Video game news site Gamespot reports that Nintendo has announced the release date for "Super Mario Run" today, while also posting a gameplay introduction video on the Nintendo Mobile Youtube channel. This will be Nintendo’s second game for mobile platforms (the first one was "Miitomo", which was released on March 17 this year) and the first Mario title to be available for smartphones!

Nintendo goes mobile

The video game giant has always been shy when it came to porting their videogame franchises on other platforms, out of fear that a lack of exclusivity to their consoles or handhelds will result in poor sales for their electronic products.

However, before his death last year (due to medical complications caused by a bile duct tumor), Satoru Iwata was seriously considering that Nintendo should enter the mobile market, as evidenced by the fact that he had an important role in the development of "Pokemon Go". In fact, it is the success of that game (which was developed by Niantic) that has given the company an incentive to pursue fortune on the mobile market as well.

Although "Pokemon Go" was not directly developed by Nintendo, the simple fact that the game was associated with the Japanese company resulted in a 10% rise in their share prices. By July 14, the shares would rise to as high as 50%, which resulted in an increase of Nintendo’s market value by $9 billion USD.

Because of this, Nintendo is now seriously considering bringing more of their franchises for mobile platforms such as Android or iOS, and "Super Mario Run" is one of their key upcoming games.

Not just a simple mobile game

"Super Mario Run" is an auto run platformer, similar to other games such as "Temple Run." However, Nintendo is not simply taking a proven concept and slapping the Mario name on it.

From the gameplay video that they released today in tandem with the announcement, you can see that the game mechanics are much more complex that those of similar games. For example, while Mario will indeed automatically run as in most games of this genre, the jumping will be much more refined. Tapping the touchscreen will make Mario jump, while holding your thumb will make him jump higher.

This deceptively simple mechanic brings a realm of complexity that other mobile games lack. From the video it also seems that Mario has retained his ability to wall-jump (he’ll hug a wall when jumping and then spring in the opposite direction)

The game will sport three different game modes. Besides the main game mode, which plays like a traditional Mario game (minus the automatic running of course), there will also be a “Toad Rally” game mode in which players will have to compete against “ghosts” and beat their times, and a “Kingdom Builder” mode, where players can customize their very own Mushroom Kingdom, using the coins they earn in the other two modes. The graphic style is very similar to that of the "New Super Mario Bros." games which were previously released by Nintendo on their consoles and handhelds, which shows that the developers are taking great care with the aesthetic presentation as well.

The game uses a free-to-play model, but in order to get full access to all the features, players will need to pay $10. It is currently unknown if the game will require any further microtransactions.

"Super Mario Run" arrives on December 15, 2016, on Apple iOS and Android devices.