The long-awaited Mario Kart Tour has finally arrived on mobile on whilst this addition to the long-standing Nintendo franchise is distinctly different from any other Mario Kart title it is pretty damn good.
I am pretty confident that everyone on earth knows what Mario Kart is. Heck, even non-gamers know and are probably excited for this to finally arrive on mobile.
The first difference you will notice with Mario Kart Tour is the controls. Your Kart now automatically accelerates around the track as you swipe left and right to steer and tap to fire weapons behind or swipe up to fire them forward.
While the controls have been incredibly simplified they work extremley well. There are two steering styles. Steer has your kart turning round corners normally whilst drift has you jumping straight into a power slide.
The biggest difference is the points mechanic. Actually finishing first in a race isn’t the goal in Mario Kart Tour, attaining points is. You begin each race by choosing your driver, kart and glider.
Each course offers different multiplier bonuses for using certain selections. Drivers, karts and gliders can also be upgraded to gain more points. Points are awarded for finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd but you can also accrue points for a wide range of actions.
Rocket starts, jumps, gliding, hitting over drivers, boosts etc all gain points in a race. They can even be strung together to form a combo in order to gain even more points.
This makes for a fun, manic race as you try to gain as many points as possible on each track. This gives you a bigger appreciation for each track and makes you actively figure out the most rewarding routes.
In one race I finished 6th on the first attempt at the track but earned 7,600 points more than enough for the 5,600 points needed to gain all grand stars for that race.
Speaking of Grand Stars. Each race offers 5 grand stars. Each obtained by reaching a point target. Collect enough stars and you unlock the next 4 event cup.
Each cup is made up of thre races and one challenge. Challenges can be something as simple as performing a rocket start to slightly more tricky such as getting 12 jump boosts in a single lap.
Drivers, Karts and Gliders are unlocked via presents when reaching certain grand star milestones or from the New York Pipe. Each use of the pipe cost 5 rubies the in-game currency of Mario Kart Tour. Ruby packages start from £1.99 for 3 rubies up to £64.99 for 135 rubies.
It is possible to progress through the game without buying anything. Rubies and gifts are earned fairly often. Experience is limited for the day but at a decent point.
There is no energy to recharge or lives to use so you can race all day long and try to beat your scores and those of your friends. There is plenty of content from races to daily and tour challenges all updated regularly.
It looks and plays wonderfully too The only issue I have with Mario kart is the monthly subscription.
Priced at £4.99 a month it feels a little steep for a mobile game. The gold pass allows you to receive gold gifts after completing races, allows you to earn gold badges but more importantly unlocks 200cc mode. Yep, thats right the hardest difficulty is locked away behind a subscription!
You can take advantage of a two-month trial but the fact the hardest mode is locked behind a paywall darkens what is otherwise a great mobile gaming experience.
There is no doubt Mario Kart tour is going to be a great hit. I have already recommended it to plenty of friends and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this article.