Nintendo were once adamant that they would never release a mobile game... How long that lasted! Since then, we’ve gotten six games from the company, with Mario Kart Tour coming soon. With how lucrative these mobile games can be, Nintendo is working on consistently releasing new titles on mobile. Today, we’re going to be ranking every app that they’ve released so far. Oh no, we aren’t just doing games. We’re talking about that app, too. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
7 Nintendo Switch Online
Hi there. Remember her? Even though Fortnite of all things has proved that voice chat is possible on the Nintendo Switch console natively, Nintendo is still pushing this app. While it has a few other features, such as exclusive Splatoon 2 cosmetics and the ability to browse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate custom stages, the main feature of this app is to allow for voice chat to be used in tandem with the Nintendo Switch. So… it allows for phone calls, which seems a little pointless. The Nintendo Switch online app is plainly not fun and unnecessary, making it the worst Nintendo app so far. The Discord app exists.
Nintendo’s first weird… very weird jump into mobile games was Miitomo. In Miitomo, you created a Mii, gave them a voice, and then answered questions. That’s really about it. You connected with your friends, who could ask any question they want of you, and your Mii would read out your responses in the voice that you picked for them. Despite the sheer amount of voices available to pick, it just… no. None were okay. There were other aspects of the game, such as different costumes you could collect for your Mii and a photo mode, but the connectivity between friends is where the game really shined.
Unfortunately, the app’s usage dropped incredibly quickly, and thus, there really wasn’t much left to do just a few months after the app opened, which led to Nintendo shutting down the quirky little service in May of 2018. There certainly was fun to be had with the game, but nowhere near the content needed to keep it going. At least they refunded everyone who had ever made any in-game purchases.
5 Dragalia Lost
A strange member of the Nintendo mobile bunch, Dragalia Lost was Nintendo’s first mobile IP that never appeared on one of their consoles first. With this in mind, it very much fits the mold of a mobile game. An action-adventure title with a surprisingly large (very large) amounts of narrative, has you going on a journey with a party of heroes that you can control. You can control one character at a time, with the AI handling the rest. While the game works well and is a fun time, it’s nothing new. It doesn’t bring to the table what all the other Nintendo properties do, it’s kind of stale. Of course, it has all of the microtransaction trappings (gacha summons, stamina, etc.) that you would expect, but as with most Nintendo mobile outings, it’s really not that bad. Overall, Dragalia Lost is fine, but nothing special.
4 Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Give me a bug and three apples please. That’s it. That’s Pocket Camp. Okay, there’s a little more to it, but calling Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp an Animal Crossing lite version is really just an incorrect statement. While there are some cute interactions to have with villagers, the only activities that you can do in this game are give people things to make them like you (you gotta win ‘em over somehow) and decorate your camper. Both fun things to do, but they also in no way make a complete game, making Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp kind of a dud. It’s fun, but not enough to sustain an active playerbase.
3 Dr. Mario World
Dr. Mario is a game that is perfectly suited to the mobile world. The game functions exactly how you’d expect, it’s a Dr. Mario game. Except there’s one small difference… it is filled with microtransactions.
But it gets better, it’s all of the microtransactions that no one wants! Stamina, gacha mechanics, power-ups, all of the worst trappings of a mobile game. Sure, it’s fun, but so is Candy Crush (says millions of moms). No one wants to pay to continue playing a game, they’ve already got seven other mobile games to switch to. It’s Dr. Mario, so if you like that you’ll like this app.
2 Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes is, well it’s pretty good. It’s Fire Emblem on a mobile phone. Sound unfulfilling? It is. The maps are made large enough to only fit the phone screen, and thus there’s very little strategy to the game. However, it is still a nice dose of Fire Emblem on the go, and there is a lot to do in the game. There’s an entire story mode, and the gacha mechanics center on summoning your favorite heroes from past Fire Emblem titles. There’s tons of daily events and competitions to compete in as well. Since it is Nintendo’s most successful game, they certainly keep the events coming. Is it worth sinking 100 hours into? No. Is it fun to spend time on in short bursts? Absolutely.
1 Super Mario Run
Super Mario Run is about the best conversion to mobile phones that you could hope for from the Mario series. The (for some ungodly reason) portrait mode game has you tapping away at the screen to make Mario jump, as he runs forward on his own. The game is chock full of content. A very lite kingdom builder, an endless mode, a small campaign, a versus mode, new characters to unlock, there’s an endless amount of things to do in the game. This was also a great time in our lives when Nintendo thought it was appropriate to charge a one-time, $10 fee to unlock the entire game. This made literally no sense business wise, but it sure was good for us. Did Nintendo kind of squander their most popular series’ chance at hitting a home run financially on mobile? Yeah. But we got a good game out of it!