NINTENDO LOOKS LIKE it could be ready to dip another couple of toes into app store waters with a pair of Japanese trademarks spotted by Destructoid. Both "Spirit Tracks" and "Mario vs Donkey Kong" have been filed, fueling speculation that Zelda and Donkey Kong will be following Animal Crossing, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem on smartphones soon.
Before we get on to what the games are, there's one very big caveat: the category the listings were filed in is hugely broad: "program for home video game machine, downloadable video game program, and program for smartphones."
So yes, this could be a Switch or 3DS release, but our money is on smartphones, given the nature of the titles. Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was originally a Nintendo DS game that made heavy use of the stylus to solve puzzles and wield weapons. This feels like a perfect match for smartphone, now our fingers have been heavily retrained as stylii in the nine years since it was first released.
Mario vs Donkey Kong is similarly finger-friendly - or at least the Nintendo DS and 3DS versions were. A puzzle game where players controlled a series of mini Marios via the touchscreen, it feels like a natural fit for smartphones.
We just have the titles to go on, of course, and it's likely these won't be straight up remakes, but it gives you an idea of the kind of thing to expect. Assuming these are mobile apps though, pricing remains a mystery. Nintendo has experimented with both paid apps and microtransactions, though we'd imagine the latter proved more profitable.
Generally, Nintendo has stuck rigidly to games that lend themselves to the smartphone format. Super Mario Run was an endless runner that could be played with one hand, while eating a burger or lifting weights as Shigeru Miyamoto ably demonstrated. Whether you'll be able to do the same practical multitasking with the upcoming Mario Kart Mobile remains an open question… µ
S marks the rumoured spot
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But not on phones and laptops. Yet
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