• November 22, 2019
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In case you haven’t heard by now, Nintendo recently released the highly anticipated Mario Kart Tour. Mario Kart Tour is the mobile version of the wildly popular Nintendo game Mario Kart. Nintendo released the game on September 25, surpassing 10.1 million downloads around the world in its first day of release and for good reason. It was hard to find a student who wasn’t playing the first day. It’s certainly an addicting game, but is it worth a download?

Mario Kart Tour had a lot to live up to. Not only were the previous installments very popular, audiences were curious to see how Nintendo would translate the game to phone, and if it was even possible. In short, the answer was yes. The mobile version certainly seemed to live up to expectations for a number of reasons. 

The first is the concept itself. Nintendo is able to keep the game similar enough to its console counterparts, while still updating the game enough to be playable on a phone. These updates are very refreshing for audiences that have been looking for something new from the Mario Kart franchise. The graphics were also impressive for a mobile game. The game’s creators, however, couldn’t keep everything the same. This means some aspects of the app apart from the actual races have been changed. These updates, which include upgrading karts and adding friends, are a source of great debate among fans, but most of the updates are perceived as positive. Nintendo promises to add multiplayer mode later, meaning adding friends is, for now, useless, which frustrated fans that expected to be able to play with others. However, other updated aspects were regarded as useful. Karts are now unlockable not just through achievements, but using the coin system–coins and rubies are the currency of the game. Karts are also upgradable–a noticeable change from previous versions that can give players a nice advantage. Most other changes were either positive or generally paid no mind, like player ranking or driver levels.

Of course, when making a console game into a mobile game, there’s bound to be some downsides. Easily the most noticeable is the steering. Unlike other games where players would hold down a button to move forward, Mario Kart Tour does it for you. Players steer using their finger– but it’s incredibly difficult. There seems to be a small bit of lag between when the player moves their finger and when the game actually turns, often causing a player to overcompensate and be sent into a wall. Of course, being sent of a wall isn’t much of a tragedy–there are invisible walls at the edge of the track throughout each level, even at places where characters could normally fall off. This makes it close to impossible for players to “die,” as was relatively common in other Mario Kart games. While it might be a positive addition if you don’t want to die in the game, the fact that other players can’t fall off either takes away a significant advantage you may have had. 

Steering does take some getting used to, but once players get the hang of it, it’s easy to fly through the beautiful courses the game provides. The graphics and challenges are enough to get most players hooked. 

Overall, the game is a nice homage to the original with enough added touches to keep longtime fans interested.

A cartoon of playable characters in Mario Kart Tour. Nintendo included these beloved characters and more in the game, to the excitement of fans around the globe. (Photo from Nintendo Instagram)

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