Two more beloved Nintendo series to also appear on Apple devices soon after.
Nintendo tends to keep a pretty tight grip on its video game franchises. Sure, there was a handful of Mario and Zelda games released for the Philips CD-i in the early 1990s (which ended up as ridiculed and reviled as the hardware itself), but throughout most of video game history, if you wanted to play a Nintendo game, you were going to need a Nintendo console.
So it was a pretty big turning point on September 8 (Japan time) when Nintendo officially announced that it will be releasing a Mario game for iOS, titled Super Mario Run, thereby bringing its most famous character to Apple devices.
片手で遊ぶ新しいマリオ「SUPER MARIO RUN（スーパーマリオラン）」を2016年 12月にiPhoneとiPad向けアプリケーションとして配信します。 https://t.co/YeC4WM8ANI—
任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) September 07, 2016
While Nintendo serves as publisher for the mainline Pokémon installments, the games themselves are actually developed by a separate company, Game Freak, and recent smartphone hit Pokémon GO was crafted by Niantic. As such, Super Mario Run is the first Nintendo-developed iOS game, and as proof of the company’s commitment to the project, Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary creator of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, was in attendance at the Apple Special Event where the game was unveiled.
Super Mario Run is being described as “a game that can be played with one hand,” in which Mario races against the clock to reach the end of the level. As such, it sounds like the gameplay will be lighter on exploration and precision platforming than Mario’s console outings. Given the care Nintendo traditionally puts into its in-house development, though, odds are we can still expect more depth than Temple Run, Jungle Hunt, or other games starring continually running heroes. So far, Nintendo has promised that players can use the coins they acquire in the game’s levels to “create their own Mushroom Kingdom,” although it’s unclear if that means you’ll be able to create your own levels, Mario Maker-style, or simply add aesthetic touches to a non-playable environment.
In addition, Nintendo revealed that it’s working on iOS Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing games as well, with target release dates of March 2017. As has become tradition, though, Mario leads the way when Nintendo ventures into new hardware, and Super Mario Run is expected to be ready for download this holiday season.