Nintendo is on track to release Dr. Mario on July 10, which will mark the launch of the game company’s fifth mobile title if you don’t count Miitomo, and no one should as that wasn’t really a game to begin with. Once Dr. Mario comes out, gamers looking for another slice of Nintendo heaven on the go will have Mario Kart Tour to look forward to which is slated for release later this Summer following its closed beta that ended back in the beginning of June.
This will be Nintendo’s sixth game, and leaves room for one more potential title between then and the end of the year as Nintendo has stated before that its goal was to release two or three mobile games a year. Keeping that in mind, let’s discuss The Legend of Zelda, one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises and one that many if not most Nintendo fans are probably awaiting more than any other. So, what’s happened to Nintendo’s Zelda mobile game?
Back in 2017 it was reported that Nintendo was working on a mobile title that would be set in the Legend of Zelda franchise, though no other details were given at the time other than the fact that it was being co-developed with DeNa who Nintendo is already working with on a number of other things relating to its mobile games.
That same report also noted that the game would be releasing sometime in 2017 and that it would be following Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. 2017 came and went with Animal Crossing in October of that year, but no Zelda mobile title. 2018 has come and gone and saw the launch of Dragalia Lost, but no Zelda mobile title.
It’s now halfway through 2019, with Dr. Mario set to be the first game from Nintendo on mobile so far this year, and there hasn’t been any word on a mobile game featuring everyone’s favorite sword wielding elf. Has Nintendo scrapped plans for the title for the time being? Was the report simply offbeat with the timing?
Chances are that Nintendo still plans to release a mobile game from the Zelda franchise. As for when that will happen it’s really anyone’s guess. There hasn’t been a peep about the game or any details surrounding it in quite some time, and it’s quite likely that the development and eventual release of both Dr. Mario and Mario Kart Tour have a lot to do with that.
The last thing that popped up even remotely close to something mobile-related with the Zelda franchise is a trademark that Nintendo is said to have applied for back in November of 2018. According to the blog Japanese Nintendo the trademark referred to The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, with wording that cites it would be used for purposes including a “program for smartphone.”
Now, it’s not very likely that Nintendo would release Spirit Tracks as a game for mobile devices as is. Spirit Tracks is already a game that was launched on the Nintendo DS originally back in 2009 and re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016. Nintendo has said that it won’t be porting games from its other consoles to mobile, so any games coming to mobile devices that involve Zelda will be just like all of Nintendo’s already released games – built from the ground up for mobile devices specifically.
This means that Spirit Tracks as it’s currently known to those that have played it probably won’t be coming to mobile devices, but Nintendo could be developing a new mobile game with this name attached to it. It’s also not impossible that Nintendo could have changed its mind about releasing a game from its other platforms onto smartphones, as it did change its mind on mobile games in general, though this is probably a less-likely scenario.
As for what kind of game a mobile Zelda title could be, Nintendo really has its pick of the litter. While most of the Zelda games have been action RPG titles they all have their own unique spin on things. All of them incorporate puzzles too, so there’s no doubt that whatever Nintendo comes up with for mobile would have to have some level of puzzle solving mechanics that players would need to think their way through.
Would it come with 3D graphics though or would it feature more retro visuals? Who knows. Nothing is really certain until Nintendo itself gives any word at all on a game with this famous franchise, and until then there is really only room to wonder.