Everybody’s talking about Super Mario Run at the moment. Its release on iOS systems has been a big deal that fans of the world famous little plumber have been celebrating in high style. Not just because of how cool it is to see a Nintendo game on a mobile device without the brand of that Japanese giant – hello, Pokémon GO – but also because the game baptizes smartphones and tablets as being some of the most significant entertainment devices. Unfortunately Super Mario Run hasn’t made it to Android yet, so we’ve picked out eight games to hold you over until it does.
2017 will bring the day when Super Mario Run can be enjoyed on Android. Though there’s not a specific release date yet, at least we know it’s going to happen. Meanwhile, the games we’ve collected here for you should make it so you don’t have to long too much for the jumps from the Japanese company’s famed little plumber. We’ve found these picks based on their similarity to the Nintendo title, while always emphasizing quality as the main criterion.
This minimalist game puts all its eggs into the jumping basket. Jumping is, as you know, the most important move in the history of video games and Mario is its Messiah. Although one bad jump will spell the end here, jumping with precision will make you beat one screen after another in this horizontal platformer. Just a little while ago we blogged about Mr Jump and our opinion of it is still the same: it’s a game for masochists. But that’s exactly why it might be your perfect ally while flexing your muscles in the wait for Super Mario Run to get to Android. [Download]
The Rayman saga has been consolidating itself among all the world’s platformers as one of the best alternatives to the Mario Bros games. This smartphone title is probably the most similar to Super Mario Run of all our picks here. To be clear: Rayman Adventures is a kickass game – a title that knows the smartphone ecosystem well and plays to its strong points with intelligence. A platform runner with top-notch graphics and a cast of characters that radiates charisma. Plus it’s a game where you decide how difficult you want it to be: you can beat the levels just by running through all the obstacles, or you can go all around the setting picking up all the items. That Nintendo trademark has been perfectly executed in this Ubisoft title. [Download]
Super Cat Bros
Although in Super Mario Run your iconic character runs automatically, we won’t ignore Android games that don’t have this feature. If we did we’d be missing out on proper marvels of the platformer genre like Super Cat Bros. This pretty pixelated title makes its references very clear, but it has enough personality to shine on its own. A fun platformer where you control six cats with unique skills and where replayability is the order of the day. One of the most exciting titles of 2016 – read our earlier review of it here. [Download]
Run Sackboy! Run!
Another character that I never thought we’d see on Android is Sackboy. The attempt at a mascot by PlayStation 3 is the protagonist of the LittleBigPlanet saga, a series of titles that stand out more for their level editor than for their playability. Luckily Run Sackboy! Run! is a lot of fun in terms of gameplay. We’re looking an umpteenth endless runner, but this one’s set in the universe created by Media Molecule. Move your character from left to right while accumulating coins and beating any dangers that accost you. I was just as surprised by the appearance of Sackboy on Android as I was by that of Mario and for that reason I’ve put it on this list. Plus it’s quite a fun game and has very precise controls. [Download]
This Nitrome title has a very interesting gameplay: you have to move between two parallel worlds to move forward in the game. Though we’ve already dedicated a few lines to it on our blog, Hop Swap deserves all the attention it can get. Like Super Mario Run, it has that obsession with collecting stuff and has you running back and forth around the levels (if you want to) to get all the diamonds. A smart level design comes together with a main character who moves automatically in this game that’s sure to offer hours and hours of fun. [Download]
Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom
To leave Sonic off a list like this one would be an unforgivable sin. The legendarily glorious blue hedgehog has been around on Android for ages now and has a good handful of titles to his name (we’ve already told you about some of them here). Sonic Dash 2 is one of the latest attempts by SEGA to conquer the mobile market. This vertical endless runner showcases new designs for the characters from Sonic Boom. It’s not at all a bad title, though it doesn’t do much innovation in this rather worn-out genre. It does at least have faceoffs with final bosses, which is not super common on most infinite platformers. [Download]
Super Phantom Cat
Another cat platformer is on our list because it’s super worth it. And because cats are super worth it. Super Phantom Cat is molded right from the clay from which Shigeru Miyamoto gave life to Mario – hence all the similarity with the Nintendo saga. But here the rhythm is a bit slower so you can delight in exploring a few levels full of secrets. With its differences, Super Phantom Cat is another of Mario’s offspring that’s been making Android gamers happy for a long time now. Don’t miss out on its soundtrack, which is replete with references to the compositions of Kōji Kondō. [Download]
Swap the plumber for a penguin and we’re looking at a game that’s very similar to Super Mario Run. On Adventure Beaks you can run, jump, and slide through 50 different levels. All in a simple and precise way, so that controlling your odd little penguin is a pleasure. Besides all the suits and other bling you can outfit your character in, Adventure Beaks stands out for the remarkable design of its levels. The game surprises with each phase while you collect as many coins as possible. Plus it has 16 challenge levels and 150 secondary missions to keep you hooked for a very long time. [Download]