Mario Kart Tour

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Mario Kart Tour
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Mario Kart Tour? More like Mario Kart but unfair!
Genre(s): Racing
Platform(s): Android
iOS
Release Date: September 25, 2019
Engine: Unity
Developer(s): Nintendo EPD
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Country: Japan
Series: Mario Kart
Predecessor: Mario Kart 8
Successor: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart Tour is a racing game that serves as a spin-off of the Mario Kart series for iOS and Android, developed and published by Nintendo on September 25, 2019. This is the third and (currently) final Mario game to be released on mobile, and the second one to still be playable as of now after Super Mario Run.

Bad Qualities

Overall

  1. Misleading title: Despite the game having a premise in which Mario and his friends compete in various locations around the world, the main problem is that the game doesn't have that many tracks based on famous locations, with the only ones released in the game being New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Berlin, Sydney, Singapore, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Athens, Rome, and Madrid.
    • The reason these tracks are scarce is that to tour, Nintendo focuses too much on the main characters than on the places of the world, with most of these tours being pure filler (especially that of Baby Rosalina). Of course, it is understandable that more will be added than world tours, but still, the Japanese company takes too long to publish them.
    • Speaking of filling, Nintendo recycles old tours sometimes, with the worst offender by far being the second Sydney Tour and the second Peach vs. Bowser Tour, which had already been done in April 2021 and May 2022 respectively.
    • Misleading advertising: In the cover on the top, you can see that there are some pyramids, suggesting that there's a track set in Egypt (in particular Giza), but no such track has been released.
      • Though Dry Dry Ruins is based in Egypt, it doesn't count.
  2. The game's monetization system is very egregious much like Dr. Mario World, even for a mobile game and especially Nintendo standards with an insulting inclusion of loot boxes, however, they've been reworked in October 2022 and will only still exist as an unlockable you can get for completing objectives.
  3. Rubies, the game's main currency, take way too long to obtain. All you can use them for is to buy Mii Suits at absurd prices, play Coin Rush with a certain multiplier of your choice, or fire pipes that randomly unlock one of the three aforementioned things.
    • To make matters a lot worse, there's a very high chance of getting something you already have to the point where you'll only get something new once in a blue moon.
    • The rubies are very badly priced, where it goes as far as having the cheapest ruby pack not even giving you enough to pull the pipe once since you only get 3 rubies unless you buy the Value Pack for the same price that grants you 2 more as well as a few other items. All of this can only be purchased 3 times in a tour, and then any additional purchases will only grant you 3 rubies.
  4. 200cc and many parts of the game are locked behind a $4.99 a-month "Gold Pass" which is incredibly lacking. This is more expensive than the $4 one-month Nintendo Switch Online membership and the same price as Apple Arcade, both of which have a lot more features than this Gold Pass. There is no option for a cheaper yearly subscription and if you were to get 12 monthly subscriptions to the Gold Pass a year, that will cost you $69.99, and that amount is even more expensive than a yearly PlayStation Plus pass, again with far fewer features.
  5. Trying to steer with a touchscreen device is very clunky and awkward; you might often hit the barriers because of poor manageability, even for experienced racing players, and it also takes time to make your kart change direction. There is no option to connect a game controller or a steering wheel to play the game either, which is inexcusable since there are plenty of mobile games that allow the player to use a controller, one example being Roblox Mobile, or sometimes, tilting just like in other mobile racing games. Previous Mario Kart games have allowed more conventional controllers as an alternative to motion controls, so Nintendo should've known better. Even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has both Smart Steering and Auto-Acceleration for optional purposes, which are both handy to use for beginners or inexperienced players.
    • You are normally unable to drive off-road, something you can do in every other Mario Kart game. This takes away one of the major challenges of the series, as driving off the road would normally slow down your kart or lead you out of bounds, prompting Lakitu to fish you out. The only way to end up driving off the road is by getting hit by an item while in mid-air or getting unlucky with gliding while in a Bubble.
      • This along with the fact that you automatically accelerate makes it possible to win races by doing absolutely nothing.
  6. You only start as Toad or Toadette (or in extremely rare cases, Peachette; you will also gain either Peach, Bowser, Dry Bowser or Metal Mario after the tutorial). The rest of the characters are locked through the loot box system (soon to be a Spotlight Shop) and the chances to get those characters are very low. This even includes Mario and Luigi themselves.
    • Although it has been fixed during the Battle Tour/post-Anniversary 2022 Tour, with not only Mario and Luigi being available, as well as other aforementioned characters mentioned in BQ#6, but also Wario, Donkey Kong, Daisy, Waluigi, and Yoshi.
    • To add insult-to-injury, some characters are locked behind overpriced paywalls with the most infamous example being Diddy Kong with 90 rubies and a quick ticket. This cost about $40, almost as much as a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The microtransactions in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes aren't as major as the paywalls here.
