Earlier today, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage at Apple’s iPhone press event to announce: Super Mario Run, the first official Mario game for iOS!
The game, being developed in partnership with mobile studio DeNA, uniquely adapts the Mario series for the mobile platform. This is a one-handed game, designed for portrait mode. As Mario runs through 2D levels from left to right, players can tap the screen to make Mario jump to avoid obstacles, squash enemies, and collect coins. A longer tap means a higher jump. This gameplay style follows the template of other popular “run” classics on the App Store. Think Alto’s Adventure, Temple Run, Monster Dash, or Jetpack Joyride. But unlike the infinite environments of those games, Super Mario Run‘s single player mode will feature the classic flagpole finishes of the 2D Mario games you love.
The multiplayer mode, on the other hand, works like a race. Compete with your friends against the clock to collect coins and perform daring jumps. Your most impressive moves will earn you Toad fans, who will applaud your progress. At the end of the match, whoever collected the most coins and won the most fans will bring those fans into their own personal Mushroom Kingdom. The multiplayer mode, demonstrated live at Apple’s event, looks like a blast. It brings that classic Nintendo social touch, one that will make the game endlessly playable.
Now, I can already sense the disappointment seeping in. It’s not a full Mario game, where delicate control of the D-pad or analog stick is crucial to winning. But because they’ve watched mobile gaming evolve over the years, the folks at Nintendo know that virtual D-pads and sticks aren’t accurate or fun to use. They also know that mobile games are most successful when they’re simple, fun, and accessible. That’s exactly what Super Mario Run looks to be. In a press release published after the announcement, Miyamoto, Mario’s original creator, states:
“We have created Super Mario Run to be perfect for playing on your iPhone… Super Mario has evolved whenever he has encountered a new platform, and for the first time ever, players will be able to enjoy a full-fledged Super Mario game with just one hand, giving them the freedom to play while riding the subway or my favorite, eating a hamburger.”
Nintendo and Apple will release Super Mario Run for iPhone and iPad this December. According to the press release, Super Mario Run “will be available first on the App Store,” meaning this is not an iOS exclusive. No details were given on Android launch timing. Gaming fans will also be pleased to know that it won’t be a “freemium” game. Instead, there will be a limited version of the game available for free, and the full version can be unlocked for a set price. Nintendo says they will announce full pricing and content details at a later date.
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— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 7, 2016