By Sayo Jolayemi
Nintendo’s beloved video game mascot has spiraled his way from the Wii and onto mobile devices with the new mobile game Super Mario Run. In this game, players take control of Mario with the ever classic task of saving Princess Peach from the hands of Bowser and restoring order to the Mushroom Kingdom. However, instantly players will notice an intriguing twist that gives way to the game’s title; Mario never stops running.
This key component is the new gimmick that adds to the challenge of Super Mario Run. Discovering ways to climb over enemies and increase your coin total without losing momentum have lead to an innovative Mario game on the mobile scene. When first opening the game, players are greeted with a quick introductory level explaining the basics of different jumps and vaults. Afterwards players get to experience ‘Tour Mode’ which starts in World 1, a fairly simple world consisting of a few challenging tasks that are soon conquered. After defeating the first three levels the game ‘pauses’ requesting payment before proceeding onward with the journey. To continue playing the full game the player must pay $9.99 to unlock the current boss level and additional five worlds.
For many the trip ends here as most are hesitant to fork up such a hefty cost for a mobile game. However, for the courageous few who do continue, the game becomes more interesting. Along with ‘Tour Mode’ another aspect of the game is revealed ‘Rally Mode’ where most of your game time will be spent. ‘Rally Mode’ consists of racing against the ghosts of other players and trying to outperform them by pulling of combos resulting in a higher coin total than your opponent. Successfully completing this means that Toads will move into your kingdom.
Gaining Toads allows you to customize your kingdom aesthetically for functionally as certain characters, (Luigi, Yoshi, and Toadette) can only be unlocked by achieving a certain Toad supply. Unlocking all the characters will take you some time though, because while winning in Rally Mode gains you Toads… losing a game means you lose your Toads.
While it may seem pointless to some, the nostalgia behind bringing the mustachioed plumber to your phone screen is a feeling that can only be described as natural, the actual plot line of the game currently is very short however beating the game will provide an extra time consuming adventure, each level has five hidden pink coins, that when found unlock hidden purple coins, when those are found hidden black coins are unveiled. Finding all 480 coins unlocks three special dimensions with gameplay I myself am yet to discover.
If you’re on the ropes about purchasing this game I highly recommend it, the thrill of finally getting the hardest coin or decimating an opponent in “Toad Rally” releases a feeling of content that justifies the ten-dollar price point.
By Hannah Butera
As Apple is one of the most advanced technology networks, I would have expected a lot more of the new iPhone 7. However, I was mildly disappointed. Sure, the new and improved design is like no other, and the camera is unreal. But in terms of the iPhone 7’s ability to function and the new headphone situation, I think I’ll pass.
First, let me start with the positive aspects of the new iPhone. Apple decided to reengineer the exterior of the phone. The iPhone 7 comes in the typical rose-gold, gold, and silver, as well as a new matte-black and a glossy, jet-black finish. These new designs are incredibly high-tech and slick appearing. Furthermore, the iPhone 7 is water and splash resistant. Have you ever spilled something near your phone, scrambling to ensure it is untouched? Now, you won’t have to worry so much. This feature is extremely reassuring and is a huge step in the development of the iPhone. In addition, the iPhone 7 contains a new pressure-sensitive home button is entirely based on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and is even customizable. Finally, the iPhone 7’s camera is the most advanced yet. It has an optical image stabilization, which rids blur from photos, along with a six elements lens that allows for clear images in all different lighting. With all of these wonderful new elements, you would think this iPhone was perfect. But here’s the downside…
This iPhone no longer contains the auxiliary jack along with the charger jack. With only a charger jack, you cannot charge your phone and listen to music at the same time unless you purchase wireless headphones, or “AirPods”. However, these are a whopping $159, and they’re extremely small. It would be hard to go a week without losing these miniscule headphones. Furthermore, the iPhone 7 comes with new headphones that have the same ending as a charger, so say goodbye to all of your old headphones.. unless you have the new headphone adapter. Finally, in terms of the actual function of the iPhone 7, I am not impressed. My phone constantly dies at anywhere from 1% to 100%, and then randomly comes back on. My iPhone 7 freezes and glitches constantly, and several others with the iPhone 7 have complained about this predicament as well.
With the price starting at $649, I do not think the iPhone 7 is worth it. Sure, it’s exterior features are extremely advanced and innovative. But what does this matter when the phone itself functions poorly? The iPhone 7’s purpose is to simplify every aspect of the phone for an even more user-friendly product, but it has proven to have the opposite effect. I would take the iPhone 5 or 6 over the iPhone 7 any day.
By Jessica Lawson
Over the past five years, rideshare services have become available almost anywhere in the United States. Ridesharing services allow people to request a one-time ride within a short amount of time. Many services have popped up, but none as prominent as Uber and Lyft. Uber began in 2009, and Lyft followed shortly after in 2012. Both companies have exploded in the rideshare scene and are accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a credit card. Uber and Lyft each have their own respective app that allows for users to hail a car and choose the size of the car they want to take.
Private rides are available as well as pool options. Pooling is the same idea as a carpool, where multiple parties going towards a similar location are in the same car for a cheaper rate. In Uber, this feature is called UberPool and in Lyft, Lyft Line. Users tend to prefer Lyft Line as it is more organized in ensuring passengers are going along related routes in the shortest amount of time possible. There have been complaints regarding UberPool taking passengers all over the city to make drop-offs, significantly increasing the trip times for users. However, the price is prefixed for users and does not change, no matter how long the trip might actually take compared to the approximated time.
Uber and Lyft are extremely competitive with one another, especially with price. Both companies charge similarly for their service. The price is decided based on an initial fee of one dollar for the ride, plus one dollar and fifty cents per mile and an additional twenty-five cents per minute. For Uber, tips are not a feature on the app, while Lyft hopes users will tip the drivers in addition to the cost of the ride. Both Uber and Lyft utilize surges, which are price increases in areas with high-demand for ridesharing services. In addition to surges for high-demand, prices also increase in heavily populated areas. A ride in New York City or Los Angeles is going to cost more than a ride in Columbia, Maryland.
It is also important to know that while both of the companies are available in the big cities, there are areas not covered. For example, Lyft is not available in the Glenelg area, while Uber is. As a whole, Uber is a larger company with ridesharing available in cities worldwide, while Lyft is still only in relatively large cities in the United States.
Each company is respected and used daily nationwide. Uber and Lyft maintain competitive prices and deals, but when it comes to availability, sometimes one is not always accessible. In the Howard County area, Uber is the best choice based simply on availability. However, in major cities, either company is a viable option for users looking for a ride in a clean vehicle.