But has this one got legs?
On December 15th, a new era for Nintendo will properly commence as Super Mario Run comes to the Iphone. We know that they’ve been courting the smartphone market for a while now, but this week, things are about to get serious.
After the toe in the water that was Miitomo, and the full-on sledgehammer to the ice that was Pokemon Go, for good or bad, Nintendo is about to really start embracing the cellphone crowd.
Super Mario Run looks like a very neat package indeed, but I fear that Nintendo may have misjudged the smartphone “gaming” public somewhat with this first fully fledged attempt. I have no qualms about being asked to fork out £8 ($10) for a proper Mario experience, and I have no doubt that’s what Mario Run will be, the levels look fun, the animations are delightful (just see Mario piggybacking over a Goomba and you’re sold, surely!) and the extras like the Kingdom creator and more leave me with little doubt that it will be worth it. But the question is, do people really pay that much for iPhone apps these days?
Nintendo are certainly giving it a shove in the right direction: seeing it ahead of the Switch on Jimmy Fallon was a good start, and correct or otherwise people have undoubtedly taken Pokemon Go to mean ‘Nintendo = smartphone games now’, so the water looks relatively warm for them to jump into, especially at this festive time of the year.
However, in my experience, when people get onto their mobile store, anything costing over £1 is in serious danger of drowning. I hope that I’m wrong, but I’m not sure that the bulk of the market actually cares all that much about what they play on a phone screen. If it’s bright and can hold the attention for a bit, then great, but most importantly, it’s got to be FREE for people to really get behind it.
That’s a cynical view of the marketplace, for sure, but I fear that Nintendo’s well intentioned quality control has resulted in a game which might be “too good” almost, for customers who have 1000’s of knock-off clones to choose from at no cost.
They have included a free demo which showcases the first three stages, and that will surely make a splash, but will people upgrade to the full package after all? Time will tell. I certainly hope it’s a stellar smartphone debut for the big N, and I hope that I’m wrong about people being less than discerning when it comes to their gaming habits, but either way, we shall know by Christmas. Nintendo will certainly be keeping a close eye on this one, and perhaps the wider gaming public will be tempted to dig into their wallets, too, if the package is as good as it promises to be.
Will you be downloading this one come the end of the week?