Mario Kart, originally released in 1992 under the name Super Mario Kart, has made a rebound with teenagers around the globe–especially in Boyertown.
A go-kart style racing game originally made for the SNES, Nintendo released an app version, Mario Kart Tour, on Sep. 25, revved up for the phone-centric age.
The new version, much like the old, has hit critical acclaim and success, despite it being a free app.
Mario Kart has already weaved its way into students’ daily lives in its first month of existing.
“I play it about once a day,” junior Evan Kelly said.
Its addictive nature has given students a good look into how the game plays. For some, it’s nostalgic.
“It mostly lives up to the original,” said senior Kristen Sell.
For others, it’s an adjustment.
“For one, it’s a vertical screen,” Evan said. “Controls aren’t as good. It’s just not the original Mario Kart.”
Controls “could be improved upon,” said Kristen. Evan, however, feels that the controls are acceptable “for the limitation of being an iPhone app.”
The game features two different control modes: Simple Mode, which allows automatic drifting and is simply swiping a finger back and forth on the screen; and Manual Drift Mode, which allows expert players to make precise turns in order to bring another first place under their belts.
Kristen, who uses Manual Drift Mode, says it’s easier to get combos in this mode. Combos maximize a players points, which can raise a player’s rank during a ranked Tour. Ranked Tours change every two weeks.
[grade] Ella Schlect, who has a highest combo of 21, has some critiques.
“I hate Mario Kart now,” Ella said. “I finished all the levels up to Metal Mario, but it updated and changed, so I lost my data.”
Despite micro-transactions being present in the game, which are small purchases players can make for power-ups or improvements to get ahead of other players, Mario Kart Tour is entirely free to download and play.
Unanimously, students feel the lack of a price tag is a “good deal.”
“It allows everyone to play Mario Kart,” Evan said. “It lets everyone have some fun.”
The game is constantly being updated, and some would like to see any and all prices removed to make it truly free.
“They should remove micro-transactions,” Evan said. “It’s dumb.”
Kristen, like many other students, wish to see multiplayer added to the game. Currently, players race against bots, which are computer-generated users.
“Having friends without multiplayer is stupid,” Kristen said.
Ella has another popular wish: for everyone to start with every character.
“All players should have access to all other drivers,” Ella said.
With the limitation of having to either buy characters with the in-game currency of gold, or win one from a pipe—Mario Kart Tour’s version of a loot box—some players have allegiance to certain drivers.
“I have Wario,” Ella said. “Wario is hilarious. Also Roy is a stud. Roy for President.”
Mario Kart Tour is currently at an average 4.55/5 star rating between the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, with a combined total of 1.9 million reviews.
Popular reviews highlight both the positives and negatives of the app, leaving none with the “nostalgia-glasses” many would presume would prevail.
Even with concerns, Mario Kart Tour has raced its way into student life at full speed, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.