Super Mario Run was released for iOS on December 15, 2016. Even though it debuted as a "free" app, almost all of the playable content was hidden behind a ridiculous $10 unlocking package. Despite coming with such a hefty price tag and receiving a two-star rating on the day of its release for iOS, Android users are still very much interested in giving this game a whirl.
Like with most hyped apps on Android, people with malicious intentions create completely bogus APKs in the hopes of taking advantage of naive and impatient users. This time around, though, a malware known as Marcher is being disguised as Super Mario Run. The malware itself has been around since 2013, but it's evolved multiple times throughout the years, and now it's even more capable of duping you out of your bank account info.
The Marcher malware was originally sold and spread through the Russian dark web forums, and has always targeted your bank account. Its modus operandi has changed throughout the years, though, from a fake overlay requesting your card details in Google Play Store, to sending phony text messages asking you to log into your bank account to verify transactions. But now, it's pretending to be Super Mario Run in the hopes of persuading you to purchase the ten dollar expansion pack so it can steal your credit card information.
Let's make one thing clear: Super Mario Run has not been released for Android. Until you see an official announcement of the game's release from Nintendo themselves, don't fall for any of these fake applications that are being spread around. There's no such thing as a Super Mario Run iOS port or a Super Mario Run emulator, nor are there any leaked preview copies.
So for your financial safety, please stay away from any such advertisements and websites claiming to have any sort of Super Mario Run downloads for Android. They're not real, they won't work, and they'll almost certainly infect your device.
In the meantime, you can pre-registered to be notified when the real Super Mario Run gets released for Android. Just head to Nintendo's official Play Store page for Super Mario Run, then tap "Pre-register" and you'll receive an email when the app actually does become available.
This malware might not seem too serious at the moment, but it has survived for almost four years, so it's definitely resilient. If you see anything related to Super Mario Run, stay away from it. If you see someone being overly eager to play, let them know as well.
If you really can't wait to try out the style of gameplay that Super Mario Run provides, there are many legit copycat games on Google Play you can play until Nintendo's version is released, like Super Plumber Run and Super Mega Runners 8-Bit jump, but best not spoil the fun on some lame ripoff.
Like always, be sure to share your thoughts and experience with us. Hopefully none of you have been targeted or have fallen for any variations of this rogue malware.