Super Mario Run was announced during the September iPhone 7 launch as the first mobile Mario game. It's out now as an App Store exclusive, but what about Android? We outline how to play Super Mario Run today. See also: Best Android games.

It's finally happened; Mario is coming to your smartphone. "In the game, Mario runs forward on his own, but relies on the touch of a single finger to jump over obstacles, avoid pesky enemies and capture the flag pole to complete levels," said Nintendo.

Check out Macworld's Super Mario Run review

Super Mario Run UK release date for Android and iPhone

Super Mario Run UK release date: 15 December 2016 (iPhone), March 2017 (Android)

Super Mario Run became available to iPhone users on 15 December 2016, but it is an App Store exclusive for an undetermined period of time.

If you are using Android, Super Mario Run will be coming to Android in March 2017, Nintendo has confirmed.

You can now pre-register for the game in Google Play, and will be notified as soon as it is released.

How to play Super Mario Run on iPhone

Super Mario Run is now available in the App Store, although unfortunately it is playable only with an active internet connection.

How to install Super Mario Run on Android: How to use iOS apps on Android

Firstly, we apologise for the slightly misleading headline here, but it's important that those who are searching online for a way to play Super Mario Run on Android find this page and are told that this is not something they should attempt to achieve under any circumstances.

The usual workaround for installing Android apps not officially available to you - sideloading the APK file - does not apply here. Super Mario Run is coming to Android, but it is not available yet, which means there are no genuine Super Mario Run APK files available anywhere online. iOS does not use the same .apk file type as Android in any case.

Google how to play iOS apps on Android and a bunch of stories claiming to offer downloads of the best iOS or iPhone emulators will be returned. You'll see iEMU and Cider referenced many times. In theory, with one of these apps installed you can then download the Super Mario Run .ipa file from a reputable source and get playing Super Mario Run on Android.

Unfortunately, none of these download links for iEMU work, and we're not even convinced that it is a real app. In many cases you'll be asked to complete a survey and hand over personal details before downloading an APK file, and you will have no idea what you're actually downloading - it could well be malware.

As for Cider, well that is a real thing (or at least it was), and is now known as Cycada. In 2014 it was announced as a project that may eventually allow you to play iOS apps on Android. We don't know what has happened with this project since, but it is certainly not available for the public to download today, so don't be fooled by anything that says otherwise.

If you want to go ahead and ignore our advice in your quest to find an iOS emulator, you may find the following links useful: How to back up Android; How to install free security software on Android; Best mobile security software; and How to remove Android malware.

The answer is unfortunately the one you don't want to hear: in order to install Super Mario Run on Android you will need to wait until 2017 when you are able to download it from Google Play.

Super Mario Run price

Super Mario Run is partially free, but you'll need to pay to unlock the full game - the initial download will come with a limited amount of content. 

Super Mario Run costs £7.99 in the UK and $9.99 in the US.

Nintendo executive Tatsumi Kimishima told investors that downloading Super Mario Run is free, though players will need to pay in order to "unlock all of the game's content". After paying the fee, players can continue playing "without worrying about additional fees". Kimishima added that children can play Super Mario "with peace of mind" because of the pay structure.

If you'd like to read more about Super Mario Run, our colleagues on Macworld have (predictably) focused on the iPhone launch: Super Mario Run for iPhone release date, price.