Super Mario Run is the hot new Nintendo game that ran into Apple’s App Store, letting users continue their love of the Super Mario Brothers on their iPhones. But what about us Android users? The game isn’t available on Android just yet — but there are clones of it.
In fact, plenty of people are scouring the internet for less-than-legitimate versions of the game for Android. If you’re one of those people, you should probably stop.
“But all I want to do is play Super Mario Run,” you say. The thing is, the game doesn’t exist for Android. When Pokémon Go was released, many found Android application packages (APKs) online to download and install. The difference is that in the case of Pokémon Go, an Android app existed — it was just limited to certain areas. That meant people could still upload the app to the internet for others to download.
There’s always a way, of course. You could download an iOS emulator and find an illegitimate version of the iOS app online, for example. That’s risky, however: Not only could the iOS emulator itself host malware, but the app could also have been tampered with before being uploaded.
It’s the same situation with Super Mario Run knockoffs like Super Plumber Run. There is absolutely no guarantee that those apps are malware-free — in fact, it seems like Super Plumber Run has already been taken down (although, chances are that is because of copyright infringement rather than the discovery of malware).
So what should you do? Well, either buy an iPhone or wait for the game to come to Android. While there is no guarantee the app will be available on Android, games are usually released on the device. Developers often find it easier to develop for iOS first because Android has hundreds of different devices with slightly different setups. Not only that but Apple’s highly closed ecosystem makes it a little easier to control how secure an app will be. Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s first real attempt at mobile gaming, so it is going to take its sweet time and make the game the best it can.