This is the latest Nintendo property to reach mobile platforms, and it’s interesting to see this shift in their releases continue. This is of course Mario Kart Tour, a streamlined and straight forward version of the franchise. If you’re not familiar with the series, you kart or well drive around on levels while shooting off power-ups at others.
It’s been a staple of the various Nintendo consoles for years and typically well regarded. This mobile entry is a bit of a diversion from that quality, being rather empty in design and really microtransactions focused. This is in regards to the monthly subscription pass, tickets for upgrades, random pipe spinning with special premium currency for new drivers/karts/gliders and more items. You do get a number of cups to work through, featuring a selection of tracks to compete on.
That being said, this does feel rather minimal as multiplayer is “coming soon” and the track levels are repeated many times as you continue to progress. Some of the cup levels are also just simplistic challenges and that doesn’t add to the excitement. I mean, it’s a fine experience yet one that really doesn’t take the formula the franchise is known for to anywhere special.
This is a vertically played game, where you essentially just slightly swipe the screen to shift your direction. There are two options for controls, but it’s very hands-off. Quite honestly, the game practically plays itself even at higher speed difficulties. It just makes this feel rather boring, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to this experience. It’s purely about getting you into those microtransactions, and past that the roster is also so minimal for characters.
It’s great they don’t limit driving interactions, but the game itself is so mind numbing that players likely wouldn’t come back if they did. I’m sure this will be fine for some, but it’s not really in line with what I expect from the series. It feels even more limited than what you’d play at the arcade. The visuals are alright, lots of depth within those tracks though they’re just straight forward and then done. It looks like the series you know, just kind of feels like a shell of it however. I really couldn’t get into this one sadly.
Mario Kart Tour is a stripped down version of the series, that focuses on microtransactions as opposed to an exciting experience. I found this to be rather boring, and just generally lackluster. I feel that some will enjoy what this offers, but work through the content quickly and feel rather empty by how little there is to it. There’s not really a sense of accomplishment, and it feels as though the game is just playing by itself.
It really is just the most minimal of interactions, and that’s sort of boring. This feels particularly tame since the Apple Arcade just launched, just saying. It’s weird to tease multiplayer and not have it, while also lacking a deep roster of characters to roll the random loot pipe for. This isn’t what the series is known for, I’ve deleted it and will likely forget it happened.
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Mario Kart Tour Review on iPhone XS