A major update to Super Mario Run, which, according to a feature on the App Store, was scheduled for release tomorrow, debuted a day early. The update features a brand new mode called Remix 10, a new World Tour course, and more.
The goal in Remix 10 is to find Princess Daisy by navigating 10 short courses that change each time you play. Regardless of whether you complete a level, you move onto the next until you finish all ten. There are new items in Remix 10 that you can collect to decorate your Mushroom Kingdom. Princess Daisy, who features a double jump ability, is also a playable character who is unlocked after playing through enough Remix 10 levels. The new mode is an interesting twist on the existing game that works well on mobile for when you may not have as much time to play or just want to practice the game.
A new World Star level has been added to World Tour mode that is accessible after you complete the first six worlds. World Star features all new courses like a forest and ship packed with coins.
There are other small enhancements to Super Mario Run too. For example, if you listen to music while playing, the characters will appear wearing headphones. Also, new buildings are available for your Mushroom Kingdom by playing Bonus Games in Remix 10.
Super Mario Run is available on the App Store. Through October 12th, the price of Super Mario Run’s In-App Purchase has been reduced from $9.99 to $4.99.
On Friday, July 21st, Nintendo will release Splatoon 2, one of its marquee titles for the Switch console, which will be the first game to take advantage of the Nintendo Switch Online app for iOS. The app is available to download now, but won’t be of much use until Splatoon 2 is released Friday. In the meantime, you can download the app, sign into your Nintendo account, and review instructions on how to invite friends to play. Invitations can be sent over social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Line. The app will also allow players to chat with friends using a headset connected to their iOS device.
Nintendo Switch Online is a free download on the App Store. Nintendo’s online service is free while it is in beta, but will cost $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month when it launches in 2018.
Juli Clover writes for MacRumors about the upcoming release of Nintendo’s previously announced iOS app, which will serve as a companion to the Nintendo Switch:
During a Nintendo Direct event this morning, Nintendo announced plans to release a new “Nintendo Switch Online” app on July 21, the release date for Splatoon 2. According to Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch Online app, available for iOS and Android, is designed to “enhance your online experience for compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console.”
At launch, the only game compatible with the Nintendo Switch Online app will be Splatoon 2. The app will let users voice chat with friends, invite people to online matches, create teams, and access SplatNet 2. SplatNet2 offers up online play statistics and info on upcoming game features.
At launch all components of the new app will be free for all users, but it’s unclear how long that will last. Nintendo has stated that from some point in 2018 and beyond, its online service for the Nintendo Switch will cost $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month, and there has been no clarification to this point on which aspects of the companion app might be tied to that paid service.
On the heels of Super Mario Run’s debut on Android, Nintendo released a big update to the iOS version of the game that adds new features and refines gameplay.
Parts of Super Mario Run are free to play. Unlocking the remaining levels requires a one-time In-App Purchase. Nintendo has been criticized by some for making too few levels available for free. Version 2.0 addresses that criticism by letting players unlock courses 1-4 after completing one of Bowser’s challenges. Clear courses 1-4, and new Toad Rally courses are unlocked too.
You can now play Toad Rally with different colors of Yoshi, which will unlock Toads of that same color. Also, Nintendo’s release notes say that new buildings will be available in an upcoming event. The remainder of the updates to the game consist of tweaks to gameplay such as an expansion of the availability of Easy Mode and changes that make it easier to earn Rally Tickets for Toad’s Rally.
The update to Super Mario Run is free and available on the App Store.
Nintendo’s third iOS title, Fire Emblem Heroes, is now available on the App Store. The game, which features characters from throughout the history of the popular Fire Emblem series, is also launching on the Google Play Store today.
Nintendo describes Fire Emblem Heroes as:
A world with two kingdoms: the Emiliano Empire, which wishes to rule all worlds, and the Askran Kingdom, which stands in its way. You are a summoner with the special ability to call upon legendary Heroes from different Fire Emblem worlds. In order to save the Kingdom of Askr from destruction, join the Order of Heroes and face a never-ending challenge.
Fire Emblem Heroes comes on the heels of Nintendo’s Miitomo and Super Mario Run titles, which were released in 2016. Earlier this week, Nintendo said it intends to release 2-3 mobile games each year. The next game, a mobile version of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing franchise, was originally set for release in March, but has been delayed until sometime during Nintendo’s next fiscal year, which begins in April.
Polygon has a great preview video that is an excellent explanation of how Fire Emblem Heroes works:
Fire Emblem Heroes is a free download on the App Store with In-App Purchases.
