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Mario Kart is coming to your smartphone

Super Mario in Mario Kart.
Let’s-a go.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

One of Nintendo’s most popular game series, Mario Kart, will soon be making its debut on iOS and Android devices.

Mario Kart Tour, a mobile version of the racing game featuring many of Nintendo’s most famous characters, will be released on Sept. 25.

The new game, much like Super Mario Run before it, is a twist on a classic Nintendo game for one-handed mobile gaming. All actions within the game are controlled by single-finger gestures. As it’s intended to only be played on a phone in portrait mode, the field of view in the game is quite limited.

Other than that, it doesn’t seem that the gameplay is wildly different from all Mario Kart games before it. But it’s not clear whether players will be able to race against their friends, or just the computer. Unlike Super Mario Run, which cost $9.99 in the US, the game will be free to play, but will also include purchases for upgrades to racers.

The new Mario Kart does seem to have one unfortunate thing in common with Super Mario Run: you must have an internet connection to play. That means you probably can’t play on your commute, on planes or trains, or anywhere else you might want to kill some time racing around as Yoshi or Luigi.

Perhaps that’s because Nintendo doesn’t want to cannibalize sales from its Nintendo Switch line of portable consoles (including the new, cheaper, Switch Lite), which are perfect for gaming on the go. But given the relative failure of Super Mario Run, which could not live up to the runaway success of Pokémon Go (a franchise jointly owned by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company), it’s surprising Nintendo would push out another game that can only be played when there’s internet.

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