Yesterday’s Apple event saw a number of big reveals, but surely none were as shocking as the arrival of Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto to announce the impending release of Super Mario Run for iOS. Yes, Nintendo’s first Mario-centric mobile title will be coming to Apple’s App Store this December.
Touted as an action platformer, Super Mario Run relies on the classic runner mechanic–Mario automatically runs from left to right, and you control his jumps via the touchscreen. This one-handed approach promises to make the Super Mario franchise more accessible than ever, and the vibrant New Super Mario Bros.-style art design will surely wow those who haven’t experienced the series since its 8- and 16-bit heyday.
The app also promises multiple modes, with Mario running/jumping through various classic course environments, collecting coins on his way to the all-important goal; an alternate mode in which you attempt to beat other players’ high scores in an acrobatic endless runner; and even the ability to create your very own Mushroom Kingdom with your hard-won coinage.
Rather than fall back on the freemium model employed in its previous mobile effort, Miitomo, Super Mario Run will instead be available for a single purchase price. What that price will be, when the game will arrive during the “holiday season,” and when we Android users will get our chance to go for the gold (coins) all remain to be seen.
Also available at some indeterminate time this December is an Apple Watch companion app for Niantic’s popular Pokémon GO. Trainers will be able to track steps for hatching eggs, collect items, and even receive wild Pokémon notifications right on the Apple Watch.
How this will affect the reception of Nintendo’s Pokémon GO Plus wearable slated for release (sometime) this month is also a mystery, but at least that provides an option for the other half of the mobile phone market pending an Android Wear analog.