One of the most unexpected portions of September 7th's Apple event was the presence of Shigeru Miyamoto and the announcement of Super Mario Run for iOS (and apparently Android) devices.
Mario's premiere on smart devices marks a new age for Nintendo, one that demonstrates Pokémon GO was just the beginning. We're hopeful that we'll see their franchises expanded to iOS and Android in even more ways soon. With that in mind, here are seven franchises we'd like to see on smart devices, and how they might work.
1. Legend of Zelda
I'll be honest, Legend of Zelda tends to get me much more excited for Nintendo products than Mario does. And I'm sure I'm not alone in that feeling. Adding a Legend of Zelda game to smart devices would generate insane amounts of hype.
But it would have to be done right.
This is likely the trickiest title to bring to smart devices, since Zelda games range from Breath of the Wild-like 3D environments to top-down adventures like A Link Between Worlds. It's unlikely we'll ever see the former on smart devices, but it could be doable with a third-party Zelda adventure in the realm of Hyrule Warriors.
More likely, though, we'd see a stripped-down version of one of the handheld titles — and to be honest, I'd be perfectly okay with that. But at the very least, we could get a puzzle-focused mini game for the system.
2. Animal Crossing
Anyone who's played an Animal Crossing will tell you how addicting it can be. Nintendo has already said they're working on Animal Crossing for smart devices, so it's really just a matter of figuring out how to deliver that experience.
In all likelihood, the title would revolve around the collecting aspects of Animal Crossing. While it could certainly include a full village, I can see Animal Crossing for phones focusing solely on mini games that help you earn money to expand your home and buy new furniture. It could even incorporate location-based promotional QR codes to encourage players to attend community events and show off their homes.
Kirby consistently delivers solid side-scrolling 2D or even "2.5D" experiences. The games have never been ones to push the boundaries of graphics — or be afraid to embrace creativity — but that's also never been an issue.
Were Nintendo to deliver a smart-device Kirby game, it could go with the Rainbow Curse route, where you have to tap Kirby to get him to move while also drawing trails for him to roll on or it could deliver a Kirby 64 experience, where you move across a 2.5D environment and absorb enemies' abilities.
4. Star Fox
It's been a while since Nintendo has delivered a solid, well-received Star Fox game. An iOS Star Fox game wouldn't have to deliver anything ground breaking to be a hit. Just give players the Star Fox 64 experience and call it a day.
For real, though, Star Fox started out as a fly-through game where your primary controls were moving and shooting. Yeah, you can always DO A BARREL ROLL! with some of the extra buttons, but a fly-and-shoot experience on smart devices would work well and deliver something many Star Fox fans have wanted.
5. Fire Emblem
I'm relatively new to the Fire Emblem series, but even having had Awakening be my first entry, I was hooked right away. And like Animal Crossing, Nintendo already revealed Fire Emblem was going to come to to smart devices..
The interface for these games is simple, the cutscenes are easily something smart devices could handle, and the mission durations (especially early on) make for good on-the-go time sinks.
The Pikmin franchise lends itself to a number of different smart-device approaches. While a full Pikmin game is definitely believable as a smart-phone title, I can actually see Nintendo taking some of the more puzzle-like aspects of the series and bringing them to smart phones.
For example, gathering and throwing Pikmin could easily translate to a smart-phone gesture, much like throwing a Poke Ball in Pokemon GO. If Nintendo really wanted to get adventurous, they could make it another location-based title where
7. More Mario!
Right now, the Super Mario Run game looks relatively simple. That's not necessarily a bad thing as a premiere title, either! But Nintendo shouldn't be afraid to go further.
Again, in the realm of "2.5D" games, the Paper Mario (or even original Mario RPG!) series would work very well on smart devices. These games are not graphically intense, could easily be translated into a point-and-click game, and would be addicting as all get out.