Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas!
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. If you’re in the north then you get to enjoy snow, hot drinks, the wonderful colours of decorations and the smell of a freshly-cut Christmas tree. If you’re south of the equator, it means blistering hot weather, beer, and the wonderful colours of decorations and the smell of a freshly-cut Christmas tree.
Christmas is a time for good food, family, and friends. It’s a time for celebration, and Christmas is the time of year where it’s okay to be a kid all over again, and count down the days to gifts and celebrations one day at a time. Each year we get into the spirit of the season ourselves with a countdown of our own; the 24 Games of Christmas!
Just in time for Christmas, we’ve been given the first “real” Nintendo game on mobile platforms. That in itself is a tremendous gift given that the company resisted two rising stars called iOS and Android for so many years.
Like any good time waster, the endless runner style of gameplay present in Super Mario Run is truly addictive stuff. While undoubtedly more restrictive than a main series outing, the precise controls Shigeru Miyamoto designed for Mario allow a remarkable degree of precision. That ability to manipulate and traverse environments to your liking is a trait missing from competing titles, which ultimately fuels the soul-sucking replayability here. Playable characters such as Yoshi and Princess Peach just sweeten the deal, solidifying the game as more compelling than that old New Super Mario Bros. coat of paint would have you suspect.
The game’s short-burst arcade format makes it something wonderful to whip out during moments of silence. But the icing on the cake is this: Nintendo has incentivised adding friends and competing with them. Just like that, you’ve been handed a free conversation starter and a bonding activity for anyone in the room who happens to have an iOS device.