by Julia Vaccarella ’20
Ninetendo announced in late January that they are currently in the process of making their well-know well-known video game, Mario Kart, into an app for iOS users. It has been speculated that the game will be accessible on the iPhone and other devices including iPads, as well as Android phones and tablets. The game’s parent company, Nintendo and web company DeNA, will be the main developers for the smartphone version of the popular game.
Nintendo’s first version of Mario Kart was released in 1992; in the 26 years since then, several variations have been released for six different game consoles. The most notable versions are Mario Kart 64, DS, and Wii. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the version for the more recent console known as the Nintendo Switch, has also become popular.
Gamers join go-kart style races, choosing to play as famous characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi, among others. There are also powerups within each set of courses that players can use to move closer towards first place and potentially slow down opponents. Particularly for the Wii, Mario Kart has been available for both single player and multiplayer options.
It was announced that the mobile version of the game will be called Mario Kart Tour. An article from The Wall Street Journal has also explained that the game will be “free to start,” implying that users will eventually have to pay in order to access all of the features included on Mario Kart Tour. It is possible that Nintendo will release a game that is free to play, with in-app purchases that help with certain tasks. Nintendo has utilized this strategy in the past and continues to do so today.
The mobile version of the popular game Animal Crossing, called Pocket Camp, was released as “free to start” and is offered on iOS devices. Similarly, according to the website for Super Mario Run, interested customers “can download and enjoy a portion of Super Mario Run for free.”
Techradar suggests that the free version of the game will include a limited number of courses and characters. Customers could then purchase a separate version that will include access to the full game. As for the logistics behind the game, Nintendo has not revealed how Mario Kart Tour will operate, but it is possible that players will be able to race against real opponents just as they can with the Wii console version.
Many people within a varied age range have reacted positively to Nintendo’s announcement of a Mario Kart app. For many college students and young adults, this game will ignite the nostalgia of playing on a Wii or Nintendo DS console. With the rise of iPhones, Android devices, and other smartphones, this feature will certainly make the game more easily accessible.
Ninetendo confirmed that the app is still in develpoment and will be released sometime before March 2019.