo version of the game.

The announcement was made during Wednesday night's episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. During the show, Fallon tapped and jumped his way through a level in the upcoming game.

CNET's Scott Stein recently had a chance to play the first eight levels, and shared 13 things he learned while playing.

Super Mario Run is Nintendo's first big release for mobile devices, and the first including the company's high profile Mario character. The launch comes after years of pressure on the company to broaden its platform to include mobile devices, instead of only Nintendo hardware.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, explained the hesitation to release a game like Mario on a mobile device came down to gameplay.

Controlling a character on a touchscreen device using a digital joystick is far from ideal, so Nintendo and Miyamoto kept researching and testing different control methods.

The end result is a Mario character that never stops running, and one where the player only needs to tap on the screen to control Mario. A tap makes Mario jump, tap and hold to make him jump higher. That's it.

Super Mario Run is free and, for the time being, an exclusive to Apple's iOS line of devices. The free version comes with four out of 24 total levels unlocked. However, there is a single in-app purchase for $9.99 that unlocks the entire game. Players won't constantly deal with pushy notifications to purchase more coins with yet another in-app purchase. Pay once, play until you grow tired of the game.

Is $10 too much? Or by offering the entire game, instead of a pay-to-play model like Pokemon Go, is Nintendo setting itself up for success? It's impossible to know right now, but in the mean time head over to an Apple Store and try the demo version.

If you'd rather wait for the official launch, you can sign up to get a notification when the app is live in the App Store on December 15 here.

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