Nintendo Dreaming: Super Mario Bros. Meets Temple Run

By now, you've played or at least heard of Temple Run, Imangi Studios' insanely popular mobile game for iOS and Android. The developer is primarily responsible for kicking off the endless runner craze that's taken the App Store and Google Play marketplace by storm, with a plethora of clones that follow the same basic formula: the character constantly runs forward, and players swipe or tilt to make the hero move in various directions, jump and slide. Some titles even let gamers shoot by tapping the screen.

This image from Super Mario Galaxy 2 shows what a Temple Run style Mario game may look like.

With this in mind, we think Nintendo should take a page from Temple Run and design a unique game for 3DS and/or Wii U starring Mario. The more we think about this, the more it makes perfect sense. The pudgy plumber has made a career of exploring the Mushroom Kingdom in search of Princess Peach by navigating his way through a variety of memorable environments. Along the way, he's collected millions of gold coins, stomped Goombas and defeated countless Koopa Troopas with help from the reliable Fire Flower, all classic ingredients that perfectly fit the Temple Run mold.

Just imagine a downloadable 3D game with Mario constantly running towards different checkpoints or goals, complete with a behind-the-back perspective. In his way are various enemies from the Super Mario Bros. universe, and you must avoid these creatures at all costs while gathering tons of gold coins along the way. Then, at certain points, you're able to acquire a power-up to turn the tide, so to speak. Items would include the aforementioned Fire Flower, but also the invincibility star and Tanooki Suit, which would let you kill baddies with his tail. We could even see the developers throw in a few surprises, like Yoshi or vehicles from the Mario Kart series.

There's truly a wealth of possibilities, especially when it comes to levels, and it would be sweet to watch Mario run through stages from all his games. One moment, he explores World 1-1 from the original Super Mario Bros., and the next, he dashes through a board inspired by Super Mario Sunshine. Meanwhile, familiar Mario tunes play in the background, depending on the current stage.

OK, we'll let Luigi be in the game too.

Whether in-app purchases factor into the equation (we vote no) is up in the air, but we'd love to see a shop where players could pick up various items using the coins acquired during play. Specifically extra lives, new suits and other goodies.

Granted, this game would pale in comparison to Mario's meatier adventures, but we think it would still achieve critical and commercial acclaim, largely because of its user-friendly controls and homage to the mascot's excellent library of hits. Although it's a pipedream for now, a Temple Run-style Mario adventure definitely sounds appealing.

And now for some Temple Run...