10 Nintendo Games That Should Go Mobile

Nintendo Spreads the Love

After news broke this week that Nintendo is partnering with DeNa to develop mobile games, I immediately said: “NO. I don’t want a crappy Mario port on my phone!!!” (Then the other people in the board meeting were like “…What?”)

It wasn’t until later that day that it dawned on me: This could take Nintendo games to a new level of awesome. I realize this sounds a tad schizophrenic to change lanes so quickly, but hear me out…

If the right games & mini-games are brought to the mobile/tablet platforms, it could be the shot of adrenaline that Nintendo desperately needs during this ‘less-than-stellar’ console sales cycle.

Mario 64 mini games
I spent a lot of time playing these while pooping.

Do you remember the mini-games that came with Super Mario 64 on the DS?
Those types of experiences would be perfect as $0.99 or Free-to-Play games on mobile. The ‘Wanted’ mini game in particular was really fun and ramped up the challenge as you progressed.

There are also some franchises that could see a full-fledged entry on the mobile platform. I’m in – as long as these games don’t interfere with production of the bigger, console-sized Nintendo games.

10 Nintendo games that should go mobile

I’ve compiled a quick list of 10 games that have potential to be amazing mobile experiences. These are in no particular order, and this is not an exhaustive list.

1. Kirby (Canvas Curse style)

The classic Kirby platforming games should be left alone – they would not work well on mobile. On the other hand, Kirby Canvas Curse was a game completely controlled by the touch screen. What’s more: It’s a great game!

The visuals have already been improved with this year’s Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, so this one practically begs to be played on an iPad.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Set adorable color canons to ‘kill’

2. Pikmin

The Pikmin series has a visual style that belies its strategical depth. It would be a welcome addition to any app store as an accessible, but challenging title. Plus, they are just so stinkin’ cute!

Pikmin 3
“I can’t believe Rick Moranis did this to us.”

3. Mario vs Donkey Kong

march of the minis
We’ll be fine as long as the minis don’t become self-aware.

It’s a puzzle platforming game that has relied less and less on the
“platforming.” I think if they allow this series to completely shift away from the need to jump and dodge, they could focus more on the “March of the Minis” style approach to the game. Use touch controls to interact with the environment, but the characters on screen are NPCs. Maybe Mario and friends could show up to assist you in liberating the minis.

The levels are already designed as single screen, quick challenges. This would be the perfect phone game!

4. Captain Toad

Look at Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. Now look at Monument Valley (A delightful game from Ustwo released in 2014). Now look at Toad again. Now Monument Valley again. See what I mean? This game could be revamped with tablet controls in mind and maintain its lovable charm. An isometric puzzler like Toad would work brilliantly on mobile – as we’ve already seen.

Captain Toad and Monument Valley
Now just invite Ilo Milo and Fez, and you got yourself a party!

 5. Advance Wars / Fire Emblem

advance wars dual strike
Spoiler alert: You’re gonna die

For the love of all things good and pure… these games are amazing. And they
are criminally underplayed! Okay, Fire Emblem may be a bit of a stretch – even the smallest of entries have staggering amounts of content.

Let’s focus on Advance Wars – this game has one of the most approachable designs in strategy gaming. It could be a dynamite game on a phone or tablet if it maintains its consistently solid gameplay and “Saturday Morning Cartoon” art style. If I saw a game like that on the app store, I’d snatch it up in a heartbeat.

6. Professor Layton

Do it, Nintendo.
Do it, Nintendo.

Witty dialog, hundreds of puzzles, hunting the environment for clues… this already sounds like a mobile game. I don’t think I need to make much more of a case for this one.

This IP would probably work great as an episodic game. It could be like a procedural TV show that has a mystery to solve each week, but there’s an overall story arc that covers the entire game. I’ve just convinced myself that this is a great idea.

7. Pilot Wings

This one would require some Nintendo magic to pull off. The Pilot Wings games can be very challenging simulations that require precise controls. I’m not sure exactly how it would control, but I’d love to see them take a stab at it.

pilot wings
Coolest jet pack since GTA: Vice City

8. Nintendogs

You use the touch screen and voice controls to pet, feed, and train your dog. I’m pretty sure this idea speaks for itself.

Featuring music from Sarah McLaughlin

9. Mario Paint

Why aren’t there more Mario Paint games??? Nintendo’s consoles for the past decade are designed with touch/movement controls. Why they haven’t produced a follow up to Mario Paint astounds me. Maybe with the move to mobile, now is the time to give the people what they want.

mario paint
Is there anything Mario CAN’T do?

10. Brain Age

It’s essentially a collection of mini-games designed for casual, 5-10 minute sessions at a time. It’s already meeting the needs of a typical mobile user. This one is a – wait for it – no-brainer! ……….I sincerely apologize for that.

brain age
Mmmmm… prefrontal cortex…

So what other games should Nintendo consider developing for the mobile space?


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