Mario Kart Tour is a mobile game in the Mario Kart series. First announced during a financial briefing on January 31, 2018, it is the third Mario mobile game overall, following Super Mario Run and Dr. Mario World, and the 16th installment in the Mario Kart series.
Like Super Mario Run, it is free-to-start from the App Store and Google Play. Unlike Super Mario Run and similar to that of Dr. Mario World, the game more heavily incorporates a free-to-play microtransaction mechanic, where players have restrictions and timers unless they spend some of the various types of currencies in-game, as well as having loot boxes in the form of items being launched out of pipes.
The game reuses many assets from Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, and Mario Kart 8, as well as returning gameplay mechanics such as gliding and character specific special items. In addition, the game introduces some features new to the Mario Kart franchise such as reverse tracks and ability to deploy a large amount of any item during a race, including Spiny Shells and Bullet Bills.
On April 23, 2019, Nintendo opened applications for participating in a closed beta test of the game to Android users in North America and Japan, which began on May 22, 2019 and ended on June 4, 2019.
The game officially launched for both iOS and Android devices on September 25, 2019 in 163 territories, which covers nearly the same roster of availability as Super Mario Run, with the exceptions of Belgium and Vietnam, the former of which banned games with loot boxes in 2019. Users who pre-registered acquired the game a day early.
The mobile iteration of Mario Kart sticks to the series' formula of characters racing each other on tracks and using items to their advantage. What's new though is the control mechanic designed for the touch-screen mobile devices - the character drives in auto-pilot and all the player has to do is to stroke the screen left or right to steer, and simply tap the items to use them.
The game features a more simplified cast of the most popular characters of the Super Mario franchise, in contrast to the extravagant roster of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; there are three new additions though which are Pauline, Peachette, and a musician costume for Mario. Each character have their own dedicated cup and favourite tracks, and their special items (a mechanism revived from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!).
Other principal elements of Mario Kart such as item boxes are featured along with tricks and gliding mechanics. Cups are also included but have been modified in this edition of Mario Kart; they're now named after each of the characters instead of classic Super Mario items, and there are 16 of them altogether with each featuring three. A new innovation is featured called a 'Frenzy', where drivers become invincible and can use multiple dosages of their favoured item for a short time.
As is customary with Mario Kart series, the game features a range of different difficulty tiers (50cc, 100cc, 150cc plus 200cc); with each tier the speed of the karts rises. The game begins with 50cc but the other tiers are unlocked later in the gameplay - except for 200cc, which has to be bought with real money.
The game comes included with its own currency in the form of rubies and Grand Stars, which are gathered from the end of races in order to unlock more cars, characters and vehicles which are randomly shot up from the green pipe. This system is operated on a loot box model, much like the other mobile games.
New York Tour (Launch)
- Baby Mario
- Baby Peach
- Baby Daisy
- Koopa Troopa
- Shy Guy
- Dry Bones
- Donkey Kong
- Diddy Kong
- Metal Mario
- Mario (Musician)
- Dry Bowser
- Baby Rosalina
- Bowser Jr.
- Peach (Kimono)
- Mario (Hakama)
New York Tour
(September 25, 2019 - October 9, 2019)
(October 9, 2019 - October 23, 2019)
|Rosalina Cup||Lakitu Cup||Toad Cup||Peach Cup|
|Tokyo Blur T||3DS Neo Bowser City||3DS Shy Guy Bazaar||GCN Yoshi Circuit R|
|3DS Mario Circuit||SNES Mario Circuit 2||3DS Toad Circuit||SNES Rainbow Road|
|SNES Rainbow Road||GCN Yoshi Circuit||SNES Choco Island 2||3DS Mario Circuit|
|Ready, Set, Rocket Start||Ring Race||Do Jump Boosts||Break Items Boxes|
- The game includes a wide variety of kart parts divided between the karts and gliders and categorized in terms of rarity; Normal, Super and High-End. The higher rarity parts are worth more points and tend to have better stats. Some of the kart parts are exclusive to spotlight banners during each tour. The parts have built-in stat bonuses with karts affecting things the driver does while the glider improves the chance of certain items from item boxes. Each part also has a bonus depending on the course and tour with the spotlight parts having many more than the regular parts.
Mario Kart Tour was announced in January 2018 by Nintendo's president and CEO, Tatsumi Kimishima, during an investor meeting. The game was later announced to have been delayed to summer 2019 during the January 2019 financial report.
In late April 2019, Nintendo launched beta signups for the game with a closed beta happening from May 22 to June 4. The beta is limited to Android devices for users in the United States and Japan with Nintendo Accounts linked to their Gmail account.
Initial impressions of the beta have been mixed. Journalists have praised the gameplay and graphics, but have criticized the free-to-play gacha elements of the game. Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica has compared the game's in-app purchases to Spiny Shells, blowing up the classic Mario Kart experience. He has suggested that "the developers pick a side: attach an annoying economy to a deeper control scheme and more legitimate online options, or make it cheaper and less obnoxious to watch Mario drive himself". Ethan Gach of Kotaku has also stated that the game is "a mostly faithful but stripped-down recreation of Mario Kart decked out with all the microtransactions and lottery mechanics mobile games are infamous for" and also lamenting the lack of a multiplayer mode. Steven Asarch of Newsweek has complained about the game's "freemium greed" and that it is "ruined by microtransactions".
Pre-release and unused content
The beta version of the game saw multiple changes in the final game. The stamina element was removed, and the timers restricting access to certain cups can be sped up using quick tickets. Additionally, rubies were originally emeralds.
References to other games
- Super Mario Kart - Mario Circuit 1, Choco Island 2, and Rainbow Road appear as returning courses.
- Mario Kart 64 - Koopa Troopa Beach and Kalimari Desert appear as returning courses. The results theme is an arrangement of the winning results theme from this game.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit - Bowser Castle 1 appears as a returning course.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Special Items return. Yoshi Circuit and Dino Dino Jungle appear as returning courses. The Turbo Yoshi, Koopa Dasher, and Bullet Blaster return as karts.
- Mario Kart DS - Waluigi Pinball and DK Pass appear as returning courses. The Mushmellow and Royale return as karts. Challenges with unique objectives return as the fourth and final races in every cup.
- Mario Kart Wii - The Daytripper, Super Blooper, and Flame Flyer return as karts.
- Mario Kart 7 - Toad Circuit, Daisy Hills, Cheep Cheep Lagoon, Shy Guy Bazaar, Mario Circuit, and Rock Rock Mountain appear as returning courses. The Birthday Girl and Soda Jet return as karts, and the Barrel Train retains its design from this game. The Swooper returns as a glider. The Lucky Seven appears as a Special Item.
- Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Many characters' animations are reused from this game. The Mach 8, Badwagon, and Prancer return as karts, and the B Dasher retains its design from this game. The Parafoil, Peach Parasol, and Flower Glider return as gliders, retaining their design from this game. The Boomerang Flower and Super Horn return as items.
- Super Mario Odyssey - Musician Mario is derived from Mario's Musician outfit from this game. The Yellow Taxi is based on the taxis from this game. Pauline's voice clips reference her singing from this game.
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Peachette appears as a playable character.
|Mario Kart games|
|Console games||Super Mario Kart • Mario Kart 64 • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! • Mario Kart Wii • Mario Kart 8 • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe|
|Handheld games||Mario Kart: Super Circuit • Mario Kart DS • Mario Kart 7 • Mario Kart Tour|
|Arcade games||Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005) • Arcade GP 2 (2007) • Arcade GP DX (2013) • Arcade GP VR (2017)|
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