Super Mario Run Review: It is not free, there is a fee

Super Mario Run iOS

Nintendo shares dropped as much as 5.6 per cent in early trade in Tokyo, wiping out nearly US$2 billion in value. This is the company's first game developed for mobile.

Controlling Mario is stripped all the way down to simple short and long taps as he automatically runs from left to right.

Mr Harding-Rolls said Nintendo would be hoping for a similar knock-on effect when it launches its new console, the Switch, in March for which it is developing a new 3D Mario title. It quickly builds, layer upon layer, until the game is overflowing with small creative ideas that broaden it beyond expectations. You gotta jump at the right times to step on enemies, collect coins, bounce off walls and the like. Once you finish a level after picking up every Challenge Coin, a new, even more demanding set of coins will appear in the level.

But the Japanese firm has raised eyebrows in the mobile industry with its decision to charge a one-off fee rather than adopt the popular "freemium" model, where users don't pay for the game but have to make repeated in-app purchases to access more features. These are all things that require practice so if you see a coin that requires one, and you just can't quite figure it out, find an earlier level with that element and practice until you're comfortable.

Nintendo has revealed its first batch of rewards for the game available through the My Nintendo loyalty service, including a new character, Toad, available for free as soon as the app is released. In Toad Rally, players compete with one another to go through a level trying to collect the most coins and perform the most stylish moves possible. On the third row, you should see an egg-shaped house with Yoshi stood outside it. I can see the future of Nintendo on iOS and Android (due next year) devices looking bright, based on this charming little game. There are one or two more meaningful additions here, though. Without a mobile connection, the game won't load, Nintendo confirmed this just before launch.

If you've been waiting to get your hands on a copy of Super Mario Run, you can now head on over to the App Store and download the title for free. Play the first three levels over and over or save the Princess?

That's why we took the plunge and played through the first level of the first world: World 1-1: Up and Over, so you can check it out for yourself. You'll be ploughing hours into this before you've even realised you were supposed to be picking up the kids or going to work because it's so much fun. There's also a timer in each levels, and if it runs out you'll have to start the level over.

Completing all 24 levels isn't hard - you'll be done in less than an hour if your charge through them - but the real challenge begins when you go back and try to collect all five Challenge Coins.