Super Mario Run is only available right now for Apple's iOS devices, leaving Android gamers without access to Nintendo's hot plumber platforming action. Thankfully Google has confirmed the exact date when Super Mario Run will be released for Android phones and tablets in the UK, and here's all you need to know - plus a virus warning for anyone thinking of downloading a Super Mario Run APK file.
Super Mario Run is as close to a full Mario game as you're likely to see on a mobile phone, without use of emulators and the like. But while Super Mario Run launched on iPhone and iPad at the end of 2016, here in 2017 we're still waiting on an Android release.
So when is Super Mario Run hitting the UK Google Play Store, to download for our Android phones and tablets? Here's the full skinny, plus why you definitely shouldn't download an illegal APK version of the game right now.
Super Mario Run on Android: What's the UK release date?
Nintendo originally confirmed that Super Mario Run would be coming to Android in March 2017, via its Twitter account. And just this week we finally discovered the Super Mario Run Android release date: March 23. In other words, at the time of writing, it's pretty much here!
You can pre-register your interest in Super Mario Run on the Google Play store right now. By registering your interest, you'll be prodded by Google the very moment that Super Mario Run finally hits the Google Play store. That'll save you from constantly checking the online app store to see if the game's gone live on the big day (although there may be a slight delay with the alert, so you may want to do that too depending on how desperate you are).
We're expecting Super Mario Run to be free to download on Android, as it was on iOS. However, if you want to play past the first three levels, you'll need to pay £7.99 for the privilege. This will be available via an in-app purchase.
Super Mario Run on Android: Why downloading a Super Mario Run APK is a bad idea
Impatient gamers and anyone who's too cheap to pay for their Android games are well versed in hunting down APK versions of games online. These APK files can be unpacked and installed on any Android phone or tablet, as long as you've enabled installation from unknown sources in Android's security settings.
This was a quick and easy way of getting Pokemon Go before it was freely available on the Google Play store, for example. But downloading an APK comes with various risks. In particular, you could accidentally install a horrendous moeny-stealing virus on your mobile device.
Reports have emerged this week of a Super Mario Run APK file that was loaded with the Marcher malware. This sits in the background of your Android phone and waits for you to load up a banking app or something else that requires a password and user ID, then it steals your personal data and uploads it to dastardly thieving types.
The Marcher virus will even nick your payment info from Google Play, which could leave you out of pocket if you're caught out.