      • This could've been better (not by much though) if the characters you have at the start were the Iconic 8 (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Bowser, Donkey Kong, and Wario), with the others unlockable by the pipe criteria.
  7. There is no wheel customization, nor are there any other types of vehicles such as bikes and ATVs, which pales in comparison to Mario Kart 7/8's customization.
  8. The Bubble, a new item in this game, is considered to be one of the worst items in the game. It is a highly inferior Bullet Bill type of item that has a very small speed boost and breaks in one hit, and the player cannot use any additional items in it. This makes it more hindering most of the time. Moreover, the player has almost no control while in the Bubble, and gliding with the Bubble is prone to be buggy and can often get you out of bounds. The Chain Chomp from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, an item that is not in the game, is a far better item than the Bubble despite it also being an inferior Bullet Bill type.
    • Similarly, the Banana Barrel, Mushroom Cannon, and Dash Ring are also nuisances to use. The first item can straight up hurt the player like the Thunder Cloud from Mario Kart Wii does while the last two can help the user's rivals like the Yoshi Egg does. Not to mention the Coin Box is also a complete waste of an item slot but could work during ACR (All-Cup Ranking) for a higher score.
  9. Even more clones in the form of characters like Musician Mario, Green Birdo, Black Shy Guy, and Peachette. While most of them are not as insultingly bad as clones like the others (Halloween 2020 Mario and Peach, Easter Yoshi and his gold alt, Cherub Baby Peach, Vampire Waluigi, Farmer Daisy, Knight Luigi, Ninja Blue Shy Guy and his pink alt, Detective Baby Rosalina, White Raccoon Mario (despite being the least bad of the clones within character clones) several Pit Crew Toad (especially Pink), Roving Racer (especially Purple), Shy Guy, Birdo, and Yoshi recolor, Koala Baby Mario, Gold Dry Bowser, Pink Gold Peach, and the controversial Lederhosen Luigi), they all still only serve as either roster fillers or seasonal characters.
    • Besides in the first three tours (and the Holiday Tour), only clone characters have been added rather than characters such as Funky Kong (Who was just added in the Jungle Tour), Petey Piranha (who was later added in the Piranha Plant Tour), Red Koopa Paratroopa, Toadsworth, Professor E. Gadd, Gooigi, Wiggler, and Honey Queen who haven't appeared for multiple games or characters who haven't appeared in a Mario Kart title but have potential such as Nabbit (who was later added in the Wild West Tour but became fully playable in the Bowser vs DK Tour), Hammer Bro (who was later added in his tour, the Hammer Bro Tour), Link, R.O.B., the Inklings, Cranky Kong, etc.
    • Virtually every update adds at least one new clone character. Speaking of which, Nintendo had the guts to completely recolor characters like Roving Racers, Birdo, Yoshi, and Shy Guy and attempt to pass those off as additional characters as some are even passed off as High Ends. What's worse is that they share the same animations, sounds, and artwork. The worst offenders are the Pit Crew Toads, Yellow Shy Guy, Green Roving Racer, and Pink Ninja Shy Guy. More recolors of these characters are even passed off exclusively as ranked rewards, some of which have since been re-released or obtainable in other methods. The cyan recolors in particular always imply that there will eventually be an indigo or blue version of a particular driver like what happened with Birdo or Pit Crew Toad (the latter being originally released as this color).
    • For some reason, there is a large number of alts for Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy (especially as of the past few tours, likely to make up for the lack of Daisy alts in the past), Rosalina, Yoshi, Toad, and Shy Guy. Even Toadette, Wario, Waluigi, Birdo, Bowser, and others have few to several character alts. This is especially true with Mario and Peach, getting tons of alts based on their Odyssey costumes. Even Luigi doesn't even have that many alts despite being the deuteragonist of the whole franchise. To be fair, he does have costumes in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, but still.
    • Some alts include Power-Up drivers (Fire Rosalina, Penguin characters, Cat characters, Tanooki characters, and Builder characters).
    • There are even alts that come in the form of Captain Toad (despite being a different character from regular Toad), Peachette (a Toadette and Peach alt), Dry Bowser, and Meowser (despite being a power-up from Bowser) that have enough differences to be considered separate characters by Nintendo.
    • Even some of the clone characters themselves have clone characters. The game added in characters like several recolors of Pit Crew Toad, Pink Ninja Shy Guy, Gold Egg Yoshi, Gold Dry Bowser, Cherub Baby Peach, and White Raccoon Mario (despite being a separate power-up in New Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario 3D Land) Koala Baby Mario, and Detective Baby Rosalina.
    • In recent times, they even tried to pass off gold counterparts of some of the characters, karts, and gliders in the game's roster. Examples include Gold Blooper (the only gold item that is classified as a Super), Gold Dry Bones, Gold Clanky Kart, Gold Freerunning Koopa, Gold Egg 1, Gold Pipe Frame, Gold Swooper, Gold King Boo, Gold King Bob-Omb, Gold Dry Bowser, Gold Shy Guy, Golden Wings, etc. The worst offender so far is Gold Egg Yoshi, which is not only an alt of a Yoshi alt, but also falls under this category.
      • Additionally, this also happens to Golden Knight Luigi as it suffers the same fate as Gold Egg Yoshi's.
    • In the case of Donkey Kong Jr, he only has a 16-bit alt and no normal version of this character.
    • While they aren’t considered clone characters, they even go as far as to make Mii Suits that are not based on drivers instead of character-based Mii suits of other key characters like Bowser Jr., Lakitu, Kamek, Diddy Kong, Chargin' Chuck, etc.
