Apple managed to save a surprise for its iPhone 7 press event after all: It seems Nintendo's Mario is coming to the App Store as a running game dubbed Super Mario Run.
In a historic moment at the start of the event, Nintendo luminary and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto joined Apple CEO Tim Cook onstage to demo the new game. Not a port of existing Mario titles--something that would have run in contravention of past president Satoru Iwata's thoughts on Nintendo IP on mobile devices--Super Mario Run is just what it sounds like: Nintendo's take on the running genre.
In the game, you play as Mario, who runs automatically to the right, navigating Mario-ish obstacle courses. You tap the screen to jump, and short taps trigger short jumps, while longer taps trigger higher ones. Nintendo says the game will support three discrete game modes, the first straightforward courses where you're maneuvering over obstacles and collecting coins. The second, dubbed "Toad Rally," amounts to a challenge mode in which you compete against other players' best times and "styles." And the third lets you "create your own Mushroom Kingdom" using the coins you've snatched in the prior two modes.
No, you won't have to pay to play. While Nintendo says the app will offer in-app purchases, it's not free-to-play, and will instead sell for a set price. And Nintendo says you can check it out on the App Store by the end of 2016.