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Mario Kart Tour: Great to Kill Time, Just Take Your Time

Alexis Ibarra-Ibarra

Like many of you, I grew up with Nintendo. My siblings and I used to play a lot of one or two-player games, which meant that, since I am the baby of the family, if I was lucky, I could play after them. However, Mario Kart was an exception because we could play together. Back then, I usually finished in second place, right after my brother but above my sister.

Consoles passed, and eventually, I started playing Mario Kart with my friends on WiiU. The last Nintendo console I owned back then was the Game Cube (by the way, Mario Kart: Double Dash gameplay was really cool).

So, it was tough for me to get used to the broken-in-two Wii controller. However, I started winning and became a master in it in no time. Even if I could not practice at home, and we did not play that often, I eventually started crushing my friends, including those with WiiU. Our baker Arkin will never accept that, but it is true! Ask our baker Adjani!

My good memories surrounding Mario Kart made me try and play Mario Kart Tour on my phone. I have to admit that at first, I was kind of hooked. The game had been released almost a year before, so a lot of players were already on level 99, the max so far. I read some forums, and apparently Nintendo had already made a lot of improvements. However, most of the comments agreed that it became tedious, sooner or later.

I started playing compulsively: I tried to level up at least twice every day. I was and still am happy because the graphics are very detailed: it really looks like a console Mario Kart.

At first, it was great for relaxing between work tasks despite the frustration of seeing all the benefits you could obtain just by paying for the highly overpriced golden pass and the exclusives on the store. Nintendo went a little overboard trying to monetize this game.

I have been playing Mario Kart Tour for a while now, and, although they added some interesting features, it is not that exciting anymore. My OCD and the fact that my siblings and some friends are playing are the only things that keep me going now.  

They have introduced multiplayer, so now you can play online and with your friends. At the beginning that was not possible, so Mario Kart Tour lacked a fundamental feature of every Mario Kart game. Multiplayer for free was a significant improvement, but it is very glitchy, and sometimes you get disconnected when you are winning and crushing the player with the Chinese or Japanese name…

Just a few weeks ago, they implemented new ways to obtain rubies by cooperating with your friends. This is very nice since once you are almost reaching the top, it is incredibly complicated to acquire them. This seemed to be their way to force you to buy all the exclusive content and extra rubies, but I guess they realized that that was not a good sales strategy.

I have never been the kind of gamer that pays for that kind of stuff, but even if I was one, I think the prices are too damn high. However, I do not doubt millions are willing to pay for those products. Again, Nintendo is, in my opinion, terrible at monetizing smartphone games, but at least there are no annoying ads.

The new way to finish tours is kind of annoying as well because everything is unlocked. You can start in whichever cup and track you want, except for some that unlock by themselves every day. This makes it less exciting than the original idea of having to get a certain score (that translated to stars) to open the next tracks. This may have been implemented for the most casual gamers, but by eliminating that system, I think they went a little too far.

They also decreased the number of cups considerably, so you do not have anything left to do for almost two whole weeks until the next season starts. Unfortunately, that means that you can only repeat the same frigging races over and over again.

Besides, you can only go up on the tier system once every week. The higher the tier, the harder it gets to win, so you just have to wait and try to always be number 1, or you will go down one tier. Moreover, the cups and tracks are not exciting after you have played for a while because they tend to repeat every season with a few changes at best.

The challenges were great because they gave you something extra to do. Yet, eventually, they just require a crazy amount of playtime to achieve them, which makes them dull and exhausting.

Now then, it is always cool to unlock your favorite Mario characters because they bring you good memories, and they are as adorable as ever. The problem is that, even if they say it is entirely random, getting special characters, karts, and gliders becomes harder as you level up (at least from level 80). That means that you will end up hoarding a lot of power-up tickets that you will not be able to use. By the way, it is really annoying that they are not exchangable for coins nor rubies.

Anyhow, if you are just looking for something to kill some time, I recommend you play Mario Kart Tour. If you do decide to play it, my advice is that you take your time instead of going all for it, or you will exhaust the game very quickly, just like I did. I think it is cool that Nintendo is trying to go into the smartphone business, but, without a doubt, they still have A LOT to learn.

Do you play Mario Kart Tour? Please share with us a slice of your opinion in the comment section below! The Cake is always thrilled to read about your thoughts!

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Feature imaged recovered from Mario Kart Tour | Nintendo.

4 replies on “Mario Kart Tour: Great to Kill Time, Just Take Your Time”

You are right! That could be the reason! I didn’t think about it… I don’t know if you have checked the new season, but, if not, they added a Peach’s Wedding cup with new races!!! 😀 I hope they bring back the world cups idea, it was really cool to drive in Tokyo, Vancouver, Paris, London, etc. Anyway, I want to see what happens with the game when Nintendo is fully operating after Coronavirus measures. :3

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