Should I download Mario Kart Tour?

Nintendo’s latest mobile game Mario Kart Tour has landed on iOS and android and has already started splitting opinion. The Nintendo app already has impressive ratings of 4.5 and 4,8 on the Google Play Store and App Store respectively, but something still feels off about the smartphone game and there are plenty of editorials out there denouncing it. This begs the question, should you download Mario Kart Tour? Is it worth it? Let’s see.

How much does Mario Kart Tour cost on Android and iOS?

Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play game. This is true in the sense that you can download it and then play for free. It isn’t like Super Mario Run where you could only play a small part of the game before having to pay $9.99 to unlock the full game. You will, however, need to set up a Nintendo account to play the game, if you don’t already have one.

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What Mario Kart Tour does have, however, which Super Mario Run does not is micro-transactions and this is where Mario Kart Tour has been attracting criticism. The game uses rubies as a premium currency, which can be spent on new characters and vehicles. The game also offers loot boxes, which have come under intense scrutiny in recent months as a form of gambling. You pay for a few spins in the hope that you’ll unlock the character or upgrade you’re after. 

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The other big potential outlay for Mario Kart Tour is the monthly subscription that costs a whopping $4.99. Many have pointed out that this costs the same as the Apple Arcade, which gives access to over 100 premium games. For the money Mario Kart Tour gives you access certain premium items and a high-speed racing mode.

Is Mario Kart Tour fun?

In our opinion Mario Kart Tour is lots of fun to play. It looks and sounds like classic Mario Kart games and, like with Super Mario Run, has been optimized for use on a smartphone. Your kart drives automatically, and you use your finger to guide it around the various courses. You still get to collect items and weapons, and tapping your screen will send them blasting off to thwart your foes.

Everything is there too. You have banana skins, green and red shells, and if you’re way out ahead of the pack, you’ll need to keep an eye out for blue shells homing in and blasting your chances of victory away.

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Mario Kart Tour offers cups and tours and will have temporary courses based on real life locations available to play as the “Tour” travels the world. The courses have been simplified, however, and can feel a bit basic compared to the full versions you’ll get on the Nintendo Switch.

Bottom line: Should you download Mario Kart Tour?

It has to be said that Mario Kart Tour is fun to play, and its initial offering is free-to-play. This means if you’re not the type of person to be taken in by or bothered by micro transactions and you won’t become hooked on buying loot boxes, you should definitely download it.

After a while though, the gameplay could start feeling kind of hollow and it’ll likely end up as just another app you hardly ever use.

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