I am sure a game like Mario Kart Tour will split the community straight down the middle. Some will enjoy having a Mario Kart game on their mobile device, others will argue that it’s hardly a Mario Kart game at all.
All I have to do is ask myself one question. Is Mario Kart Tour a good mobile game?
Is Mario Kart Tour Good?
Well, it turns out asking one question may not be the best approach. This is because Mario Kart Tour crosses the line of what’s good and bad several times. There is a good amount of tracks and the graphics are very pleasant, but the predatory practices creep in and ruin the fun.
Before we get into the bad, let’s talk more about what Mario Kart Tour (MKT) does well. The core gameplay is Mario Kart, not the traditional Wii or SNES Mario Kart. Think of MKT as an arcade version, the Mario Kart you would see when you go to an arcade and spend $0.50 on one track.
Tracks are only two-lap races and each cup has three tracks and one mini-game challenge. Right now there are 10 cups available to the community, with a few more on the way in a matter of days. There are rewards to collect while you increase your trophy count, this allows you to get gems, characters, cars and more for free.
What’s Bad about Mario Kart Tour?
Now that I have mentioned some good parts, let’s dive right into what needs work and what is just wrong. The controls are as bad as you can get for a driving game. You car mindlessly drives forward and all you have to do is slide your finger left and right to steer or drift.
What compounds the crappy controls is that they are unresponsive too. If you don’t swipe from the middle of the screen, your character may just completely ignore your input altogether. Or if you are unlucky enough to touch slightly too far to one direction, you may steer in the wrong direction accidentally.
I could go on and on about why the controls are horrific, but let’s talk gacha or surprise mechanics as Electronic Arts calls them. MKT has the most unappealing, unsatisfying way of getting you to unlock new characters and cars. They call the character unlocking system “fire of the pipe”, this is where you slide down on a traditional Mario green pipe and something flies out. I say something, it’s really a ball of light until the final reveal of something disappointing.
What annoys me the most about this system is not obvious. It’s not the fact that the better items are hard to get so it’s essentially ‘pay to win’. It’s the attitude that Nintendo is showing towards us, the players, the total disregard for our experience.
Previously, game companies would try to hide their disgusting predatory practices behind cute words like surprise packs and loot boxes. Nintendo however, couldn’t give a toss what it’s called, so long as children empty their parent’s bank accounts to “fire off the pipe” just one more time. I mean come on, you tell me that firing off the pipe doesn’t sound dirty or at least sound related to drug use.
Some deluded people will argue that because Nintendo is offering the game for free, they need to make money somehow. To this, I say really? Does Nintendo, the multi-billion dollar company really need to make a ton more of money? If you make a good game, players will happily spend money on stuff they don’t need like skins or cosmetics.
To hide children’s favourite characters in a loot box full of other crap like cars and gliders is pure greed. Not to mention that the store resets every day, so hurry kids, spend your parent’s money now before it’s too late!
I haven’t spoken up enough about the pure greed mobile games and the gaming industry is guilty of. But to see Nintendo go down this route after avoiding it for so long is enough to make even the most loyal fan question should they support this game?
What is Wrong with Mario Kart Tour?
I think there are several reasons I can’t give Mario Kart Tour a good review. The first being the controls make it so unenjoyable to race anyone, and there are no consequences for getting it wrong (invisible walls to stop you falling off). The second being the predatory practices and the pay to win features are locked behind gacha. The final reason being they released the game unfinished as the “Multiplayer” section does not work.
If Nintendo fixed all the issues I outlined above, then they would have a great mobile game. As of right now, Mario Kart Tour is still one of the best mobile games Nintendo has ever made, which I think says a lot about how far they have fallen.
Do you agree with my review? Share your own experiences of Mario Kart Tour in the comments below!
Nintendo have set their sites on your wallet and they don't hide it
I have played almost every Mario Kart ever and this is one I can say you should skip. It relies so little on your own ability and skill, its all about how good your car, character and glider is.