Here Are 14 Nintendo Licenses We Think Could Actually Work on Mobile
Posted by Rob Rich on March 18th, 2015
Now that Nintendo has decided to throw their hat into the mobile ring, it's only a matter of time before we'll start seeing Mario and the gang on the App Store. And we're already well past the point where people make free-to-play jokes. But if you really think about it, there are actually a fair number of mobile games that could do well with a Nintendo coat of paint.
With that in mind, we've taken a look at DeNA's current catalog (as well as a couple games from other developers) to try and pair like with as close to like as possible. And we came up with a list of 14 combinations that could actually be pretty interesting once the Big N gets their hands on them.
Enough people have a fondness for Advance Wars that it's bound to show up on the App Store in some form or another. And a game like Super Battle Tacticswould work pretty well within the series universe, what with all the vehicular destruction and player-versus-player elements. It might not have the turn-based strategy thing going for it, but it's got plenty of tank on tank action.
It might seem like a weird comparison at first, but something like Transformers: Age of Extinction with a Wave Racecoat of paint (and some slight gameplay tweaks, obviously) would actually be pretty cool. It's not that much of a stretch to imagine driving jet skis along a set path, swiping left and right to avoid obstacles, pulling off tricks after leaping off a big wave, and so on.
Super Smash Bros.
Picture Super Smash Bros., but with Marvel Contest of Champions' more mobile-friendly fighting system and character collection elements.
When I stopped to think about Metroid Prime on mobile, what immediately came to mind was The Drowning. Not so much for a direct sequel, but something like a Huntersspin-off where you can upgrade and craft new weapons and gear? Yes please!
Pikmin would make a decent tower defense game if you stop and think about it. All those little sentient bits of cannon fodder, lining up to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect their uncaring masters... it sounds a lot like Qube Kingdom, actually - only cuter. Although personally I think a Pikmin-themed Clash of Clanswould be where the money's at. Just imagine sending waves of red and purples at an opposing astronaut's base; trying to abscond with gigantic fruit and maybe an old wrist watch.
Forget playing as Mario (well, technically "Jump Man") and trying to rescue a damsel in distress from a huge ape. How about we take control of DK himself and fling barrels at oncoming interlopers, a-la Pirate Bash? Or instead of playing as Donkey Kong, we could rectruit our own group of Kongs each with their own unique skills and abilities.
Mario Golf could easily fit in with just about any of the crazy golf games that are already on the App Store. From the wackiness of Wonder Golf to the simplistic, oddly addictive, and exceptionally frustrating Desert Golfing. So long as it's golf and so long as it's weird, we're pretty much golden.
Castaway Paradise has already been likened to Animal Crossing, and with good cause, which pretty much proves a similar formula would work wonders when paired with Nintendo's extremely popular "do nothing and love it" simulator.
For the longest time Nintendo had no intention of bringing any of their licenses to mobile, so a lot of developers took it upon themselves to bring us the next best thing. Monster battlers are already packing the App Store pretty densely, but DeNA already has Team Monsterto pull from. It's got the monster collection thing down, but would be different enough from the main series (what with the ability to move creatures and trigger special abilities in real time and all) to be able to do its own thing.
Starfox is probably one of the most popular Nintendo brands that doesn't involve Mario, Pokemon, or Samus, so it would be important to get right. So just picture an expansive space adventure like Galaxy On Fire, only set in the Star Foxuniverse. You'd still be flying around blowing up baddies with an obnoxious frog screaming in your ear, only now you'd have more open environments, upgradeable ships, side missions, and so on. I think I just drooled a little.
Superimposing Mario Kart on top of Real Racing - and adding turtle shells, of course - seems like the best course of action here. Plenty of vehicles, possibly with upgrades; a bunch of riders, who can maybe train to improve their skills; a replay cam because, honestly, who can go back to a Mario Kartwithout replays? It sure seems like a winning combination to me.
We could just slap the F-Zero universe on top of a game like AG Drive and call it a day, but I have another idea. What about pushing the vehicle manufacturing side of the sci-fi racer? Using the framework of Motor World: Car Factoryyou could create, sell, and invent all sorts of bizarre futuristic vehicles on your own personal assembly line.
Paper Mario most closely resembles an RPG. Albeit with some extremely heavy Nintendo bits smeared all over. So any of DeNA's RPGs would probably fit the bill. Games like Blood Brothers or Fantasicawould be a good fit, although more of an emphasis on character collection and without the platforming/puzzly elements. Of course there's no reason those couldn't still be in there once Nintendo took hold of the reins.
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda might be a tricky thing to get right on mobile, but we've already gotten pretty close. Oceanhorn calls to mind many of the 3D titles in the series, and a visual style like Qube Kingdom's would make a great bridge between fancy modern visuals and a more retro look.