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Ladies and gentleman, start your engines and prepare to kiss your social lives goodbye, because Mario Kart Tour is finally arriving on Android and iOS devices tomorrow (September 25). The mobile version of the popular Nintendo kart racer was originally slated to arrive waaay back in March, but Nintendo pushed it back to allow time to polish up the game and get it to the high standard that Nintendo is known for. That was the official line anyway, I can't speak for the actually quality of the game since I haven't played it, but I'm expecting good things.
Mario Kart Tour will officially be available to play from 9am BST, so those of us here in the UK and the rest of Europe will have a wonderful morning treat to wake up to. Again, that's assuming it's worth playing. It could be a real mess for all I know, but I pride myself on optimism. Nintendo announced the release date on Twitter on September 21, and confirmed that you can get the game downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store right now, even if you won't be able to actually play it until the specified launch time.
Clearly having learned a valuable lesson about mobile gaming from Super Mario Run, Nintendo has opted to make Mario Kart Tour a free-to-play title. You've been around the block a few times, so I'm sure I don't need to tell you that also means the game will include microtransactions. More often than not, including this much-maligned feature in a free-to-play game is fine, but there are limits. We do know that microtransactions will play a part in unlocking new drivers and karts, so it really depends how much of the content is tied to randomised microtransactions, and how much having (or not having) that content will affect the experience.
As for gameplay itself, it's important to note that Mario Kart Tour doesn't control like a standard Mario Kart game. Instead, karts will automatically move forward and you as the player will simply drag your finger left and right to control your racer. Certain items will be used automatically, while others require you to tap on the screen to activate them. We also know that, in addition to a number of remixed and returning courses from past Mario Kart games, there'll be some courses that are actually based on real cities. These will rotate every two weeks and be a part of special in-game events, which sounds pretty cool.
Having not had the chance to try out the Mario Kart Tour beta, I really can't say if it'll be able to hold a candle to the traditional Mario Kart experience. Given that I have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe installed on my Switch and my Switch never leaves my side, Tour will have to be pretty special to get me to make it my karting game of choice on the daily commute.
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