      • The most infamous Mii Racing Suits are going to be Cheep Cheep Mii Suit, Lemmy Mii Suit, and Fish Bone Mii Suit, and not only because of the special item called the infamous Bubble item (which is useless even as a HIGH END item), but also speculating that it could be Bowser Mii Suit (for the former).
      • Even some of the clone Mii suits that they made in the form of the other colors.
    • Speaking of the Cat alts, they only bothered to provide cat voices for Cat Peach, Mario, and Toad, and not even for Cat Luigi and Rosalina or Meowser, rather instead reusing their normal voice assets.
    • Some of the Pipe Frames and the Super Gliders don't match the drivers' respective appearances, with the worst offenders being the Gold Roving Racer (who uses the black pipe frame and Super Glider instead of gold), Pauline, and King Bob-omb (who both use magenta pipe frames and super gliders instead of red and indigo respectively).
  10. The AI rubberbanding in this game is at its worst in the series. Getting hit just once in a race is often good enough to go from 1st to 8th and be at a point where the player will never catch up (compared to other games, where getting hit will often make the player lose a place or two instead of going instantly to last). The rubberbanding is most notable starting with the Mario Bros. Tour.
  11. Multiplayer support is about as bad as the multiplayer in Kirby Battle Royale:
    • There tend to be a lot of problems when attempting to find a match. It can take dozens of communication errors before one gets into a match. Even then, starting a match can take a long time.
    • There are too many lag and connection issues; it is extremely easy to get disconnected. Especially, it can be easy to get into a "1-player race" and then shortly disconnect afterward. Due to the lag, items you hit someone with might not slow them down and you may spin out for practically no reason at all.
    • Multiplayer is ironically more luck-based than skill-based at times because of lag as mentioned above and that’s due to the randomness of item boxes not being consistent. Oftentimes, you may still get items you normally get in 1st place when you are in 6th place or below.
    • Tracks are only selected from a cup of the running tour in order and are only rotated every 15 minutes.
    • In the multiplayer beta, private lobbies lacked any customization options so it's just the same as playing on quickplay with only members you choose to join.
    • In the multiplayer beta, the player didn't get any rewards for a multiplayer match. A tier-ranking system was added on the final release and the player can get rewards and experience, but disconnections do affect the experience. So, getting disconnected multiple times can result in losing lots of experience. You can even lose experience if you disconnect before the race even starts (which combined with the above lag and server problems) makes it very hard to rank up even with a strong internet connection.
    • Even though there are rule sets that can force less than 3 item slots on certain days, it didn't make players pick a variety of characters on races. This means that you can often see players use the same character on races. On days with 3 slots allowed like most pay-to-win games, the real winner is the player who uses a character with 3 item slots and thus will have an advantage over players who are only restricted to 1 item slot characters. On most maps, the only way to get 3-slot characters is to have a High-End character on hand.
    • Sometimes you are required to play multiplayer matches to get rewards.
  12. Like most free-to-play titles, it has always-online digital rights management even for the single-player mode, so an internet connection is required to play the game. While it might be a good idea, you'll almost and always race against CPUs similar to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Plants vs. Zombies 2's Battlez mode. This makes the point of always needing to be online feel redundant here. One day, this game may end up shutting down and will likely become lost like Dr. Mario World, the previous Mario mobile game.
    • With that said, you can't pause normally during a race. Fortunately, it works by bringing either the notification center or the control center in if you're playing on iOS or pressing Power on your phone of choice to lock it.
  13. You have to wait a while to get cups which can range from 1–5 days unless you use a quick ticket.
  14. For some reason, there are no losing animations for placing lower than 4th even though you lose experience in getting those positions. This makes the characters look like they're okay with losing rewards but it's not a bad thing to do.
  15. The Coin item is still in the game. While it can be acceptable if it is only collected on the track, you still gain them from item boxes. What’s making this worse is that coins here do not have any effect on the kart's speed, so getting a Coin in an item box is a complete dud. Speaking of which, while you usually only get around 10-20 coins per race (and can only get 300 coins maximum a day via races and 100 more via waiting for online races) the cost of items in the shop range from at least 50 coins to 12,000 coins. In the tier shop, the price of items can range from 500-800 coins to as high as 20,000 coins. At one point, ex-pipe-locked items from the daily shop could go as high as 30,000 coins for Pauline. That number of coins can only be achieved in 100 days if you were to collect 300 coins maximum every day.
  16. Speaking of items, the Triple Red Shell, Golden Mushroom and Chain Chomp (the first of which has been in every main series Mario Kart game since Mario Kart 64 the second being absent from Mario Kart: Super Circuit and the third one being the superior version of Bubble but absent since Mario Kart: Double Dash) are absent. While it's understandable for the former two to not have them due to the game having Frenzy mode, it's still a disappointment nonetheless, and the latter would have been added as well. Not to mention that the Feather and Boo which both returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are also absent as well as other items such as the Piranha Plant, Poison Mushroom, and POW Block, the latter of which are only seen in Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Kart, and Mario Kart Wii respectively.
