While many of us would be rightly sceptical if our local plumber started dressing up in a long white coat, carrying a stethoscope and claiming to be a doctor, it seems we are generally less concerned by such behaviour if the plumber in question is Mario.
Nintendo’s Dr Mario game was a major hit on consoles like the Game Boy back in the 1990s and it has now been rebooted for the 21st century as a mobile title. Dr Mario World has launched in recent weeks and all of the evidence available suggests it is proving popular with gamers.
Strong first week
The title is yet another sign that Nintendo is now open to shifting away from purely creating games for its own hardware – a move it also highlighted with the release of Super Mario Run. Just like its predecessor, Dr Mario World seems to have really captured the imagination of mobile gamers, with new figures from Sensor Tower suggesting that it achieved five million downloads in its first week.
The data went on to examine where the game stood in terms of the puzzle genre and found that it recorded $500,000 in player spending across the same period. In comparison, Toon Blast achieved $90,000 in its first week, while Candy Crush Friends Saga managed $170,000 more than Dr Mario World – although Sensor Tower added that was after more pre-launch marketing.
Such figures undoubtedly highlight the enduring power of the Nintendo brand and the huge love that gamers continue to have for Mario. However, another thing it also demonstrates is how mobile gaming is undoubtedly in rude health.
A popular way to play games
So many different gaming experiences are now available on smartphone and tablet and it is fair to say that the world has changed a lot since the days of Snake on your Nokia handset. Puzzle games, strategy titles and racing experiences can be played at the touch of a button, while casino gaming is also easily accessible with sites like Moon Games giving people the chance to play on the move via a mobile site or app.
With so much choice available, it is perhaps unsurprising that research from Activision Blizzard Media and Newzoo suggests that 2.4 billion people across the world are expected to play a mobile game at some point across 2019.
The report published earlier this year went on to examine the most played mobile games in the world at the moment and while the likes of Candy Crush Saga, Pokemon Go and Fortnite dominated that list, it is interesting to note which title took fifth position – Super Mario Run.
A successful leap
When all of this is considered, it is fair to say that Mario has undoubtedly been successful in his jump from Nintendo devices to smartphones and tablets. The popularity of the character appears to endure regardless of where he pops up and it is hard to bet against Dr Mario World being a big hit.
However, it is also important to recognise the current strength of mobile gaming in general. The area is well and truly on the rise and it will be fascinating how gaming on such devices develops in the future.