Star Fox on mobile - What might it look like on iOS and Android?

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Star Fox on mobile - What might it look like on iOS and Android?

Regular readers will know that we've been running a series of features that speculate as to Nintendo's mobile plans.

Let's back up a sec for the latecomers. Nintendo has plans for mobile? Yes, that's right. They've already released Miitomo, Super Mario Run is coming out next month (Mario on mobile!), and Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem are up next.

With that in mind, it seems reasonable to wonder what some of Nintendo's most beloved franchises will look like on iOS and Android. We're basing this on what we've seen of Super Mario Run, the comments Nintendo has made on the subject, and how we think the respective franchises would translate to mobile.

Up next: everyone's favourite family-friendly space combat series (surely?), Star Fox.

What the fox that?

First things first: what exactly are we talking about when we talk about Star Fox?

While Fox McCloud and his crew have lent their likenesses to a Zelda-like adventure game in the past (and not a very good one either), Star Fox games are generally all 3D arcade shooters.

The camera is typically set behind the team's nimble Arwing fighters as they fly into the screen, with the player swooping and rolling from side to side, blasting incoming enemies and dipping through gaps in looming structures.

Levels are typically set either close to planetary surfaces or out in deep space, and the player often has a choice of paths at key moments, like a sci-fi OutRun.

So how might this translate to mobile?

Sticking to its guns

We reckon that Nintendo could nail a pretty authentic version of Star Fox on mobile. There wouldn't be any need to drastically adjust it for a mobile audience.

The reason we say this is because there are mobile precedents for this kind of game. The likes of Star Horizon and ARC Squadron (which is no longer available on the App Store, but is still there on the Google Play Store) clearly tip their hats to Star Fox, and in some style.

Both games place you in a nimble space fighter on a fixed path, flying into the screen, blasting enemies and dodging incoming fire. In both cases, swiping around the screen maps well to your fighter's movements.

Of course, we'd expect Nintendo to take things forward in terms of polish and overall quality, but such examples are enough to convince us that Star Fox's action - hardly what you'd call the deepest in Nintendo's library - could translate pretty directly to mobile without much in the way of compromise.

The Super Mario Run effect

As we've noted in earlier pieces, it's wise to consider the example of Super Mario Run in any such speculation. It's the only Nintendo mobile game we've actually seen anything of, after all, and it offers indicators of the way Nintendo is approaching gaming on a phone.

In particular, it suggests that Nintendo favours a simplified one-hand experience for its new mobile venture. What might this mean for Star Fox?

Perhaps it points to a 3D corridor runner/shooter of sorts, where the player simply drags their Arwing around the screen to avoid structures and line up their crosshairs, autoshooting and swiping to initiate barrel rolls.

Would you be happy with such a take on Star Fox? Or can you see another approach that Nintendo might take? Let us know in the comments below.