    • Some characters even have the same special items as others. Speaking of which, why do the Triple Green Shell, Triple Banana, Triple Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Boomerang Flower fall into this category? Those are items that everyone should be able to use.
    • Some drivers have false items instead of correct ones:
      • Green Birdo's Fire Flower (despite being a reference to Super Mario Bros. 2)
      • Explorer Toadette and Golfer Luigi's Double Bob-ombs;
      • Builder Toad and Gold Dry Bowser's Bob-omb Cannon;
      • Penguin Toad's Dash Ring;
      • Kamek (worst offender), Meowser, and Wintertime Larry's Coin Box;
      • Cyan Explorer Shy Guy's Lucky Seven;
      • Cat Luigi and Gold Shy Guy's Giga Bob-omb;
      • White Tanooki Mario's Giant Banana
      • And Gold Mario's Fire Flower (also counts as the worst offender)
        • It could be better to have the Triple Green Shells (for Green Birdo), Hammer (for Builder Toad, Explorer Toadette, and Cyan Explorer Shy Guy), Ice Flower (for Penguin Toad, Kamek, Golfer Luigi, and Wintertime Larry), Cat Bell (for Meowser and Cat Luigi), Super Leaf (for White Tanooki Mario), and Coin Box (for Gold Mario, Gold Dry Bowser, Gold Shy Guy) for those who have false items.
        • In addition, the Daisy Mii Suit falls under this category, with it receiving Triple Bananas instead of Hearts.
  17. When the opponent hits some items to the player (especially Bananas and Bloopers) the word "Ouch!" appears. The on-screen text can be pretty repetitive and irritating. This is a perfect example of a game that is considered repetitive to players when it comes to this, though there are others too.
  18. There are no "My Nintendo" points to earn. This makes the app pointless for those who want it, not that there are too many rewards for it anyway.
  19. It's more than likely that you will get the same items in a pipe over and over, only getting new items once in a blue moon unless you first started playing the game or if you pull from a pipe with really good odds that contains certain items you don't have. Once you get a certain amount of the same item, any more of the same item pulled translates to half of its face value in coins.
  20. While having retro tracks is still a good idea as it has been since Mario Kart DS, there are way too many of them, to the point where they end up overshadowing the real-life tracks that the game is supposed to be focusing on making it feel more like a "best-of" compilation of tracks rather than a worldwide tour.
    • There aren't any Mario Kart 8 tracks in this game (except Sky High Sundae, Yoshi's Island, and Squeaky Clean Sprint under a technicality) despite Mario Kart 8 being the predecessor. While it may be acceptable due to the anti-gravity features used in all of the original tracks and not present in this game, the developers could modify these parts by "straightening" them or creating new shortcuts.
      • Toad Harbor and Bone-Dry Dunes both use anti-gravity sections only for secondary ways. Meanwhile, Excitebike Arena and Animal Crossing have none of them (despite both being based on other franchises).
      • To add insult to injury, Super Bell Subway does not feature anti-gravity sections and is the only Mario-themed course from that game to have this distinction. The developers could easily put this track into the game.
    • So many of the retro tracks in this game come from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 7 that some people have nicknamed "Mario Kart 7 Deluxe" or "Super Mario Kart Deluxe". In fact, every single track from Mario Kart 7 (along with the retro tracks from the said game) except 4 (listed below) appear here.
    • Even then, a lot of fan favorites or missed opportunities don't appear here:
      • The Bowser Castle tracks (but 1 and 2) and Mario Circuit 4 from Super Mario Kart;
      • Wario Stadium from Mario Kart 64, being the only track from the game that hasn't returned.
      • Broken Pier from Mario Kart: Super Circuit;
      • Mushroom City and Wario Colosseum from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!;
      • Delfino Square and Tick-Tock Clock from Mario Kart DS;
      • Toad Factory from Mario Kart Wii;
      • Music Park, Wuhu Loop, Maka Wuhu, and DK Jungle from Mario Kart 7;
      • Super Bell Subway from Mario Kart 8 (as mentioned before);
        • In addition, six tracks are returning from Mario Kart 8 of which are Piranha Plant Slide, Neo Bowser City, Royal Raceway, Yoshi Valley, Yoshi Circuit, and Baby Park. This does not excuse others like Cheep Cheep Beach, DS Wario Stadium, Tick-Tock Clock, or any of the Mario Kart 7 tracks from not returning.
        • There are two Super Bell Subway easter eggs given in this game, the sound of a ticket gate where players are entering a certain area in Wii DK Summit and Tokyo Blurs 3 and 4, and a badge that commemorates said track in the 2nd Anniversary Tour and the 2022 Cat Tour.
  21. Characters like Miis, the baby versions of certain characters, Dry Bones, Dixie Kong, and Kamek (the biggest offender) sound incredibly ear-grating that you might rather not hear them at all. The Miis were so obnoxiously loud Nintendo had to turn the volume of the Miis down after their self-titled tour.
  22. If you own a particular Mii costume, you would have to pay more rubies to level them up than to obtain them for the first time, costing 70 rubies for first-time purchases ($40USD) or 100 rubies for leveling up the costumes ($56USD). Not only that, but you would have to pay 100 rubies to obtain them the first time if you miss out on getting it during its debut tour.
  23. Many of the races are dumbed down to only two laps instead of the usual three laps that have been present in the other Mario Kart games. While this can be somewhat excusable since this is a mobile game, it makes many of the races completely anti-climactic and unfulfilling as a result.
