The lights are on
If you’ve been on the internet over the last few weeks, you may have heard that Nintendo has been going through some rough times. The Wii U is putting up pitiful sales numbers, and even the popular 3DS is selling considerably less than the publisher expected. Debates have been popping up regarding whether or not Nintendo should swallow its pride and consider putting some games on mobile platforms. Whether it’s a good business decision or not is a completely different issue, but here are some ideas for what they could do if things move in that direction.
A Mario runner
This is the most obvious pick. Mario has been at the top of the platforming heap for decades, and there’s no reason that Nintendo couldn’t translate a boiled-down version of his turtle-stomping action to mobile devices. Besides the obvious “tap to jump” mechanics that would be used to crush Goombas and avoid bottomless pits, you could also tap and hold to control his flight with Super Mario World’s cape (think Tiny Wings) or hover with the Tanooki suit.
Games like Final Fantasy Tactics and XCOM have successfully been ported to iOS, and there is no reason the same can’t be done for Nintendo properties like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. No twitch skills are required, so the experience would be largely the same. In addition, asynchronous multiplayer could be a fantastic addition to the formulas of those games.
Port old games that make sense
Besides making new titles with touchscreens in mind, Nintendo could also look to its past titles that would translate well to phones and tablets without much tweaking. Excitebike is simple, and Zapper games like Hogan’s Alley and Duck Hunt could be modified to work with touch controls. Games like Super Mario Bros. and Zelda require a bit too much fast-paced input to be controlled with a virtual d-pad and buttons, but others like Earthbound or Mario’s Picross would work.
A portable party
We’re well aware that many gamers hate the Mario Party series for its simple minigames and over-reliance on luck. That said, the games have historically sold well and clearly have their fans. Imagine having a game board on an iPad, with players controlling their character’s actions on their smartphones. Being able to hide your screen would allow for some clever minigames like Nintendo Land’s Mario Chase or Game & Wario’s Fruit.