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Mario comes to iOS - 5 more Nintendo franchises that could get the iPhone treatment

By , on September 8, 2016

Well, who would have thought it? Mario is getting his very own iOS game. Which leads us to thinking about all the wonderful Nintendo IP that could be put to use on iPhone and iPad.

Many of us never thought we'd see the day that Nintendo makes a Mario game for another platform, but mark it in your diary. September 7th 2016 might be the day that Apple announced the iPhone 7, but we suspect it will go down in history as the day that Miyamoto (Mr Nintendo himself) cropped up at said event and announced Super Mario Run.

This is no crass conversion of a Nintendo 3DS game. Nintendo is far too proud and considered for that. Rather, it's an original game made with the mobile format in mind. To put it in Miyamoto's terms, you can play it whilst eating a hamburger. Magnificent.

It looks a lot like an auto-runner, but one that's been given Nintendo's usual level of spit, polish, and design ingenuity. Who would back against Super Mario Run becoming a mega-hit when it launches later in the year - and it won't even be freemium.

When you think about it, a Mario-flavoured runner makes a lot of sense. After all, if you were to boil the tubby plumber down to his core essentials (yuck), what else is he but running and jumping?

So, when we look at the rest of Nintendo's IP, which have the most potential on mobile devices?

Advance Wars

Advance Wars

The sprawling Advance Wars series kind of looks and plays like a smartphone game already. It's a simplified, top-down turn-based strategy game of rare craft and balance, and it would simply sing on iPad. It'd work pretty well on iPhone too, we suspect.

Of course, if Super Mario Run tells us anything, it's that Nintendo is not looking to simply port over its IP wholesale. Still, we can't help thinking that Advance Wars would be the readiest, most natural fit. Just look at Warbits for proof of that.

Pikmin

Pikmin

We could see Pikmin making the move to iOS relatively intact. Perhaps not to the extent that Advance Wars could, but still.

Its zoomed-out perspective and gentle 'my first RTS' gameplay would translate nicely to a large touchscreen (we're thinking iPad in particular), though there would need to be a degree of simplification in order to make the action sing.

Kirby

Kirby

The thing that has us picking Kirby over the far more prestigious Zelda franchise is his adaptability. The big pink blob is Nintendo's utility man, capable of fulfilling any role and plugging any bizarre sub-genre gap.

Kirby: Power Paintbrush (aka Canvas Curse) would be a natural fit on iOS, with its neat line-drawing mechanic, but we could just as easily see Kirby popping up in a stripped-back platformer or a bizarre take on crazy golf.

WarioWare

WarioWare

Remember the craze for mini-game compendiums in the early days of iOS? One major influence on that can be attributed to Nintendo's WarioWare series, which dates way back to 2003 and the Game Boy Advance.

Nintendo's take is a cut above anything we've seen on iOS, with numerous wacky yet mechanically ingenious one-button digital toys passing by in a flash. The company is already pumping new life into the well-worn auto-runner with Super Mario Run - who would bet against it doing the same for mini-game collections?

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

We've already touched on this recently in reflecting on the Nintendo properties that could be given the Pokemon GO AR treatment, but Animal Crossing has all the ingredients to make for a great mobile experience.

It's got the languid, staccato, real-time rhythm of play, as well as the hefty social sharing element. It's also full of cute animals, and everyone knows that cute animals sell mobile games.


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