    • To make this even more frustrating, even Super Mario Kart didn’t have the usual 3 laps either, and yet the tracks there had a whopping five laps which made the tracks there more fulfilling like the tracks in the other Mario Kart games. So it’s a real beating in the teeth seeing that the number of laps here has been downgraded to only two laps.
    • Sure two tracks from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! had 2 and 7 laps instead of the usual 3, those tracks being Wario Colosseum and Baby Park (which also appeared in Mario Kart 8), but at least there the 2 or 7 laps were worth it and it worked due to its impressively large (for the former) and small (for the latter) size. But here, the tracks are too short to have 2 laps and they were already fun with the usual 3.
      • Although the Mario Kart DS version of Baby Park was dumbed down to 5 laps instead of 7 and erases what made the original Baby Park track in Double Dash so hectic and that it was made a bit bigger, the tracks in Tour show almost no improvement in size, length, or even time, except for the Trick variant where players can also explore outside of the track in Baby Park.
      • Even Wii Rainbow Road and GBA Bowser Castle 4 have been nerf to segment-based tracks, due to the pacing of this game and for being longer tracks.
    • However, tracks found here like Ninja Hideaway, Tokyo Blur, New York Minute, Sydney Sprint, Berlin Byways, Yoshi's Island, and Singapore Speedway are done justice in the Booster Course Pass where they are given the usual 3 laps there, and when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s version of real-life city tracks combine their respective variants into a bigger track in the Booster Course Pass.
  24. The worst microtransaction in the game by far is 10 driver point boost tickets for $4USD, which are easily obtainable in several different ways and for free, and those who play the game for a long time would have already leveled up their characters anyway. It's like if they tried to sell item box tickets for real money, which considered would be just as worthless of a purchase anyway.
  25. There are paid banners that are plagiarized in certain tours with the biggest offenders being the Builder Mario pack (which appeared in the Toad vs. Toadette, Bangkok, and Mario vs Luigi Rematch tours), Pink Gold Paper Glider pack, featuring 3DS Daisy Hills in Berlin and the 2021 Paris Tours which were seen in the Flower Tour (despite 3DS Daisy Hills not appearing in both tours) and Gold Koopa (Freerunning) pack featuring RMX Choco Island 2 in the Metropolitan Tour which was seen in the Peach vs. Daisy Tour (despite not being a city track).
    • But that's not all, the Anniversary Tour paid banners suffer the most, with not only 3DS Toad Circuit (which appeared in the Cat Parafoil and Cat Toad packs) and GCN Yoshi Circuit (which appeared in Builder Toadette pack) appearing in these banners, but also ruins the theme around real-life city tracks.
  26. Strangely, when players are doing lots of combos, then the combo just breaks, which is not only due to the poor optimizations of this game but also due to a bug.
  27. There are several bad or mediocre tours where players can get bored such as
    • Filler tours
    • The New York Tour (which didn't start the game well)
    • The Baby Rosalina Tour (the first emergency tour)
    • The Hammer Bro Tour (the second emergency tour)
    • The Jungle Tour (due to the misleading signature stage, being DS DK Pass, and the wasted potential, being 3DS DK Jungle)
    • The Berlin Tour (started 2021 on a bad note due to the Lederhosen Luigi controversy)
    • The Bowser vs. DK Tour (the infamous (Team Rally) tour)
    • The Kamek Tour
    • The Wario vs. Waluigi Tour
    • The Anniversary Tour of 2022 (ended the pipes that launch drivers, karts, and gliders in a bad way)
    • The 2023 New Year's Tour (ended 2022 on a bad note for the huge wasted concept and Mushroom City being a missed opportunity)
    • The 2023 Ninja Tour (due to the misleading concept)
  28. Numerous problems in several tours that can be messed up rather than fixed compared to several tours in this game:
    • Sometimes, the concepts might be misleading due to Nintendo running out of ideas, such as the 2023 New Year'S Tour for the lack of a true New Year's concept, outside of Kadomatsu, and replacing it with certain tracks with R/T variants.
    • On rare occasions, some of the bonus challenges take place in a different course, despite not appearing normally (for example: 3DS Toad Circuit in the 2019 Halloween Tour despite not appearing in this tour).
    • Putting false items on certain drivers (as mentioned in WINT#16c).
    • Caused the game to have an error at the start of the Metropolitan Tour until it was fixed the next day or later.
    • Putting "Do Jump Boosts" with Peachette in Tokyo Blur in the last cup of the Tokyo Tour.
      • This could share the same fate with the 2020 Mario vs. Luigi Tour, the Doctor Tour, and the Ocean Tour.
    • Putting SNES Rainbow Road as a returning course with R/T variants instead of 3DS Rock Rock Mountain with R/T variants (counts as a missed potential) in the Mario Bros. Tour, likely due to time constraints.
    • Not adding 3DS DK Jungle in the Jungle Tour, which featured Dixie Kong and Funky Kong, and instead put GCN Dino Dino Jungle (or DS DK Pass) as the signature course of this tour.
    • Not putting Builders Mario and Luigi in certain thumbnails in the Mario vs. Luigi Tour, despite being spotlight drivers.
    • Putting Vs. Mega way too early in the Berlin Tour, which is in the 4th cup, rather than halfway. (arguably the worst offender)
    • Lacking a course or a driver in the Bowser vs. DK Tour (also counts as the worst offender).
    • Boosting only Waluigi Team Tokens in the Wario vs. Waluigi Tour due to players choosing Team Waluigi in the Twitter account, which causes Team Wario to suffer a loss.
    • Lacking a Mii Cup in the Amsterdam Tour (also counts as a missed potential). Though, this prevents milking the said cup.
      • Granted, this game may have been one of the biggest "odd one outs", but it does not help they are intentional at best.

