Starting in April with Yoshi, Nintendo's got a cavalcade of major games scheduled for 2019.
  • Nintendo is hitting its stride with the Nintendo Switch, and 2019 is full of huge new games for the popular game console.
  • Starting in March with "Yoshi's Crafted World" and culminating in the launch of a huge new Pokémon game in "late 2019," it's a great year to be a Switch owner.
  • But even if you don't have a Switch, Nintendo's got two major smartphone games in the works - including, for the first time ever, a "Mario Kart" smartphone game.

After two years of momentous sales and dozens of major game launches, the Nintendo Switch is comfortably hitting its stride.

And, in 2019, Nintendo's hottest console in years is getting some of its biggest games yet: a brand-new Pokémon, a major Mario sequel, and an adorable new Yoshi project. Even if you don't own a Nintendo Switch just yet, Nintendo's got major games for you too on smartphones!

Here's a rundown of Nintendo's big plans for 2019:

1. "Yoshi's Crafted World"

Like "Yoshi's Island" for the Super Nintendo, "Yoshi" for the Switch is a platformer starring Yoshi. He can pause to aim and throw eggs at enemies, or he can consume them, or he can leap into the air and butt stomp down. Yoshi is versatile!

In the new "Yoshi" game, you'll be able to walk into the background, and occasionally switch up the entire orientation of levels. In so many words, it's a new spin on the classic 2D formula.

Release date: March 29, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

2. "Super Mario Maker 2"

One of the best 2D "Super Mario" games ever made isn't just a game, but a creation tool: "Super Mario Maker" on Wii U enabled millions of players to create their own "Super Mario" levels, test them, and then share them all over the world.

In June, Nintendo plans to release the second game in that series with "Super Mario Maker 2."

Like in the first "Super Mario Maker," you're able to create your own 2D "Super Mario" levels using objects from a variety of "Super Mario" games - goombas and koopas and chain chomps from across decades of "Super Mario" history.

While the first "Super Mario Maker" offered objects from "Super Mario Bros.," "Super Mario Bros. 3," "Super Mario World," and "New Super Mario Bros. U," it looks like "Super Mario Maker 2" will also allow the use of objects from "Super Mario 3D World" - including the various "suits" from that game.

Release date: June 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

3. "Dr. Mario World"

"Dr. Mario World" is a free-to-play puzzle game based on the long line of "Dr. Mario" puzzle games from Nintendo.

Like previous Nintendo games on smartphones, "Dr. Mario World" is being developed in collaboration with third-party partners - in this case, it's the Japanese social media company Line and the Korean game development studio NHN Entertainment.

So, uh, what is it? We don't know too much just yet, but it sounds like a traditional color-matching puzzle game along the lines of previous "Dr. Mario" games. One twist: it'll be free-to-play. Nintendo describes it as "free to download with optional in-app purchases."

Release date: Early summer 2019

Platform(s): Apple and Android devices

4. "Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order"

Despite the "Marvel" name right there in the title, don't expect "Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order" to be a blockbuster affair along the lines of the Marvel films.

Instead, it's a long-anticipated sequel to a cooperative, dungeon-crawling game series starring the Marvel superheroes. This time, the Guardians of the Galaxy are part of the fun as you take down countless bad guys from an isometric perspective.

As ever, Thanos is the baddest bad guy of them all here, and you're tasked with stopping his plans to destroy the universe. No pressure!

Release date: Summer 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

5. "Mario Kart Tour"

"Mario Kart" has been a big deal for more than 25 years. And now - finally- it's coming to smartphones.

The game is "Mario Kart Tour," and it's now scheduled to arrive at some point this summer.

So, what is "Mario Kart Tour"? That remains to be seen - Nintendo has yet to show anything beyond the logo seen above.

You can tell from the naming convention that "Mario Kart Tour" is its own thing, separate from the main thread of "Mario Kart" games that have come out on Nintendo consoles exclusively. "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is the most recent entry in the main series. "Mario Kart Tour" is expected to be a side game, like "Mario Kart Arcade GP."

That the game isn't a numbered entry isn't the only indication that it's a spin-off - the fact that it's for a smartphone, not one of Nintendo's consoles, is another big indicator. We'll find out soon enough!

Release date: Summer 2019

Platform(s): Apple and Android devices

6. "Luigi's Mansion 3"

If you're old like me, you may remember playing an early Nintendo GameCube game named "Luigi's Mansion." It came out way back in 2001!

It wasn't anything like a typical Super Mario game - instead of jumping on Goombas and clearing treacherous gaps, Luigi was sneaking around a haunted mansion with a flashlight and a vacuum. His goal: stun the villainous ghosts with his flashlight, then vacuum them up. Naturally!

The game got a sequel, many years later: "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" for the Nintendo 3DS console. But the series has been absent from a Nintendo home console since that original game. Soon, in 2019, a third entry in the series is finally coming: "Luigi's Mansion 3."

Release date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

7. "Animal Crossing" for Switch

A brand new "Animal Crossing"? Yes, a brand new "Animal Crossing"! If there's one game that Nintendo Switch owners have been

g for, it's a new "Animal Crossing" game.

The beloved home-making game that's endeared itself to so many fans across nearly 20 years is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. The tiny bit of a tease that Nintendo offered during its Nintendo Direct presentation isn't intended to directly represent gameplay, but I'd be surprised if it didn't look similar when the game arrives at some point in 2019.

Release date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

8. "Bayonetta 3"

The "Bayonetta" games are a throwback to the "Devil May Cry" and "Ninja Gaiden" era of action games, which focused on lightning-fast reaction and control mastery. The better you took out a bunch of bad guys, the more the game would reward you - those systems are then surrounded by a delightfully crazy story. In the case of "Bayonetta," she's a super-tall witch with guns in her feet. Sure!

Regardless of the often extremely silly trappings of the "Bayonetta" universe, the series is critically acclaimed. Nintendo is doubling down on its commitment to "Bayonetta" by getting the third game in the series as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

After announcing the game in December 2017, we've heard little about "Bayonetta 3." 2019 is a prime time to go into more detail on - and maybe even release - the next major "Bayonetta" game.

Release date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

9. "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening"

The Game Boy classic "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening" was an incredible achievement when it arrived on Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console in 1993. It felt and played almost as well as the Super Nintendo game "The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past," despite running on far less powerful hardware.

More than 25 years later, Nintendo is finally giving "Link's Awakening" the re-master treatment it deserves: The game is getting a gorgeous update on the Nintendo Switch at some point in 2019.

Release date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

10. "Pokémon Sword and Shield"

Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch - prepare yourself!

Indeed, Nintendo is developing "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield" for the Nintendo Switch. Not spin-offs, like "Pokémon Stadium" or "Pokémon Snap" way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry. As is typical for main series "Pokémon" games, there are two versions ("Sword" and "Shield").

The game is set in a new region, known as Galar, and it features the new art style that looks similar to the "Pokémon Let's Go!" games that arrived in late 2018. It also features new Pokémon, new trainers, and a totally new story.

With a launch window set for late 2019, "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield" are likely to be the biggest Nintendo games of the year.

Release date: "Late" 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch 

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