You can play Super Mario Run on Android right now

Update: Surprise! Super Mario Run for Android dropped early, and you can download the game onto your Android device right now from the Google Play Store.

Original story below...

Nintendo fans, gaming enthusiasts, owners on Android devices: mark Thursday, March 23 in your calendars or diaries (or both), because it's the date when Super Mario Run is going to launch on Google-powered phones and tablets, Nintendo has revealed.

The date matches up with the timeframe Nintendo teased at the start of the year. It's been a long wait for Android users to get their fingers and thumbs on the mobile hit - the iOS version first appeared back in December and has been racking up the sales since.

If you're absolutely certain that this slice of gaming action is right for you, then you can pre-register to download the game on the Google Play Store. That's been the case since the end of December though, so it isn't tied to today's announcement.

  • Give Super Mario Run a go on a compatible Chromebook

New and improved Super Mario Run

As with the iOS version that came before it, the Android edition of the game is going to give you a very limited number of levels that you can play for free, with an in-app purchase required to unlock the rest of the game. An internet connection will be required to run the game too.

Nintendo says the launch is going to coincide with the release of version 2.0 of Super Mario Run - details on that are thin on the ground but there's speculation that more levels will be available to unlock for free, and we might get an extra character or two.

All will be revealed on Thursday, although Nintendo hasn't said exactly when the Android version or the updated iOS version are going to go live, so be prepared to do some refreshing before you get the game on your phone or tablet.