Nowadays

  1. The Mega Mushroom is severely underpowered in this game: Getting hit by any item will return the player to normal size, making this version of the item far inferior to its Mario Kart Wii counterpart. Not to mention that the Mega Mushroom user doesn't get any speed boost or off-road advantages like in Mario Kart Wii. Also, the music doesn’t change to the Mega Mushroom theme from New Super Mario Bros for some reason.
    • What makes it even worse is the fact that you can only get this item around 8th to 6th place! This means you have to be lucky to even make the item last to even stand a chance at winning a race if you’re in the low placements.
  2. If you thought Nintendo ran out of ideas after the Baby Rosalina tour, Nintendo decided to bring back certain tours recently, including the 2020 versions of Halloween and Winter tours (it makes sense in this context, given that it's a seasonal event, but still) and 2021 versions of the Trick Tour and the Paris Tour, the 2022 Los Angeles Tour, the Sydney Tour, and the Peach vs. Bowser Tour twice in one year.
  3. As of June 2021, you will no longer be given your daily reward immediately except for an occasional exception, like not playing the game for a given period. Now you have to play one round a day for your reward.
  4. You can't buy quick tickets from the store anymore, they are now only obtainable by completing one of your Tour Challenges sheets.
  5. On two occasions, they increased the level that your items can level up to on purpose just to get players to waste time and money maxing them out using an obscene amount of level-up tickets per level, level 8 doubling the amount of level up tickets needed to reach that level that was previously needed in level 7
  6. Biggest example of false advertising: They claim that an update would remove the loot boxes, but in reality, the loot boxes have been reworked into pipes that you could get when with only coins, and they still work the same. This also makes the game even grind-ier, due to the game still using rubies.
  7. On September 10, 2023, Nintendo announced that the game would no longer receive new content meaning previous tours will be rerunning and no new items will come out.

