Mario Kart Tour crashes upon arrival


Courtesy of Nintendo Mobile

Cover art for the new Mario Kart game.

Chris Bonifaz, Staff Writer

Mario Kart is amongst the greatest of the Nintendo games ever to be released. Ever since the first Mario Kart was made, every single iteration of the game has been exciting and delivered the same fast-paced mayhem fans came to love.

This new version of the game, however, has come to be their most ambitious attempt at the game yet. They decided on porting the game to mobile devices, so that more people could access the game than ever before.

The app also came out with no admission price and did not require any additional external devices to be purchased. The only purchases to be made are micro transactions.

Micro transactions can be good when they are purely cosmetic, but in this case they are terrible. The different carts, gliders, and characters you can buy add bonus point multipliers to certain maps you play on. This means that if someone pays to get the best items in the game, they will have an immense advantage over players not willing to pay real world money for items.

This gap leads to casual players feeling cheated because they cannot beat someone who bought their way to the top. That is why the game stagnates after the first handful of tracks because it becomes more of a struggle than a game at that point.

This comes from the point system, which is the amount of stars gained, and are in turn rewarded by getting a lot of points during the race itself. The point system can also be manipulated by choosing the best items for the map and then getting three items, bonus points at the end, and multipliers on gliding, drifting, and jump boosts.

If a player does not use these cheats, they do not get enough stars to progress in the game because they simply can’t get enough points in the match. Casual players will lose interest immediately and not come back to the game because they do not want to put that much time and effort into a silly mobile game they didn’t even pay for.

Another reason players might not stay on the game is the horrendous control schemes. A game like Mario Kart should have been very simple to make controls for. On the contrary, the game feels like the developers did the complete opposite at every step they could.

The perfect control scheme would have been a horizontal layout with dedicated buttons. The actions for the buttons are very important as shown in the final product. They could not fit the buttons to the vertical format, so they just made you choose between what functions you want access to. This limitation comes off as a huge disappointment to fans because they will always feel like something is missing because of their previous experiences with the full set of controls.

Instead of having horizontal display and dedicated buttons for each action, they went for a vertical experience with every action being controlled by a swipe or tap. This causes the players swipes to accidentally get picked up as a tap or maybe a swipe in a completely different direction.

The mistakes will continue to pile on the player and make them feel like the game is luck based. Their actions will not be dictated on skill, but rather will be determined by if your phone decides to agree with your commands.

All of this on top of the terrible control schemes, makes this game unplayable to casual players. Dedicated fans of the game defend it because they are willing to deal with all the flaws of the game and have the time to achieve mastery of the awkward controls.