Nintendo has brought everyone’s favorite red-and-blue-clad plumber to the iPhone and iPad in Super Mario Run. But rather then present us with just another bland runner, the game offers up a bevy of features, allowing you to compete with friends, collect toads, and even play as different characters — which might explain why it requires constant internet connection. And just like in Mario games of the past, each playable character comes with their subtle tweaks that change gameplay ever so slightly.
All you need to do in order to get Toad is to link the game to your My Nintendo account and he gets delivered free. To unlock Peach, you’ll have to beat the entirety of the World Tour. For the rest, you’ll need to recruit Toads through the Toad Rally game and build their individual houses in your kingdom.
For those who are skeptical of springing for the $9.99 price tag to unlock the full game, we’ve got you covered for the best characters to use on the first three levels of the game, provided you can drum up the resources to unlock them.
Up and Over — Toad
In the very first course, speed is of the essence as it’s an exceedingly straightforward and easy course. You have very few chances to fall to your bubble-death, and Toad’s fleet feet will send you careening through this level as fast as possible. There’s very little jumping necessary, and when you do come across doubled up blocks, Toad’s fat head comes in very handy for hitting both at once. Toad’s legs may be fast, but they are also stubby, so you’ll have to try extra hard to time your jumps to get some of the harder to reach goodies and that final flag at the end, but use Toad and you won’t be disappointed.
Wall-Kicking It Underground — Mario
“Wall-Kicking It Underground” is a tricky level in that it’s all tight corners with a ton of wall sliding and wall kicking. Mario’s well-balanced build is best-suited here where he can carefully wall kick back and forth and around corners. He has just enough height on his jump to make things work really well. Characters like Toad just don’t have the reach, and worse, the fungus head simply moves too fast to time some of the more tricky leaps needed to navigate this cave. Luigi’s slippery feet are at a disadvantage, especially when his higher jump might make you hit a Piranha Plant, and Yoshi needs the open air to thrive.
Paratroopas in Mushroom Valley — Yoshi
As is the case with most Mario levels that take place on elevated peaks or among the clouds, you’ll want something to give you a bit more height and flexibility with your jumps. Compared to others, Yoshi’s running speed is a bit slower, and though his foot-pumped flight arcs require some calculation, the overall air time will be a big help. You might opt for Luigi for the height as well; he can ace some of the higher jumps on levels like this one, but be wary of his slippery feet. Super-careful players might go in for Peach’s slow drift.
Sure, your individual play style might differ, but keep in mind that friends can see your best times; why wouldn’t you want to awe them with your mastery of the next best speedrunning mobile game out there?
Super Mario Run is currently available for free download on all iOS and is due to hit Android sometime in 2017.