When Nintendo announced it would be exploring the app market, the gaming community naturally went crazy. While Nintendo’s recent consoles may have lost some ground to PlayStation and Xbox, Nintendo’s exclusive franchises remain iconic and there are many who have suggested that old Gameboy-style titles are ideally suited for app adaptation.
Unfortunately, Nintendo’s first app was a little bit of a disappointment. Miitomo basically took the “Mii” avatars that originated on the Nintendo Wii and turned them into an attempt at a new social network. It felt unnecessary and, frankly, it’s hard to imagine what Nintendo was thinking producing something like this when fans were anticipating something more along the lines of Super Mario Mobile.
But fortunately, Miitomo was just the beginning. Nintendo is intending to maintain a mobile presence, which likely means games are around the corner. So here are 10 ideas for titles that would appease loyal Nintendo fans far more than Miitomo did.
1. Super Mario Mobile
It goes without saying that an old-school platforming Super Mario game would be Nintendo’s biggest play on mobile. A game like this would even have a shot of becoming the most popular app of all time. It could be a reboot of an old Super Mario game or a new one made in an older one’s image, but either way the basic format would translate well to mobile devices.
2. Pokémon Red/Blue
If there’s any Nintendo property or idea that could rival a Super Mario game for popularity as a mobile app, it would have to be an original Pokémon game. A list of predicted titles mentioned a “Pokémon Light” concept, but one would think they could go with a full-fledged Pokémon game. There are plenty of similar RPGs on mobile platforms already, so it doesn’t seem like too big of a game. Plus, Nintendo would do well to remember that most people who grew up playing the original Pokémon games are now young adults with smartphones and tablets!
3. Super Mario RPG
Speaking of the fact that there are lots of successful mobile RPGs, Nintendo could also take advantage of this format by using its most iconic character. Super Mario RPG was actually a SNES game released in 1996 and would make for a wonderful game to adapt on mobile, but a fresh RPG based on Mario characters would likely do very well also.
4. Legend Of Zelda Mobile
As stated in another list of perfect Nintendo franchises for mobile games, there seems to be nothing holding Nintendo back from designing a full-on 2D Legend of Zelda game. In terms of visuals and controls, some of the early Zelda games actually weren’t that different from the original Pokémon games, so the whole thing could be resurrected with relative ease on mobile devices.
5. Link’s Crossbow Training
The list mentioned above noted that aspects of Nintendo’s mobile venture make it seem as if the company may not want to bring full-featured versions of its classic games to mobile devices. Given that, it suggested Link’s Crossbow Training as an app game, and it has to be one of the better suggestions out there. Essentially a third-person shooter starring Link, it would translate remarkably well to mobile devices.
6. Super Mario Endless Runner
There are a lot of great endless runner games available for mobile devices, from Temple Run to Tiny Wings. There’s even one that’s based on Spider-Man characters! This is a tried-and-true format, and one that can easily be enhanced with new characters and settings. An endless runner with Mario characters and backgrounds resembling levels from popular games would be a sure hit.
7. Super Mario Casino
This may be less likely than some other games given Nintendo’s family-friendly nature, but if the company is looking to capitalize on popular gaming styles for mobile users, a full-fledged casino app might be a terrific move. Many of the best slot machine games online are based on popular characters from fiction, and filling any kind of casino environment with playful Nintendo characters would attract a whole new audience. Similarly, sitting at a playful poker table with Bowser, Wario, and Donkey Kong would be pretty enjoyable.
8. Donkey Kong
Speaking of Donkey Kong, a mobile game in the image of some of the earliest DK arcade games (the ones in which you had to get to the top platform while leaping over barrels) seems like a no-brainer. These games were incredibly simple and would be very well suited to mobile platforms, yet would still be wildly popular.
9. Nintendo Brawl
Many have suggested Super Smash Bros. as an ideal series for Nintendo to bring to mobile, simply because there are already a lot of similarly styled fighter games that have proven to be terrific even on a touchscreen. However, a full-fledged Super Smash Bros. game might actually be pretty difficult due to the scope of the levels (as the camera zooms in and out) and the number of characters that can compete at a given time. A “light” version of the game featuring one-on-one character combat, however, could be very successful, just as the likes of Marvel Contest Of Champions and Injustice Gods Among Us have been.
10. Mario Kart Mobile
Once somewhat-hectic and uninteresting on mobile devices, racing games have come a long way in recent years, and there are now several worthwhile titles in the genre. But none comes close to capturing the kind of atmosphere Mario Kart games have always delivered. Nintendo could easily conquer this improving genre simply by rebooting one of its most popular franchises as an app.
There are plenty more franchises worth mentioning, and there’s also the fact that Nintendo could simply look into creating new, original characters for its mobile apps. But this combination of reboots and traditional mobile games featuring the most popular characters would probably be enough to keep Nintendo fans busy for years.