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Five Things I Wish I Knew When I Started 'Super Mario Run'

Yesterday, I wrote about how I “beat” Super Mario Run in the first hour or so, though I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek because I know there’s more to the game than what I’ve played, even if I technically completed the full slate of levels. While I do wonder how the game will perform in the long-term, I wanted to explore a little bit about how it’s deeper than it may initially appear.

I’ve spent a while digging into a few aspects of the game that you will probably miss if you’re just picking up and burning through the levels like I did initially. It’s obviously not the most in-depth Mario game out there, but there is a whole hell of a lot of polish here, and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

So, here are five things I wish I knew when I started Super Mario Run.

Early on, the game makes it clear that there are five pink coins hidden (or hard-ish to reach) in every level, and that you’re supposed to try to grab them all if you can. What the game does not really make clear is just what happens when you get all the pink coins. Some may read the tooltip that new coins spawn in their place, but what actually happens is you unlock a differently structured level where purple, and then black coins spawn as you progress. This is where the real challenge begins, and while everyone can probably get through the initial 24 levels relatively quickly, getting all the pink, purple and black coins, and unlocking the levels that come with them, is the true test of the game.

2. There Are A Lot of Fancy Moves Mario Can Pull Off That Aren’t Immediately Obvious

The basics of the game are pretty easy to grasp. Mario runs, Mario jumps, Mario bounces off walls and enemies’ heads. But if that’s where you stop, you’re going to end up missing on the ultra-tough coins and losing out on impressing Toads in Toad Rally. For instance, after you jump, you can helicopter float down by holding jump again in the air, which is good for dodging enemies or landing on moving platforms. You can press jump while rolling to do flip-jumps, which climbing to do climb-jumps and while hurdling enemies to do boost-jumps, all of which will make the Toads go wild, and allow to sometimes reach places you couldn’t go before. There’s a full list of these if you go to Menu > Notebook > Tips and Tricks.

3. There’s More To Map Building That Meets The Eye

It’s easy to think that building up the Mushroom Kingdom is mostly a cosmetic experience, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. The minimal area you start in can be expanded with Rainbow Bridges so you can reach new zones, something that isn’t adequately explained. And through stuff you build, you will unlock minigames, new playable characters and allegedly secret levels, though I’m not sure how to do that quite yet. Knowing Nintendo, there are probably lots of hidden things built into this map-building activity, so if you think it’s a bit lackluster on the surface, just know that there’s more to it, and it may be worth your while to grind those Toads after all. Ew, just forget I said that.

4. Don’t Forget To Unlock A Bunch of Free Stuff With Nintendo Points

The end of the game suggests that you check out MyNintendo, but the process is really cumbersome and confusing, though there is some good stuff buried away in there. If you have or create a Nintendo ID, you can use that to unlock stuff in an awkward web browser interface that tracks your Nintendo Points. I got 600 for buying the game and beating it once, which was more than enough for a giant gold Mario statue which I’m pretty sure is the coolest looking thing you can build in the game. Also, you can trade in zero points for the ability to play as Toad. You can get coins, other buildables and more, all for free, because this game doesn’t have microtransactions yet and you get a lot of points for completing what are super easy “quests” pertaining to the game.

5. Keep Track of Your Characters And Enemies

Again, these are things that are really easy to miss on first glance, even if they show up in a tooltip or two. The reason you’re trying to kill X number of enemies is that they start dropping more coins if you rank them up with continued play. And the game does not make it terribly clear up front that you can change characters, as it’s hidden behind three layers of menus. Go to Menu, then Notebook, then Characters to change. You will get Peach once you rescue her from Bowser by beating the 24th level. Toad you can get for free from MyNintendo. Luigi, Yoshi and Toadette you have to build houses for. Some of these characters have different abilities (Peach is floaty, Yoshi has his flutter jump) and you can use some of them to get the harder special coins. Again, if you knew all this, apologies, but much of this is not explained terribly well in-game.

That’s all I’ve got for now, and I’m sure there are a decent number of secrets buried in this game yet. I’ll be back with more lessons if there’s anything else I learn that seems pertinent.

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