iPhone Users Storm App Store Reviews, Angry At $10 ‘Super Mario Run’ Price Tag

During the same event where it announced the iPhone 7, Apple announced that it would be the platform for Nintendo’s first mobile game, Super Mario Run. Here’s the problem: the game lets you play three levels for free, and then the game costs $10. The game’s reviews are mixed, largely because people find that $10 price tag scandalous.

Super Mario Run is pretty much the same as every other Mario game you’ve played, but the key difference is Mario is constantly running forward. That’s so you can play one-handed, a useful feature for a mobile game.

You only need one thumb free to play, but you can’t play the game just anywhere: as piracy protection, the game doesn’t work unless you’re connected to the internet.

The game is a hit on the App Store, but the problem is that people who don’t upgrade and buy the full version are able to leave reviews, too. That has left the reviews polarized: there are more than 50,000 now, and they’re largely split between one-star reviews outraged that they have to pay for the game, and five-star reviews from people who are pleased with the game.

Another group of people who complained about the game appear to be users with iPhones that are jailbroken, or able to run features and apps that aren’t Apple-approved. These users report that the game crashes upon opening, and they’ve also left the game poor reviews.

The cruelest insult of all: some users compared the game to the infuriating hit “Flappy Bird” from a few years ago.

Would those same users pay $0.99 every time they wanted a few extra lives, if the whole game were downloadable for free? The business model of mobile games is that we’re used to paying for games, but we’re not used to high up-front prices for them.