The number of 1 star reviews is staggering. Of course most people are angry about the $9.99 paywall after the first world. So there are two reasons why:
1) The way they build in the paywall is not nice to consumers. f2p managed to find ways way better than this.
2) Users are trained now games are free. 95% of all revenue and sales are f2p games. And as I am telling in many of my talks: most mobile gamers are new to games, so the heck they know they need to pay $10 after three levels. f2p would at least allow you to have fun for free and enhance it by paying what you want, not what Nintendo wants.
Some interesting observations about Mario.
There are many f2p mechanics inside the game, like multiple currency, the way they unlock things etc. Paid apps usually do not have this.
So I think the game was planned at f2p and Nintendo pulled the plug late and removed f2p and implemented the paywall.
Huge mistake in terms of revenue, but hey, its Nintendo and their IP, they might have other plans.
The UI is really bad at places. Their friends list? Linking your game with accounts? Thats not how mobile games look like. In fact many of the bad UI habits are pure Nintendo Wii/WiiU/3DS adaptions. We even have the dreaded friend codes :/
There are better runners in the app store than Mario. But hey its Mario. Revenue wise it was a bad decision to remove f2p. The best selling runner Subway surfer does more revenue each year than Mario will do in a life time.
(Link with regards to