Australian Council on Children and the Media

Super Mario Run - Nintendo

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Short takes

Super Mario Run is a platform game similar to the original Mario Brothers game series, where players can compete against the computer and other players. Gross motor skills and fast reaction time are required to play. Caution: Easily connects to Facebook and finds compatible friends without password entry. ACCM does not recommend for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended to 15.

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Contains some elements of gambling

This review of Super Mario Run was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 February 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Super Mario Run
Developed by: Nintendo
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended under 13 and parental guidance for children 13 – 15.
Gambling content advice: Contains some elements of gambling. This game may contain devices which mimic those found in a casino; but the player is not risking something of value to play. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Super Mario Run contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Competed World 1.

App description

Super Mario Run extends onto previous versions of this popular series. In the “Tour” section, players must assist their main character (starting with Mario) through a landscape of obstacles whilst collecting coins and avoiding creatures. Coins can be used to decorate your main screen with such things as buildings and flowers. Players have 3 lives and 60 seconds to reach the end of the level (these can be changed to unlimited in settings). Loss of life depletes your coins. The aim of the game is to complete all levels in each of the 6 worlds in order to rescue the princess from a monster named Bowser.

The “Rally” section is similar to “Tour”, but players can compete against other real players. In this section, players earn points that enable them to proceed to higher levels.

In both modes of the game, Mario runs automatically from left to right; players simply tap anywhere on the screen in order to make Mario jump. Therefore, very simple gross motor and fast reaction time skills are required to play.

Reviewers comments

This game is very easy to learn and rewards are achieved very quickly. However, even though there are 6 worlds with 4 levels each, you cannot unlock worlds beyond World 1 unless you purchase all worlds for $14.99. Although you can freely replay the levels in World 1, gameplay is heavily restricted unless you make the purchase.

Also, like many of the games in the Nintendo series, this game can be linked to a Nintendo account. Therefore, the app displays buttons where you can read the Licence Agreement and Privacy Policy (please see here: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/info/en_na/docs.jsp) – however, these are scripted in a policy format and conditions are quite technical for the uninitiated. The problem with this is that you cannot play the game unless you press the button which indicates that you have read and understood the conditions. Some of these conditions allow Nintendo to collect personal information including date of birth and information about the device that you use. This may only be relevant if you link the game to your Nintendo account (which you do not need to do to play the game), however, as you must press the button that says that you understand these conditions, it may be worthwhile for parents to familiarise themselves with them.

Some parents may not be comfortable with the “Friends” section of this game. Players can connect with each other by invite (this will link directly to the device’s message and email apps and will automatically paste the prose to send, which has a website link included). Players can also search for other players' Nintendo ID’s and link the game to other social network apps such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, linking the game to Facebook enables “Super Mario Run” to receive your public profile and friends list, and will automatically find suggested friends to connect with. This can connect to the device’s Facebook account without having to enter your Facebook password.

In App purchasing

  • $14.99 to purchase all 6 worlds

               (Includes: 20 Rally Tickets, 3000 Coins and 1 Block)

Online information

Online information or personal details required to download, play or interact with the app include:

  • Device & app history
  • Cellular data settings
  • Identity details
  • Log ins
  • Contacts
  • Location
  • SMS
  • Phone
  • Wi-Fi connection information
  • Device Id & Call Information
  • Other: receive data from the internet.
  • Connectivity with social media

Gambling

There is subtle risk for reward behaviour within the game. In order to play “Rally” against other players, you must spend 1 rally ticket. These can be obtained from the Bonus Game House, but only if you select the correct pathway and open the correct treasure chest. This will give you 1 rally ticket – and you cannot play the Bonus Game House again until an 8 minute timer has counted down. Points can be gained in Rally, especially if you win; however, whether you win or lose against the other player, you lose 1 rally ticket. Therefore, although there’s reward in points, tickets are quickly depleted and access to Rally stops. The only other way to get more, other than being lucky in the Bonus House Game, is to purchase them with real money.

Advertising and product placement

None noted.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

  • A male character saving a damsel in distress may be perceived as a gender stereotype.

Coarse language

  • None noted

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

As mentioned above the risk for reward behaviour in the game might concern parents. Please refer to the 'gambling section'.

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Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

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Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.