Mario Kart Tour Races Into The App Store

David Vu

On Wednesday September 25, 2019, Nintendo brought their most successful franchise, Mario Kart, onto mobile devices worldwide. Unlike how the game is played on a console, the new game, Mario Kart Tour, allows players to drive as their favorite Mario characters on their phones. Not only that, players can compete and race against other people from across the world.

The announcement that the famous racing franchise would be brought to mobile was made by Nintendo back in early 2018 with a tweet from their Twitter account. “ The checkered flag has been raised,” the tweet stated, “A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour!” Nintendo has been developing the game ever since April 2018, trying to capture all of the mechanics from its original game as well as adding in something fresh and new elements to it. During the 2019 summer, there was a closed beta test of the game exclusively for Android phones in North American and Japan from May 22 to June 4. The beta only allowed a limited amount of people to play it. However, despite a few minor bugs, the players who were able to play it have claimed it to be an enjoyable game for Mario Kart fans.

The gameplay for the game is similar to how it is on the console. The players get to have options, such as their racer, kart, and glider to race with. When the player is racing in the game, they would have to slide their finger at the bottom of the screen to direct their kart. When the player hits an item box, they either have tap the screen to activate their items or swipe up or down to shoot their projectiles. At the end of each race, the players are rewarded with stars which unlock more content. Unlike the console version of the game, the racing maps change each week depending on the “destination.” Players are also able to choose what racing speed players want (50cc,100cc,150cc). Unfortunately, there is currently no proper multiplayer mode for the players who want to play against their friends.

Like most mobile games, Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play game with optional in-game purchases. At the beginning of the game, only a couple of the characters are available to play, and as the player progresses further they can unlock more. Players can unlock new characters, karts, and gliders which either can be earned by completing races or by purchasing them with real money. There is also a subscription option on the game called a Gold Pass, which gives players a few in-game items and badges and also allows them to unlock the 2000c: the fastest race in the game. The Gold Pass subscription has a free-trial that lasts for the first two weeks after purchasing it, but the players will have to pay $4.99 a month to continue using it.

After the initial release of the mobile app, Mario Kart Tour was downloaded over 90 million times in its first week. It broke the Nintendo’s mobile game record for most installed game in its first week, beating the “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” game which had 14.3 million installs in its first week. “It’s off to a record-breaking start in terms of downloads,” said head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower, Randy Nelson, “but revenue is a different story.” The game has made $12 million so far, which Nelson said that is certainly impressive, but not to the expectations of 90 million downloads. Nintendo is currently offering promotions and free trials within the game. Once those deals expire, it could see a sales boost.

Ever since the app got released, Mario Kart Tour became a worldwide phenomenon, captivating many across the globe.