Something that would’ve been unthinkable just a few short years ago happened today at Apple’s iPhone 7 showcase: The first person to take the stage after Apple CEO Tim Cook’s opening spiel was Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary designer of games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend Of Zelda. Miyamoto was on hand to announce that Mario is finally making his first foray into the world of mobile gaming with a new title called Super Mario Run.
It’s being developed in partnership with DeNA, the Japanese tech company that Nintendo has cozied up with to ease its entrance into app making. But according to a press release, Miyamoto is acting as “a lead creator” on the project. The game itself looks like it’s following in the footsteps of Ubisoft’s excellent Rayman mobile games. It’s broken down into a handful of traditional Mario obstacle courses, each with a flagpole that marks the end. The heroic plumber runs automatically and the player taps on the screen to make him jump, but there seems to be a more nuance to it than something like Temple Run. Longer taps make Mario jump higher, as does bouncing off of enemies, and you’ll have to strategically mix up your timings and leaps to collect all the coins that line each stage. There will also be a competitive mode where you can challenge your friends’ high scores and compete for the adoration of Toads.
From the sounds of the official Nintendo press release, users will be able to download and try Super Mario Run for free, and then make a single standard payment to unlock the rest of it and play without having to worry about more in-app purchases. The game is set to launch on iPhone and iPad in December. No mention was made as to whether it‘ll be exclusive to Apple’s newest devices—including the iPhone 7—but Nintendo’s official screenshots are labeled as having come from an iPhone 6s Plus and an iPad Pro.
No plans to bring it to other platforms were announced, but both Tim Cook and Nintendo’s press release were careful to say it will be available “first” on the App Store, leaving room for the possibility of an eventual version for Android or Nintendo’s upcoming NX console. It also notes that the previously announced Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem mobile games are scheduled to be released before the end of March 2017.