“Mario Kart Tour” brings back childhood all through a single app

By Alex O'Connell

I was first introduced to video games when my mom bought me my first Nintendo DS back in second grade. Before narrative-driven games overruled my life, I was but a casual Nintendo player, and “Mario Kart DS” was my go-to. 

Fast forward to September 2019, and Nintendo is back with its newest rendition of the “Mario Kart” games: “Mario Kart Tour”.

The game hits home for many who have not touched their Nintendo consoles in years, and it targets a wider audience of players as the game is available exclusively on mobile (iOS/Android).

I pre-registered for the game earlier in the year after hearing the news about the game’s release through a friend. 

When I first booted up the game, I instantly felt this strange wave of nostalgia flow through my body. The trademark Nintendo-style music is here to stay and sounds even better coming through a more modern device. As for the art style, I am sure any fan of the franchise was as pleased as I was; it was impressive that Nintendo was able to improve the game’s graphics without changing its signature art style.

The game works as one would expect; simply swipe in the direction you wish to turn (your kart automatically accelerates) and race to be the first to cross the finish line. The game is displayed in portrait orientation, disappointing to some, but with how the controls work, it does make sense.

The game features maps from plenty of the previous games, though they do get repetitive after passing the first few playlists.

“Mario Kart Tour” is also the first of the franchise to implement those pesky micro-transactions in the forms of the Gold Pass, character packs, and Rubies (the game’s currency). 

I was disappointed that Nintendo sold out by adding micro-transactions, but they need some way to make money off of the game. After all, it is free.

You can add friends in “Mario Kart Tour”, but as of now, multiplayer with friends is unavailable. It sounds like it will be coming in a future update, so that is definitely something to look forward to, especially if you enjoy playing games with your friends.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Nintendo’s first mobile launches, but “Mario Kart Tour” seems promising in its ability to give fans a free, authentic “Mario Kart” experience on mobile devices, even with the unpopular inclusion of micro-transactions. 

The game as it stands is not what I hoped it to be, but with so many more features coming in future updates, it’s hard for me to not recommend “Mario Kart Tour” to longtime fans of the series or newcomers looking for a classic racing game to help pass the time.