Super Mario Run is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, becoming the first official smartphone and tablet game to feature the iconic Nintendo character. The game is a free download with a $10 in-app purchase required to unlock all 24 courses spanning six worlds.
The classic endless runner is designed for one-handed gameplay. Mario runs forward automatically as players tap to jump, collect coins, pounce on Goombas, avoid obstacles, and reach the flagpole at the end of each course before the timer runs out. Ultimately, Mario must rescue Princess Peach from the infamous Bowser.
Mario automatically vaults over small obstacles, including Goombas, while players can tap over enemies to perform a vault jump. As the levels get more difficult, players will be tasked with performing long jumps, walking over blocks that launch Mario in a particular direction, and other challenges.
Mario can jump off walls and perform a number of stylish moves as players aim to collect pink or purple challenge coins along the way. Challenge coins are often placed near ledges or other difficult to reach areas, requiring an element of skill and precision to collect them all.
A challenge mode called Toad Rally allows players to compete with friends or strangers to see who can obtain the highest score. Players must collect coins and perform stylish moves as usual to attract the largest crowd of Toad spectators in order to win. There is no flagpole in this mode, so players keep running until time runs out.
Toad Rally requires Rally Tickets, which can be acquired in a variety of ways, such as clearing worlds or through bonus games in your own kingdom.
There is also a Kingdom Builder mode, enabling players to create their own kingdom and customize it using coins and toads gathered in Toad Rally, which become part of the kingdom. Placing certain buildings can unlock bonus mini-games and characters such as Luigi, Yoshi, and Toad.
Due to piracy and security concerns, Super Mario Run requires an internet connection to play. iOS devices must be connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network during gameplay, largely ruling out usage on airplanes or subways. It is also a blow to SIM-less iPhone and iPod touch users when Wi-Fi is unavailable.
Super Mario Run signifies a change in stance for Nintendo, which for years refused to consider releasing its popular franchises such as Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda on smartphones and tablets, instead limiting the titles to its own consoles such as the Wii and Nintendo 3DS.
Apple and Nintendo have been aggressively marketing the game since it was unveiled in September, with prominent App Store banners, teaser videos, and an on-stage demo on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Some analysts believe Super Mario Run could top summer phenomenon Pokémon Go in downloads, but not revenue.
Super Mario Run is rolling out now on the App Store in more than 151 countries. The game can also be demoed at Apple retail stores.
Tags: App Store, Nintendo, Super Mario Run
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Pokémon Go has expanded to a new region about once a month, launching in Southeast Asia and Oceania back in August, parts of the Balkans and Central Asia in September and some of the Middle East in November. Today, the game is finally opening in India and these South Asian countries: Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In a post announcing the expansion, Niantic specifically apologized to their Indian fanbase, citing “a few administrative challenges” that delayed the launch. Players in the country won’t just have Starbucks hotspots, either: regional LTE mobile network operator Reliance Jio has made 3,000 of their stores and partner locations into PokéStops and Gyms. This mobile provider partnership shouldn’t be a surprise, as Niantic partnered with over 10,000 Sprint stores last week to provide American users with the same hotspot action.
Source: Niantic blog
Playtonic has announced today that its debut game Yooka-Laylee will no longer be coming to Wii U. Citing “technical difficulties” the studio says it will now release the anticipated platformer on the Nintendo Switch. Playtonic also announced a release date for the other platforms, with the game launching on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 11th 2017.
With Nintendo’s new system just around the corner, it comes as little surprise that Playtonic has shifted its focus away from the aging Wii U. Stardew Valley developer Chucklefish Games recently made a similar decision, moving the expected Wii U version to the Switch.
As Yooka-Laylee started life as a Kickstarter project, however, many fans have already put down the cash for the Wii U version. In a bid to appease them, Playtonic has offered these backers the chance to exchange it for its PC, PS4 or Xbox One counterpart on April 11th. Alternatively, those who pledged for a Wii U copy can choose to “upgrade” it to its Switch version, suggesting that backers may have to pay an additional fee to do so.
With Yooka-Laylee developed by a team made up of Rare alumni (a studio which made its name on Nintendo platforms) the news will surely come as a disappointment to many backers. More will be revealed about Playtonic’s plans for the game’s Switch release early next year.