Back then

  1. Before July 21, 2020, you could only play the game in portrait mode and with swipe gestures for steering. This is unacceptable for a mobile racing game, so don't expect to play it with a controller.
  2. As time went on, the final scores to aim for on the first cup would become ridiculously high. It would get so high to the point where it just becomes unfair. It's understandable to keep it at maybe 1,000 or 1,500 points to achieve a Grand Star, but you will expect newcomers to achieve 7,300 points on their first race. Fortunately, the final score limit was reverted due to negative feedback from players.
  3. If you maxed out an ex-pipe item and pulled it again, it would translate to half its face value of coins of regular shop items and not of their insanely inflated value.
  4. Before the Wild West tour, which started on July 28, 2020, the game didn't give out any rewards or even have a results screen for finishing all the cups in a tour.
  5. The deuteragonist of the Super Mario franchise, Luigi, wasn't added to the game until October 23, 2019, which was nearly a month after it was released (due to attempting to release him in time for Luigi's Mansion 3). To make matters worse, Luigi was on the title screen before he was even in the game, though it is not as crucial as Pokémon Masters EX where Sygna Suit Red, Lance, Steven, Cynthia, and Diantha appear in the title screen on the base game (however, Cynthia does appear at launch, but she is not playable) they don't appear until later around 2020 (2021 for Diantha).
  6. The online multiplayer mode used to not be available at release, and to make matters worse, the game always required an Internet connection to be played. However, Nintendo promised to release it later.
  7. The Baby Rosalina Tour. At this point, many fans thought Nintendo ran out of ideas. While it can be excusable as a majority of the tours starting from this point are considered "emergency tours", this led to many gamers questioning how the development team didn't create full tours in advance.
  8. Kart Pro was so rigged that you will rarely get first place on 3 races in a row due to its stupidly high difficulty in terms of luck, and connectivity issues.
  9. Certain ex-pipe items used to cost much more, with dumb pricing choices like 1,500 coins for Baby Luigi, 9,000 coins for the remaining Super drivers, 20000 coins for High-End karts and gliders, and even 30,000 coins for Pauline.
  10. Team Rallies used to be somewhat unbalanced in that only the most popular character would win due to many people picking it.
    • And to rub salt to the wound, the Team Rally Rematch Tours appear, but with added additional content such as N64 Luigi Raceway, GCN Waluigi Stadium, DS Peach Gardens, Knight Luigi (along with his golden counterpart) and Blue Shy Guy,
  11. There used to be a challenge where all you would do is touch the screen to do a rocket start. We are not kidding. Thankfully, it was gone as of now.
  12. Pipes that took rubies were very rigged and only allowed you to unlock new characters, karts, and gliders once in a blue moon (unless you are new to this game). It would cost 5 rubies to pull once, and 45 for 10 pulls, in 100, 50, 30, and 10 pipes, where completely emptying any single pipe spending 45 to 450 rubies single pipe allowed the user to unlock all the spotlights in the pipe, or in the case of some pipes, get all the high-ends that can be given out from the pipe out of 50-30 pulls.
  13. The beta version of the game had a stamina system similar to many puzzle games on mobile, forcing players to complete tasks and level up quickly or they will be unable to play for a while unless they pay for more stamina. Fortunately, it was removed in the final release.
    • However, as mentioned above, there is a daily cap on how many coins a player can get each day, acting very similar to it, which only doubles if you pay for a Gold Pass.
  14. The Mii Suits of Rosalina, King Boo, Birdo, the Question Box, Petey Piranha, and Dry Bowser have DREADFUL unlock goals. Not only does the player have to finish 1st place in the 1st and 2nd halves of a tour, but they also have to be in tier 50 or above! That is so insulting to players who aren’t even pros (or whales) at the game.
    • And just to add more salt to the wound, they reran the Mii suits of Rosalina and the Question Box with the same unlock goal.

