Nintendo appears to be keeping with the trend of putting their IPs where they’ve never been before with the upcoming “Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition”.
Puzzle & Dragons, a free-to-play mobile game, is a combination of monster catching games like Pokemon and match-three games. t’s available internationally, but is very popular in Japan. Perhaps that would then explain why Nintendo announced today that they would be working with Gungho Online Entertainment to create a version of the game for 3DS, but using the Mario properties instead of a straight port of the original title. You can see gameplay of the title here, albeit in Japanese:
From the video we can glean that there will be some sort of story mode, and instead of dragons you will be collecting the various creatures of the Mushroom Kingdom- goombas, koopas, and the like. Otherwise, the gameplay for the game will stay the same as the mobile game– match three gems on the bottom screen to do damage to the enemies on the top screen. Most importantly though is that while Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will be selling for around $33 (4,000 yen in Japan), it will not contain any of the in-app purchases that are found in the mobile game. This could end up being a major selling point for the game, as it will offer a flat up-front cost rather than progressive small costs throughout.
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is set to be released in Japan on April 29, but it is not known if Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will be released outside of Japan. While Puzzle & Dragons does have a respectable audience in North America– 3 million players is nothing to sneeze at– it does not have anywhere near the audience it has in Japan with a staggering total of 18 million, almost 15% of the country’s population. So, barring a push towards the end of the year, it will likely stay in Japan.