Non-backers can now pre-order the game for $39.99 (£34.99) considerably more than the $24 (£15) Kickstarter backers originally paid. Let’s hope we hear more details about Yooka-Laylee on the platform during Nintendo’s January 12th Switch presentation.
Source: Playtonic Games
As much as we love them, Japanese role-playing games can be baffling at the best of times. Yet thanks to some clever localization, teams of writers and translators around the globe have managed to make sense of these intriguing adventures. But what if these localization teams didn’t exist? That’s the question translation enthusiast Clyde Mandelin asked, resulting in him rigging up a program to Google Translate Final Fantasy IV.
Calling the project Funky Fantasy IV, his software extracts all the game’s original Japanese text and replaces it with a straight Google translation – with predictably hilarious results.
In a time where many gamers are demanding literal translations of Japanese games, this project really highlights the great work that localization teams do. More importantly, it’s also really, really amusing. Funky Fantasy IV is still in the testing stage and will be made available once its bugs have been ironed out. In the mean time, all your Funky Fantasies are belong to Clyde.
Source: Legends of Localization
Niantic promised more creatures in Pokémon Go on December 12th, and it’s delivering… with an interesting twist. It’s not only adding “several” new critters from the Pokémon Gold and Silver games (such as Pichu and Togepi), but also releasing a limited edition holiday Pikachu. The Santa cap-wearing creature is available “all over the world,” but only until December 29th at 1PM Eastern. If you don’t find one by then, you’re out of luck.
The expansion caps a busy week for Pokémon Go, which included turning Sprint and Starbucks stores into PokéStops. It’s not surprising that Niantic is going all-out as the year comes to a close, though. The company had a runaway hit with the mobile game, and has done everything it could to keep you coming back and ride that success for a little while longer. That’s especially important in December. Winter weather makes it harder to go Pokémon hunting, and visiting family during the holidays is probably more important than evolving your Eevee. An update like this could make the difference between playing in 2017 and letting your mind wander.
Source: Pokemon Go
Ahead of the launch of Super Mario Run on iOS later this week, Nintendo video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with video game site Glixel to share some thoughts on what it was like working with Apple.
According to Miyamoto, amid discussions about entering the mobile space, his team set out to build the simplest Mario game they could, doing away with a lot of the complexity that has been added over the years.
Apple was an ideal partner because Nintendo felt development support was necessary, and the partnership has led to some heavy promotion of Super Mario Run in the App Store and at Apple retail stores. Apple also helped Nintendo settle on an ideal pricing model after Nintendo shied away from freemium pricing.
For Nintendo, we have a lot of kids that play our products. It was important for us to be able to offer Super Mario Run in a way that parents would feel assured that they could buy the game and give it to their kids without having to worry about future transactions. From early on, I thought that Apple would be a good partner so we could work on this new approach.
Miyamoto also believes that Apple and Nintendo have a lot of common ground between them, focusing on how people use products and marketing products to a wide range of people. “They put a lot of effort into the interface and making the product simple to use, and that’s very consistent with Nintendo,” he said, likening a story about a Super NES controller with colored buttons to Apple’s colorful Apple logo.
In the early days when computers were very complicated things, computer companies were purposely presenting them in ways that made them seem very complicated. Then you had Apple who came along with their very simple and colorful logo and it all had more of a fun feel to it.
Actually, this reminds me that with the Super NES controller we put the multicolored buttons on the face of the controller, and then the US office decided not to keep that. I told that story to Apple, and how I liked the use of color in their old logo. That was like a bridge that had been built between us.
Their focus is always on simplicity. Their focus is always on really taking the user into account, making it easy to use and then having an environment that’s safe and secure that people can work and play in. They’re the areas where Nintendo and Apple really see eye to eye.
Super Mario Run will be available on iOS devices starting on Thursday, December 15. Exclusive demos are available in Apple retail stores around the world ahead of the game’s launch.
Super Mario Run will be free to download and try, but unlocking full gameplay will require users to pay $9.99. As was discovered last week, an always-on internet connection will be required for security purposes.
Miyamoto’s full interview, which covers topics like his role on Nintendo’s creative team, his hobbies, and his inspiration, can be read over at Glixel.
