Mario in the App Store: It's-a-me, Monino!

How long will it take for this obvious rip-off of Mario to disappear from the App Store? Possibly by the time you read this.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
Yep, it even has the Mario theme song.
Yep, it even has the Mario theme song. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Wishing Nintendo had its games available in Apple's App Store? Well, sometimes it does--even if they're buggy and, seemingly, completely without Nintendo's consent.

"Monino." Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

A game called Monino has suddenly appeared in the App Store. At 99 cents, it looks like it's pretty close to a clone of Mario, not-so-cleverly renamed. And, upon download, we discovered that even the Mario music had been ripped off, too (a badly recorded soundtrack that sounded like it was pulled directly from the old NES game).

Monino, as you can see, looks quite a bit like an Italian plumber of note. This rip-off doesn't exactly capture the essence of classic Nintendo gameplay, though: the virtual control pad is abysmal. Even more underhandedly, the name of the app in question isn't actually written in English, although the app's name shows up as "Monino" when downloaded. This might help a game like this from easily showing up in App Store searches.

These types of games make their appearance in the App Store with some frequency: in fact, some time ago, near-perfect copies of Nintendo's Game and Watch LCD games appeared and were shortly pulled. Despite Apple's reputation for being sticklers in the approval process, games like these still manage to get through.

As for Monino, we imagine he'll be gone before most people can even click on the iTunes link.

(Via TUAW)