Mario Kart Tour Arrives with a Subscription and Confusion

Nintendo is a company that is known for excellent IP and typically rock-solid gameplay. Mario, Zelda, Smash, and the list goes on and on; Nintendo knows how to make a quality game.

Starting today, you can download Mario Kart Tour and while the game is free, if you want the full experience, be prepared to pay $4.99, a month. Yes, the same amount as Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass.

The game itself is fine and has the hallmark simple controls that Nintendo has mastered. You don’t even ‘drive’, your character moves forward as long as you are pressing on the screen and your primary controls are steering and firing the items that you pick up.

There are two steering modes, simple and drifting. If you want to win, you will need to pick the drifting option as it provides significant benefits in terms of boosting around turns but is also much harder to control.

If you like Mario Kart, you will probably enjoy the gameplay as the races are quick, roughly 2-3 minutes in length, and the gameplay gets close to the early-Nintendo nostalgia. If you do not like microtransactions, you will not like this game.

The other odd thing about this game is that it feels overly complex. There are powerups that you must unlock, different carts that become available, eventually, and other add-ons for your character. There are also multiple different in-game currencies like star tickets, rubies, and coins that you need to unlock for various tasks. And of course, there is a loot box, or what Nintendo calls ‘the pipe’ which you can chuck some rubies into and hopefully get a car, a glider, or something else that somehow makes the game better?

What’s missing is the classic pick a character (Yoshi, always Yoshi) and race, with each race being it’s own microcosm of a game and once the race is over, you move on without having to worry about if you got enough coins or other powerups for the next race. Nintendo put a lot of effort into this game to make it complex, rather than sticking to the basics of a simple, fun, racing game.

The game is free to play on iOS and Android and it is out now. You can give it a try and see if you think it’s worth $60 a year for a mobile version of Mario Kart, otherwise, you can click through what feels like 15 different screens between races for two minutes of a little bit of fun.

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Conversation 11 comments

  • docpaul

    25 September, 2019 - 9:34 am

    <p>F microtransactions. </p>

  • gregsedwards

    Premium Member
    25 September, 2019 - 9:47 am

    <p>Thanks, no. I don’t see the value, especially when the experience on the Switch is just fine. Now, if Nintendo wants to spin up their own game pass with a flat fee for playing anything in their core catalog, then maybe we’ll talk.</p>

  • Daekar

    25 September, 2019 - 10:11 am

    <p>This is why I don't play games on iOS or Android. They are almost universally terrible. The day all games have microtransactions and subscriptions is the day I stop being a gamer. You hear that, evil publishers? You're not getting a damn penny more, and the hundreds of dollars a year I currently spend on games will go to something else.</p><p>Sad to see Nintendo falling into the same nonsense. I'm glad things on the Switch aren't like this.</p>

    • Skolvikings

      25 September, 2019 - 10:20 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470669">In reply to Daekar:</a></em></blockquote><p>Not all mobile games are like this.</p>

    • Thom77

      25 September, 2019 - 11:44 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470669">In reply to Daekar:</a></em></blockquote><p>Civ 6 on Ios is the exception. </p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      25 September, 2019 - 12:25 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470669">In reply to Daekar:</a></em></blockquote><p>Just think how much time you’ll have to work on your collection of “Beavis and Butthead” memorabilia. </p>

      • Daekar

        25 September, 2019 - 9:57 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#470722">In reply to jimchamplin:</a></em></blockquote><p>Gag me, that show was, is, and always will be too stupid for words. </p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      26 September, 2019 - 12:44 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470669">In reply to Daekar:</a></em></blockquote><p>Most software is becoming subscription based.</p>

      • Daekar

        26 September, 2019 - 6:40 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#470899">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>And I don't necessarily like that in all contexts either. The biggest issue is that the price tends to significantly higher over time, and most software is not worth it. </p>

  • Skolvikings

    25 September, 2019 - 10:19 am

    <p>Drift mode is horrible. You can't do regular turns and then drift when you want. All the turns are drifts. What a POC.</p>

  • Shane

    Premium Member
    25 September, 2019 - 2:02 pm

    <p>I just downloaded this today. Am an old nintendo guy who loved the 64. Now i have no idea how the game really works. But it is great. I paid nothing so even better. And the steering control I actually preffered then normal mode. And so far out of 4 games won 3. Its all fun. All Enjoy.</p>


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