Nintendo shared some figures about the performance of Super Mario Run, which debuted last December. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the game has been downloaded 78 million times, and 5% of users have paid $9.99 to unlock the full game, earning Nintendo more than $53 million in revenue.
Super Mario Run received an update today that adds an Easy Mode, new events, and Korean language support. The game’s Toad Rally mode was also adjusted, so you forfeit fewer toads when you lose a race. It is now easier to gather toads too.
In other Nintendo iOS news, the upcoming unnamed Animal Crossing title on iOS has been delayed until sometime during Nintendo’s next fiscal year, which begins in April. No details were provided regarding the nature of the delay. The previously-announced Fire Emblem Heroes game for iOS appears to remain on schedule for release this Thursday.
Update: After publication of this story, Nintendo of America tweeted that Fire Emblem Heroes will launch on February 2nd on both iOS and Android.
During a Nintendo Direct event today, Nintendo demonstrated its next iOS title, Fire Emblem Heroes, featuring characters from throughout the classic game series. In a somewhat surprising move, however, Nintendo said the game will launch first on Android, February 2nd. No release date was given for the game’s iOS launch; only that it will be ‘available soon.’
According to a Nintendo press release:
Fire Emblem Heroes is an original strategy RPG about two warring kingdoms in a bitter clash. As a summoner, players build their army by calling upon popular Fire Emblem heroes from worlds that span the breadth of the series. Players will wage tactical battles streamlined for on-the-go play and level up a mix of new combatants and legendary heroes. Some familiar hero characters will become allies, while others will become enemy generals. Players can enjoy the full majesty of tactical role playing on bite-sized maps designed to fit nicely on a smartphone screen, even when playing in short bursts. Players lead their armies with easy touch-and-drag controls, including the ability to attack by simply swiping an ally hero over an enemy.
Fire Emblem Heroes will be available as a free download with In-App Purchases. At the same event, Nintendo announced additional Fire Emblem titles that will be released in the future for its 3DS family of devices and the soon-to-be-released Nintendo Switch.
Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, the company posted a video earlier today showcasing the functionalities of an upcoming Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app for iPhone, which will allow parents to monitor usage of the Switch console directly from iOS.
Sam Machkovech, writing for Ars Technica, describes how the app will work:
Parents who use the app will be able to remotely monitor the full log-in and gameplay record of any child account, showing game starts, durations of play, and which games kids play. App users can also enforce gameplay time limits, and the video shows a per-day “screen time” allowance. This defaults as a baseline time-per-day rule, though parents can also choose a more granular number of hours on specific days (including a suggestion that perhaps kids get to play the Switch more on weekends).
Should a kid go over his or her allotted time, the app gives parents two options: send a on-screen warning to the child that time is up, or immediately lock the system. Nintendo is giving parents the option to let kids police their own over-time gameplay, perhaps to find a save point or other logical stoppage, but parents can send a remote account shutdown should the child disobey such an alarm’s warning. In one sequence, the video shows Bowser Jr. continuing a full hour past his alarm (the little brat). What the video doesn’t clarify, however, is whether parents will be able to send remote shutdown notices, or if they only find out about kids’ time overages after the fact.
Aside from the tiny iPhone used by Bowser in the video, the app looks fairly impressive – it can send notifications to a Switch, set daily limitations, and even display gameplay stats collected by the console. Between parental controls and the upcoming online services, it seems like Nintendo will be delegating key features of the Switch to dedicated iOS apps. Interesting strategy.
Excellent point by Sam Rosenthal on Super Mario Run:
Borrowing a staple from modern console Mario games, each level in Super Mario Run has multiple tiers of coins to collect. The coins fundamentally change the way you navigate the space, and sometimes the space itself changes to accommodate them. A just out of reach coin reminds you about the spin jump’s utility. Former obstacles are recontextualized as potential platforms.
If the game’s initial tutorial feels like a concession to a broader audience, the coins remind us why Nintendo’s game design deserves to be treasured. Even on another company’s platform, in a genre they didn’t invent, they unearth an astonishing amount of surprise and delight.
Collecting all the coins shows how Super Mario Run isn’t just “a runner game for iOS” – it’s a classic Nintendo game. There’s an ingenuity to each level that can only be appreciated by playing to get the harder coins. Seriously – if you think you’ve completed Super Mario Run by clearing all the stages, go back and try to collect all the coins. The game changes quite deeply.
Unfortunately, most people won’t even see the fourth stage. And that’s a shame, because I think Nintendo delivered a lesson in iOS game design that everyone should experience.