The popular gaming franchise Mario Kart by Nintendo is a spin-off from the Super Mario series and it goes a long way back when first released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game has seen generations of players battling it together over the years for pure fun, it is indeed nostalgia personified in every sense. The game has evolved in the last decade or so – becoming a staple for a gaming console and mobile device users alike. So what would have been the next big leap for Nintendo to take?
Bring the game environment to the real-world in a mixed reality experience which sees you and your pals racing for supremacy in the cozy confines of your home this Holiday Season. Yes, that’s true as you can turn your living room into a race track for the most exciting entertainment because binge-watching Netflix is so mainstream! Nintendo calls it Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit which fuses classic kart racing in the real-world with an augmented reality environment. It is actually a two-part acquisition – one you have to download the game from Nintendo Switch eShop which solves the gaming interface bit, and the other a $99.99 RC kart (with either Mario or Luigi) and a stack of 4 cardboard gates which shape the racing track in any space inside your home. These cardboards are the checkpoints for the race circuit and the kart needs to pass through them, till the last one to register a complete lap. The track’s turns and straights are left to your creative building – using things like sofas, tables, kids’ toys, or coffee cups for instance to craft the race track in a space as small as 15 x 15 feet!
The kart has an on-board camera for the live feed on your Nintendo Switch to get the close-up racing action. Mixed with the augmented reality elements, the experience promises countless hours of fun with up to three other players. The only requirement being – each player needs to have a separate Switch to participate in live races against each other. The idea is purely fun and resonates with everyone stuck indoors who loves the sense of adventure. Of course, there are things like your grumpy cat (who doesn’t like things moving on wheels) to consider which brings an unexpected twist to the racing environment. Nintendo has got this right and the prospect of getting creative indoors in such a volatile environment outside will keep you hooked for hours at end!