It's time to start your engines, put the pedal to the metal and hurl some red shells. That's because the long-awaited Mario Kart Tour mobile game for iOS and Android has now finally launched.
Nintendo first announced the free-to-play mobile version of its class-leading kart racing game back at the beginning of 2018. Now, many iOS users who'd pre-registered for the game are finding it already installed on their iPhones and iPads.
Everyone else can get it by simply downloading it from the iOS and Android app store. Much like previous Nintendo releases on mobile devices, you'll need to link the game to your Nintendo account in order to play – you can follow these step-by-step instructions in our how to download and play Mario Kart Tour guide.
If you're keen to try the new game, you'll want to get it straight away. That's because the game will feature temporary courses based on real-world locations that will only stick around for a short while. For example, Mario Kart Tour kicks off with a two-week stopover in New York City.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? Mario Kart on mobile!
- When can I play it? Right now
- What can I play it on? iOS and Android phones
Mario Kart Tour – when can I play it?
Mario Kart Tour is available now.
Of course, in the same way as Nintendo releases on mobile devices in the past, you'll need to link the game to your Nintendo account in order to play – you can follow these step-by-step instructions in our how to download and play Mario Kart Tour guide.
Wondering why you had to wait so long for this release? Nintendo’s mobile titles have historically been subject to delays, and given the fact that Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp are still undergoing updates, it makes sense that it's taken Nintendo this long to put the final touches on its next big mobile foray.
Mario Kart Tour price – how much does it cost?
It's completely free to start playing Mario Kart Tour right now. But there are a range of optional, in-game purchases available.
For example, you can unlock new characters, carts and items with rubies and coins. These can be earned, but you can also buy them with real money. $1.99 / £1.99 gets you 3 rubies, $5.99 / £5.99 gets you 10 rubies, and so on.
There's also an option called the Gold Pass, which gives you a few in-game items and badges while you play and also unlocks the faster racing 200cc mode. This costs $4.99 / £4.99 a month.
For those who really enjoy the game, this subscription model might make sense, but it feels like quite a lot compared to other services – you'd have to be serious about kart racing.
DeNA CEO said "Mario Kart Tour," a Nintendo-DeNA smartphone game planned for FY18, will be free-to-start.February 8, 2018
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Mario Kart Tour – which platforms is it available on?
It has been released on both iOS and Android as Nintendo's other mobile titles have been.
Mario Kart Tour – how does it play?
As we expected before the launch of Mario Kart Tour, the game is a simplified version of the Mario Kart we all know and love built for mobile. It, mostly, looks like Mario Kart but the graphics are a little simpler. There's a lot to love if you're a fan of the original game, including the same tunes and power-ups.
The biggest difference is it's all powered by your touch, which is hardly a surprise for a mobile game.
Characters automatically drive forward while you drag your finger on the screen left and right to turn.
Some items (like invincibility stars) are automatically used if you pick them up, others are activated just by touching the screen. It's a lot like how Super Mario Run, Nintendo's first mobile game, was simplified from its console versions.
You work your way through the game in the same way you do in Mario Kart on a console. There are a few races per cup event and if you get enough stars you move on to another cup.
There are a few issues other than the obvious monetization. Firstly, there were rumors of a multi-player option a few months ago, but that's not available at launch. We'll keep you updated.
Also, the game can only be played vertically at the moment. This likely isn't a deal-breaker for many people, but it doesn't feel as intuitive as it could.
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Mario Kart Tour courses: what can we expect?
All of the tracks take place in locations you'll likely be familiar with, including Rock Rock Mountain or Cheep Cheep Lagoon. However, as you might expect, everything looks a little simpler.
There are 16 regular courses and Nintendo has announced five reverse courses (a series staple) that include the original Rainbow Road (SNES), Kalimari Desert (N64), Luigi's Mansion (DS), Toad Circuit (3DS) and Waluigi Pinball (DS).
If you're looking for something a little... different, Mario Kart Tour will be the first game in the series to use real-world locations as inspiration for courses.
Two of these courses have been announced so far – one for Tokyo and one for new York (called New York Minute) – the latter of which is available to play right now if you download the game.
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