Well this has come out of nowhere. Here we were, waiting with baited breath for the release of Mario Kart Tour, and Nintendo has gone and pulled the rug out from under us. The Italian plumber's next appearance on the App Store isn't going to involve carts, or karts for that matter - it's going to involve white coats and stethoscopes. Because Dr. Mario World is on its way to mobile.
The news dropped last night, and it's fair to say we're a bit shocked. It's been a good long while since Nintendo even released anything on mobile, after a splurge of games over the past couple of years, but we'd never even heard that Dr. Mario was on its way, let alone that it was going to overtake Mario Kart Tour to become the next big N franchise to make it onto the App Store.
What do we know about Dr. Mario World so far?
To be honest, not an awful lot. Nintendo took to Twitter yesterday to reveal that the game was set to come out for mobile devices in summer 2019. It's being developed by Line, a massive messaging service in Japan, and NHN Entertainment, who have a track record of making licensed games.
We're going to take a guess and say that it's going to be a puzzler, since that's what the Dr. Mario series is known for. That makes it an interesting move for Nintendo, and the end result could well be a marker for the direction that the Japanese giant is going to take moving forwards.
How so? Well, puzzlers make up a decent chunk of the top grossing apps on the App Store. Candy Crush, despite being one of the oldest game on the list, regularly sits at the top. It's interesting because the games that make the most money are, to be blunt, designed so that you get stuck. Often Candy Crush won't give you the candy you need to complete a level, leaving you to wait or pay.
Nintendo is a business, which means it wants to make the most possible money from its products. That might mean that Dr. Mario World is the first big N game to really embrace free to play - by getting rid of the major variable in gaming, the skill of the player. We've seen Nintendo heading down this route with premium games - platformers where you can let the computer finish tough sections for instance - and this is the next logical step.
When is Dr. Mario World coming out?
Right now all we know is Summer 2019, which is a pretty vague timeframe. We will, of course, keep you up to date as and when we hear more. What do you think of Dr. Mario World being the next game that Nintendo releases on mobile? Let us know in the comments below. And if you've got any questions, stick them in there and we'll do our best to answer them.