Apple and Nintendo caught the mobile gaming world by complete surprise with the announcement of a brand new Super Mario title for iOS devices. In another shocking turn, Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage at Apple's media event on 7 September to introduce Super Mario Run.
The game itself takes the traditional Mario platforming gameplay and transforms it into a side-scrolling runner-type game. Players can utilise the touchscreen to make the portly plumber jump to different heights to leap over obstacles, collect golden coins and squash Goombas. Super Mario Run also includes a battle mode named Toad Rally where players compete for a high score.
Nintendo later revealed via a tweet that Super Mario Run will arrive on iOS platforms iPhone and iPad in December 2016. The mobile app will cost an initial, unspecified fee.
The partnership between Apple and Nintendo goes beyond just games, however. "We've prepared a set of Super Mario stickers for iMessage that you can send to your friends and family," said Miyamoto at the San Francisco event. "In the meantime, you can look forward to Super Mario Run."
Nintendo has made huge strides into the mobile gaming space in 2016. Social app Miitomo launched in March, but it was Nintendo's Pokémon franchise that really took smartphones by storm in July with the smash hit Pokémon Go. The location-based app with augmented reality features also showed up at Apple's keynote event, as it was revealed that egg-hatching functionality and notifications would be coming in a companion app for the Apple Watch.
In addition, the Japanese publisher later announced that its free-to-play Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem mobile games would be delayed until March 2017. The pair had previously been expected to launch in Autumn 2016.
"After the launch of Super Mario Run in December, Nintendo plans to deliver its previously announced mobile device titles in the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem series before the end of March, 2017," Nintendo said (via Polygon).
In the meantime, iPhone and iPad owners looking to grab Super Mario Run can register on Apple's App Store for notification updates regarding its availability.