Super Mario Run brings Nintendo’s star character to his biggest audience yet, but it may not be the perfect introduction players hoped for.

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Across dozens of games, Mario has long demonstrated the incredible things that Nintendo’s consoles, controllers and software, when designed in concert, are capable of. From the revolutionary Super Mario 64 to the beautifully refined Super Mario Galaxy games, Mario has blazed the trail for Nintendo, helping us to better understand why Nintendo sometimes zigged when other video game makers zagged.

As of today, we now know what a Mario game plays like when designed by Nintendo for someone else’s hardware platforms. The platforms in question are Apple’s iPhone and iPad. And Super Mario Run, the game bringing the franchise to non-Nintendo hardware for the first time in decades, only makes me appreciate Nintendo’s usual approach to hardware and software design all the more.

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