Review: Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart has been a major racing franchise since its first release and has continued to be a family favorite for over 25 years. Nintendo has released the games on almost every one of their consoles, but Mario Kart Tour is the game’s first debut onto the mobile gaming scene. 

Mario Kart Tour takes a different approach to the game, offering a more select, unlockable roster of characters than previous games. Along with the transition to mobile, it lost a majority of its large selection of characters such as Link and Rosalina as well as many karts and game mechanics. 

Even with the loss of these features, the game remains a smash hit. From the game’s launch on September 25, the game amassed over 10 million downloads on the first day and has continued to grow ever since. Claiming the spot of Nintendo’s biggest mobile game within the first week, Mario Kart beat Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. 

The game is played with a simple swipe of the finger, used for drifting, turning, and using items. Different from previous titles, the game also has a paid currency used to spin for unlockable characters and items. This paid feature is a staple of mobile games. While providing a way for Nintendo to profit off the game, it limits the gameplay experience for players not willing to spend money. While it’s easier to play by spending money, users can still move up the stages to unlock the currency. The game offers more challenging ways to attain the in-game currency, so players can continue playing for free. 

Mario Kart’s move to mobile has been widely successful because of the title’s accessibility. Previously the Mario Kart series was available exclusively for Nintendo consoles. Now that it can be played on most mobile devices, more players are willing to give the game a try. While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available on the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart Tour provides a true, easy, and mobile experience. 

Mario Kart Tour is definitely not the definitive way to play Mario Kart, but it offers a convenient way to try out the series from your mobile device. Even with the limited gameplay mechanics and loss of characters and items, the game still providing an enjoyable playing experience.