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Super Mario Run only playable with an internet connection

To protect against piracy.

Super Mario Run, Mario's big iPhone debut, will only be playable if you have an internet connection - so you won't be able to play without some kind of Wi-Fi while on the tube or on a plane.

It's a little surprising - while the app's Toad Rally mode allows you to race against your friends' high scores, the bulk of the game is single-player.

Speaking with Mashable, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto explained the decision to force online-only play stems from a desire to combat piracy.

"For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us. And also for consumers who are purchasing the game, we want to make sure that we're able to offer it to them in a way that the software is secure, and that they're able to play it in a stable environment," Miyamoto said.

"We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the [Super Mario Run] modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure. This is something that we want to continue to work on as we continue to develop the game."

Nintendo considered splitting out the game's main single-player mode so you could play it standalone, but changed its mind due to the behind-the-scenes links to other parts of the game which it wanted to keep online-only.

Miyamoto also noted the fact that it was releasing the game not on its own hardware in a limited number of regions but across 150 countries' iOS App Stores.

"Each of those countries has different network environments and things like that," Miyamoto concluded. "So it was important for us to be able to have it secure for all users."

We played Super Mario Run last week and - even online - came away confident in Nintendo's big leap to iPhone.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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