The Mario Kart Tour obsession

The Mario Kart Tour obsession
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Ever since its release, Mario Kart Tour has taken the world by storm. Within its first week, the app was downloaded over 90 million times, making it Nintendo’s most successful launch to date. It surpassed Nintendo mobile games’ previous download record for Super Mario Run, which had nearly 22 million downloads. 

Mario Kart Tour is a mobile game that allows players to race around in courses that reference real-world cities. The objective of the game is to be in first place at the end of each race. To accomplish this, players can drive through item boxes. After a race is completed, the player is given Grand Stars, experience points, and coins. It’s the ninth main installment in the Mario Kart series and includes many features that are found in the previous Mario Kart games, along with many new features.

Mario Kart Tour is a free app with in-app purchases. Currently, a paid subscription is offered to players in the form of the Gold Pass. Players with the Gold Pass have access to new race modes along with exclusive in-game items. It costs $5 a month and even offers a two week free trial period to allow new players to test the Gold Pass. Within its first month the app made over $37.4 million in revenue, coming in second to Fire Emblem Heroes’ $67.6 million in its launch month.

The obsession with Mario Kart Tour has reached Townsend Harris, where students can be seen playing the game during lunch. Freshman Maliha Ahsan commented that “[Mario Kart Tour] is really fun and enjoyable to play. I’m obsessed with it.” Students have found a new app to play during their free time that’s really enjoyable and are consequently  becoming addicted. “ I really enjoy how competitive it is, even if it’s only AI (artificial intelligence),” added freshman Afsana Ferdous.

Since the app’s release, one common complaint is its lack of a multiplayer option, which is a staple of Nintendo’s games. “I used to play Mario Kart in middle school when it was a Wii game, “ said English teacher Katherine Lipinski. “It definitely raises some questions for me though because I think Mario Kart was always really fun because it had a multiplayer option.” Nevertheless, she explained that screen size was one of her major concerns for this feature in the mobile device version, stating,  “We would play it on the television screen because then there’s enough space for it to be broken up and for one player to look over to see where the other player was in the middle of a race whereas on a smaller screen that wouldn’t really work because the screen is so small.”

However, the company has recently announced on Twitter that a trial test will be run before the end of the year, but will be restricted to players who have subscribed to Mario Kart Tour’s Gold Pass.

The future of Mario Kart Tour is unclear, but based on its early success, there’s much to look forward to.

Art by Vera Wang.

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