Miyamoto unveils Nintendo's first Mario game for mobile - and it's a runner

Miyamoto unveils Nintendo's first Mario game for mobile - and it's a runner
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

September 8th 2016 at 10:09AM

Legendary game designer shows off aptly-titled Super Mario Run at Apple’s iPhone 7 reveal event

Although the idea of Nintendo making mobile games has just about settled into public acceptance, it was still perhaps a shock to some when the company’s famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto walked onto the stage during Apple’s latest iPhone announcement event.

The co-creator of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Star Fox likely dropped jaws further when he confirmed what many had once considered impossible: Mario is coming to mobile.

Not just that, but Mario’s mobile debut is also to take Nintendo into a completely new genre of game: the ‘endless’ runner.

Super Mario Run is an auto-runner built around a simple ‘tap to jump’ control scheme that can be operated with just one hand, giving players “the freedom to play while riding the subway or, my favourite, eating a hamburger,” Miyamoto added.

The free-to-start title – on which Miyamoto is heading up design – features a single in-app purchase, which will unlock the remainder of the game beyond a trial slice.

Super Mario Run follows Nintendo’s first steps into the mobile market with Miitomo and the incredibly successful Pokémon Go, and precedes previously announced spin-offs of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing set for release by the end of March 2017.

The game is due out this December. An Android launch for the game wasn’t confirmed – hardly a surprise given the timing at the iPhone 7 launch event.

"Mario has evolved whenever he has encountered a new platform," Miyamoto observed.

"For the first time ever, players will be able to enjoy a full-fledged Super Mario game with just one hand, giving them.”