Yes, including the main story mode. Super Mario Run cannot work at all without an internet connection
Well, let’s see if you can figure it out from this portion of a Mashable interview with Shigeru Miyamoto himself:
M: I learned today that Super Mario Run requires an internet connection to play. What’s the reason for that? Are there any thoughts about an offline mode?
SM: 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.
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.
But actually, the security element is one of the reasons that we decided to go with iPhone and iOS first. So this is just — based on the current development environment — a requirement that’s been built into the game to support security and the fact that the three different modes are connecting to the network and interacting with one another.
We had thought at one point that it would be nice to have the World Tour [story] mode available standalone, to be able to play without that connection. But then the challenge is when that’s operating in a standalone mode, it actually complicates the connection back to the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes. And because those two modes are relying on the network save, we had to integrate the World Tour mode as well.
M: Just to be clear: When you say “security,” you mean the risk of piracy, right?
SM: That’s correct.
Unlike our dedicated game devices, the game is not releasing in a limited number of countries. We’re launching in 150 countries and each of those countries has different network environments and things like that. So it was important for us to be able to have it secure for all users.
Yeah, it’s basically because of the three modes and the risk of piracy.
But this is a terrible move for Super Mario Run. Why? Because it makes the game unusable in some of the places which benefit most from mobile game usage.
For example, the subway system. Ever rode an Underground train in London? Because if so, you’ll realise that they either don’t have any form of connectivity or have it set up behind a clunky as hell provider interface.
And that makes them perfect places to play smartphone games. I mean, what else are you gonna do? You can’t text, email or call anyone, and reading that free paper for the 50th time can get awfully dull.
So Super Mario Run would have been perfect here. As with its equivalents in other major cities.
However, it’s not just subway usage that the game makes non viable with this set up. It’s also usage by people who are on normal smartphone plans.
Cause let’s face it, over here in the UK (and I assume a lot of the world), we don’t have unlimited ‘data’. Instead, we have a simple cap, and once that’s reached… BOOM! No more data unless we pay to top it up.
That’s likely why a lot of offline smartphone games do catch on here. They’re free and don’t kill your mobile data. Which obviously saves more for you to use on important things. Like a work related phone call, or an important text message, or checking the boarding time for the next train. Simple stuff.
Super Mario Run can’t work like this. Nor can it work on many plane journeys for that matter. Because you know, you often don’t have internet access while in the air.
It’s ridiculous, and hurts the game in normal situations just to ‘stop’ some piracy. Which is itself flawed logic, because…
It also doesn’t stop ‘piracy’. Nor really make it much harder. Assuming the game isn’t constantly downloading new levels as you play, it’s pretty likely that removing the checks will be ludicrously simple for the kind of thief that likes their free games. So for a false bit of peace of mind, you’ve got a game which is now a lot less useful to normal people.
But hey, that’s what Nintendo is doing none the less. So what do you think? Are you disappointed that Super Mario Run is online only?