Tags: App Store, Nintendo, Super Mario Run
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If you grew up in North America during the early 1990s, there’s probably one color you associate with Nintendo: Purple. The SNES had a distinctly violet tinge in the region, while European and Japanese customers were treated to a grey, slightly more curvaceous model (the controller had multi-colored face buttons too.) If the purple model has a special place in your heart, you might be interested in the Hyper Clack Tactile Mechanical Keyboard by Kyperkin. It costs $99.99 and comes with Gaote Blue switches, which should suit serious but not too serious gamers and writers.
While Nintendo’s classic consoles have always been iconic, they’ve recently found new prominence in the cultural zeitgeist. The NES Classic Mini has been a smash hit (even if people can’t buy it), re-introducing fans to the company’s 8-bit games and design ethos. There’s also the SNES-inspired 3DS — one of the better limited edition variants — and countless other merchandise inspired by the system. Hyperkin isn’t known for its keyboards, having built its brand on retro consoles and replacement controllers instead. The Retron 5 is a decent bit of kit, however, so maybe some of that hardware expertise will translate to PC peripherals.
Akira, still one of the most definitive manga and anime ever made, never really got a game to do the source material justice. While that’s probably not going to change, Patrick Scott Patterson, retro game hunter-gatherer, managed to pick up four slightly different copies of the mid-development Akira title on the Game Boy. They are all experiment builds, so all that mid-test gaming nougat is housed in open-air cartridges — which makes me nervous.
The title is primarily broken into two (pretty broken) parts: Bike-based levels where you dodge static obstacles and an awkward-looking platform section where you punch and kick enemies that are, for some reason, much shorter than you. There’s also a bunch of jumping which will be familiar to anyone that played handheld games that were Hollywood movie tie-ins back in the 90s. You do, however, get to run around as protagonists Kaneda or Tetsuo — which is cool. There’s even a brief hovercraft shooter level and mutant bosses that Patterson was able to try through debug level options.
The ideas are all very Akira, but the game is severely unfinished. There’s a single cloying soundtrack and only a few sound effects repeated constantly. Level design is all delightfully broken up too, but what are you expecting from a collection of decades-old mid-development cartridges? Patterson plans to pull together the workable parts of each cartridge, pulling them into something vaguely playable for fans that probably don’t even care how the game plays.
Nintendo will launch the Super Nintendo World park attraction at Universal Studios Japan, the two companies revealed. The themed area will open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with similar attractions coming later to Hollywood and Orlando in the US. Nintendo first revealed news of the attractions last year, and in November announced the three locations. It has now added more details, saying the park attraction will have “state-of-the-art rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants, all featuring Nintendo’s most popular characters and games.”
Naturally, that means Super Mario and associated friends, along with other “globally popular Nintendo characters,” according to Nintendo. The teaser image in the tweet below shows Mario and Luigi, and if you zoom in a bit, you can see Disney-like mascots for Peach and Toad. It also shows the castles of Princess Peach and Bowser on each side of the park. The characters and attractions will be developed “at the highest level of quality” by Universal Studios and Nintendo’s creative fellow (and gaming talent judge) Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
The price of the development is expected to exceed 50 billion yen, or around $433 million, the companies say. The attraction will use Universal Studios Japan land currently designated for parking and future expansion. Nintendo optimistically estimates that Super Nintendo World will bring over a million jobs to Japan within a decade after it opens.
#SUPERNINTENDOWORLD featuring attractions based on many Nintendo titles is coming to Universal Studios Japan! pic.twitter.com/NcmxK0GAZ6
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) December 12, 2016
Source: Nintendo (Twitter), Universal Studios
Now that the Nintendo Virtual Boy has been torn down and we know how it operates, Ben and Karen get to work repurposing the console as a wearable virtual reality headset. To do so, Ben has to redesign the enclosure, which means it’s time to bust out some vector graphics software. It’s not all about 3D printing mounts and laser cutting, though. Karen steps in with her wearable know-how to help attach the Virtual Boy to the frame, allowing it to be mounted on your face. All designs encounter some flaws and problems, however, and this one is no different. What did you think of the build? And what else should the team turn into a wearable? Let us know over on the element14 Community.