The Legend of Zelda is not fit for Smartphones

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As we turn our attention to the recent Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp news, it’s important to note that every major Nintendo franchise has seen its own release on smartphones except for one: The Legend of Zelda. This begs the question of whether or not we will ever see a Zelda title on smartphones. In short, I don’t believe so…at least not in its current format.

Find out why after the break...

Now before I get into any specifics, it’s important to try to describe what I believe a good smartphone game is. A good mobile phone game is interactive, fun, and can easily be picked up or put down with roughly 5 minutes of your time invested into each play session. These play sessions could be on your morning bus commute, or even during the commercials of your favorite TV show. A good mobile phone game is not something you have to dedicate a serious amount of time to, otherwise then it would deserve to be its own standalone console game. One of the most popular smartphone games, Angry Birds, did not require anything more than 30 seconds of your time to play one level. In essence, the most popular smartphone games have a quick experience that anyone can enjoy with minimal effort.

Editor Note: The Legend of Zelda: Mobile Edition - A Hit in the Making!

Going off of my framework detailed above, I do not think you can turn The Legend of Zelda into a smartphone game. The entire experience of a core Zelda game goes against everything that makes mobile phone games good. It’s not quick, you can’t just pick it up and play it for 5 minutes at a time, and sometimes, it’s not even fun. Now I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again, but in my opinion, the overall format for The Legend of Zelda does not mesh well with the idea of a smartphone game.

Furthermore, one of the worst things for a mobile phone game is a defined end point, or the idea that you have experienced all there is to experience. The best examples of games without endpoints are Flappy Bird and Temple Run. The idea in both games was to get as far along the path as possible. There was no actual end point. The Legend of Zelda, however; always has a defined end point, wherein you’ve gone through all of the dungeons and defeated all of the bosses.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Super Mario Run had a defined endpoint, as do all Mario games. Angry Birds also had a defined endpoint, but the difference between these games and say Breath of the Wild, is that because each level was so short, it was easily forgettable, and could be replayed and enjoyed again and again while trying your best to achieve a higher score.

As I have hopefully made clear, the traditional Zelda format cannot be turned into a smartphone game. The question then becomes all about being able to deliver a Zelda-like experience with extremely different game mechanics. I don’t know that would work, but if anyone can figure it out, it’s Nintendo; they were able to keep a lot of the core mechanics of Animal Crossing in Pocket Camp after all.

If you have any ideas for a mobile phone Legend of Zelda game, please let us know in the comments sections below!

About the Author: Christopher Weil

The 2006 Time Magazine person of the year, born in Toronto, Canada, Christopher developed a passion for gaming at a young age. His favorite franchise has always been The Legend of Zelda, but he can also usually be found playing SimRacing games such as iRacing. He's in university studying mechanical engineering and looking to start his own 3D printing business.

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