Good Qualities

  1. Some new drivers were playable for the first time as well as old drivers who return in the Mario Kart series:
    • Peachette (despite being a power-up of Toadette (mostly) and Peach);
    • Pauline (who was used to be playable for a limited time back when the game was launched until fully playable as of Holiday Tour);
    • Hammer Bro (who was originally intended to be playable for Mario Kart Wii);
    • Monty Mole (until he became fully playable starting with the Wild West Tour);
    • Dixie Kong (became fully playable as of the Bowser vs. DK Tour);
    • Nabbit (became fully playable as of the Bowser vs. DK Tour);
    • Captain Toad (despite being an alternate counterpart of Toad via separated and became fully playable starting with the Sky Tour);
    • King Bob-omb (became playable as of the Rosalina Tour);
    • Kamek (who was originally intended to be playable for Mario Kart 64 and ''Mario Kart 8'');
    • Meowser (despite being a power-up of Bowser via separated);
    • Chargin' Chuck (becomes fully playable starting with the Peach vs. Bowser Tour);
    • Dr. Mario (despite being an alternate counterpart of Mario); and
    • Poochy
      • Diddy Kong, Birdo and Funky Kong (Who was used to be obtainable for a limited time back in the Jungle Tour until becoming a permanent high-end as of Cat Tour) finally return since Mario Kart Wii.
        • On top of that, Petey Piranha and Wiggler finally return since Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Kart 7 respectively.
      • Most of the aforementioned characters were added in future updates.
      • Miis have been added into the game as of March 9, 2022, where you can play as your own customized Mii, in one of many Mii costumes that give the same benefits a Mario character in this game would.
        • Speaking of Mii Costumes, 3 of the same costumes per tour can be instantly bought with Rubies, 70 Rubies the first time, and 100 Rubies if you already have them or after their debut tour is over.
  2. Despite having the clone characters fill empty character slots, the game arguably has the best roster in the Mario Kart series, maybe even the best roster in the whole Mario franchise.
    • There are a handful of good character clones, such as the Doctor versions of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser, Aurora Rosalina, Party Time Pauline, Explorer Peach, NES Open Golf Mario and Luigi, Meowser, Kamek (despite the ear-grating voice), Captain Toad, Wedding Peach, Explorer Toadette, Builder versions of Mario, Toad, Toadette, and Luigi, the 16 bit versions of Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. (despite Donkey Kong Jr. not having his original model), Cat versions of Mario. Luigi, Peach, Rosalina, Toad, and Meowser, Sailor Daisy, etc.
  3. The item balance is once again based on position rather than distance, due to criticism of Mario Kart 8's item balance, albeit you can still get overpowered items (such as Coin Box and Lucky Seven) in the first place.
  4. Some great items return here, such as Bowser's Shell, Ice Flower, Lucky Seven, Coin Box, and the Mega Mushroom, despite the latter being nerfed.
    • The Fake Item Box and Thunder Cloud aren't in the game, because the former is just a Banana that doesn't block items and looks nothing like a regular Item Box, and the latter just straight up hurts the user if they don't give it to another racer.
  5. Good graphics for a mobile game.
  6. Mission mode returns ever since Mario Kart Wii's Tournament Mode.
    • As mentioned before, the "Take Them Out Quick" bonus challenge becomes uncommon (and somewhat a filler) in 2022 after it appeared once in 2020, and the difficulty becomes balanced.
    • Additionally, other rare bonus challenges like "Big Reverse Race vs. 100" and "Precision Gliding" at least give spotlights in certain tours.
  7. At least the microtransactions aren't as extreme as the ones in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Chocobo GP (pre-Season 2; until microtransactions got removed on June 2023), CSR Racing 2, or Asphalt 8: Airborne (after Vivendi's hostile takeover of Gameloft) and doesn't restrict the grinding heavily unlike Dr. Mario World and Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.
  8. The Record Setter Glider is amongst one of the best items in the game, as it keeps track of how far you fly with it every time you use it, up to 999.9. Additionally, the New Year's 2022 glider is the second-best glider due to its fully dynamic appearance, despite having a few top-tier tracks.
  9. The 2019 Winter Tour update added the option to steer without drifting.
  10. Multiplayer mode at least encourages victory over position instead of over points.
  11. The real-life city track arrangements in this game are decent.
  12. As of July 21, 2020, Landscape Mode has been added to the game.
  13. The tracks that make their debut in this game are fun to play through.
  14. At least the game is more rewarding in recent times.
  15. Kart Pro has changed so that you can at least hold first-place win streaks for 2nd and 3rd places as well.
  16. Sometimes, the characters, karts, and gliders are priced more fairly with real money, which even adds the same amount of rubies for the item you paid for the item as a bonus most of the time. For example, the 2020 and 2021 gliders cost USD 1.99 with 3-5 bonus rubies included.
  17. Since June 2021, when you complete your daily task, you will be able to pull a character, kart, and glider of any rarity, rubies, and coins. Sometimes, you will be given 5 rubies upfront or a new badge.
  18. As mentioned in WIS General #14, it is okay to earn points when finishing in 5th-8th place as long as the player can score points for Grand Stars or new records.
  19. Some pipes have really good odds and are often easy to gain new characters, karts, or gliders from while using as few rubies as possible.
    • Hint: The only way to get High-end drivers, gliders, or karts is to see the Golden Pipe (or fake green pipes on extremely rare occasions), especially the All-Clear Pipe.
    • At least once a tour, there are 50 or 30 pipes where players are granted a higher chance of obtaining characters, karts, and gliders while spending fewer rubies in the process.
    • Every once in a while, you will see pipes containing a 12% chance of obtaining high ends, usually as 9 spotlights and 3 randomized high-ends in a 100 pipe.
    • The 16-bit alts replace some of the music with Super Mario Kart replacements, like the item get sound, the race start, the item roulette, and victory themes.
    • At one point in 2020, there was even a 50 pipe with 8 spotlights, 4 high ends and 4 supers.
    • Nintendo had a Colorful Yoshi and Birdo Pipe that can only be fired 10 times (with no refills) that gave you 2 high-end characters and 8 super characters for 45 rubies, or the chance to get any of the 10 spotlights you wanted for 5 rubies each, even though this pipe is known for mass outbreaks.
      • In addition, there is a Golden Pipe in the Bangkok Tour that grants users a 100% chance of getting a high-end spotlight, 10 of them in fact, in which the pipe contains gold items, including the Gold Zucchini, for 45 rubies, just like the aforementioned Colorful Pipe. This is known to be the best pipe in the game as of this tour.
  20. The idea of Mario Kart racing in worldwide tours is unique and interesting, despite being poorly executed. If cloud would have been much better if this game had no microtransactions and gave the players the ability to play all the characters without the paywalls to unlock them until the gacha is removed on October 4, 2022; though, it still has rubies to buy content.
  21. The Battle Mode finally appeared in this game, making it look like a AAA Mario Kart game.

Reception

Mario Kart Tour was met with mostly mixed reception from critics and mostly negative reception from players. It is one of the lowest rated Mario games on Metacritic, as the game has a critic score of 59/100, and a user score of 3.8/10.[1] Many consider it to be the worst Mario Kart game to date, and one of the worst Mario games in recent times besides Dr. Mario World.

The Completionist listed the game, along with the other Nintendo mobile games released in 2019 as number three in his Top 10 Worst Video Games of 2019 video. WatchMojo similarly featured the game on their list as number eight.

Despite the game's pitiful reception, Mario Kart Tour won the "Racing Game of the Year" award at the 2020 DICE Awards, beating out Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.

Videos

References

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