27/08/2019 - Mario Kart Tour Release Date Announced
Nintendo have confirmed the release date of Mario Kart Tour & is racing onto iOS and Android on the 25th of September 2019, you can pre-register your interest in the game on your respective app store.
Mario Kart Tour is probably what you expect it to be, Mario Kart but on mobile. Most of the features of old are likely to be present, but there are some notable changes that seem to have been made for the version due to hit iOS & Android in less than a month's time.
The graphics, whilst very respectable & very in keeping with the Mario universe, are understandably not as sharp as say the Switch counterpart. This will of course also vary depending on the hardware, particularly on Android devices. Experienced gamers and developers alike will probably expect this but it might take some by a little surprise.
There appears to be a trading card game like element as the primary method of unlocking new characters as well as upgrading the ones that you have. This is new for the MK series and so will be interesting to see how it pans out, and if any balance changes are made in future.
Feedback from the beta test program was a bit mixed, it seemed players like the fact that Mario Kart will be available on mobile and it's quite a good fit. However Nintendo are pushing the freemium aspect of the game really quite aggresively. Stars are awarded after each race as a method of unlocking new content, it is unclear whether these are purchasable with real money but what is clear is that there will be a stamina system limiting how much you can play before you either need to wait for stamina to refill or hand over some hard earned money to refill instantly, in a Candy Crush esque style. This is not unexpected given how most mobile games (other recent ones by Nintendo particularly) try to make their money but it would be good to see ways of earning refills in game or perhaps a bit more time before your stamina is drained.
There's also no live multiplayer, instead you race against the "ghosts" of other players lap times. This will sadden a large number of people as local or online multiplayer has been a staple of the series. Personally I expected the ghost feature to be present, but not to be the limit of the multiplayer experience. It is likely this will change over time as Nintendo wain to the gaming public's demands.
Nintendo are also enforcing some caveats before you can even play MK:WT, listed below:
- You will be required to sign up for a Nintendo account, if you do not already have one. This will become linked to an in game "registration card", the registration card's purpose is unclear presently.
- A persistent internet connection is also required, this is similar to their mobile games in the past, annoying many a gamers when their connection is spotty on the train, bus etc. I'm not sure of the reasoning why given that the multiplayer offering is initially seemingly limited.
The latest updates on the development and release of Mario Kart Tour can be found on their website and Twitter pages, linked below.