First revealed in the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Nintendo Direct, the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit game is a new Mario Kart experience for both series veterans and newcomers alike, launching for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 16 (pre-order at Amazon).
Created in partnership by Nintendo and Velan Studios, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit uses AR technology to bridge the gap between the virtual world of Mario Kart and the real world of your home, bringing Mushroom Kingdom motorsports to life with a combination of on-screen gameplay and physical kart racing.
“Get your engines revved up for Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which launches just in time for the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“Whether you’ve always dreamed of turning your living room into Rainbow Road or want to prove once and for all that you’re the fastest racer among your friends and family, we hope this new Mario Kart experience brings smiles to people of all ages.”
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit includes one kart — with either Mario or Luigi in the driving seat, depending on the set you choose — plus four gates, two arrow signboards that can be used to enhance courses and a USB charging cable for the kart.
The software comes in the form of a free download from Nintendo eShop, which, once downloaded, syncs up with the physical kart hardware.
Set up for the game involves placing the four gates around your living space, then driving through each of them in turn to create a course layout. Creativity is key, since many different course shapes can be designed, from simple and classic to more complex layouts, full of twists and turns.
An area of roughly 12’ x 10’ is recommended for the best gameplay experience, but beyond that, most living spaces can be transformed into a unique Mario Kart experience, with numerous course combinations possible. Once the course has been set up, it’s time to race!
The main mode of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is Grand Prix, which lets you face off against the Koopalings across eight Grand Prix cups, featuring 24 different races in total. In every race, familiar Mario Kart elements in the game affect the physical kart itself, bringing the frenetic fun of Mario Kart into a whole new dimension.
Grabbing a Mushroom in-game gives the physical kart a speed boost, whereas getting hit by a Red Shell will stop the kart in its tracks. A range of well-known items from the Mario Kart series are present, including slippery Bananas, ink-spilling Bloopers and even Bullet Bills that enable the kart to surge around the course at high speed, steering itself.
Different environmental themes, such as underwater, volcanic and retro, spice things up further by introducing a variety of in-game hazards and features – all of which affect the kart in real life.
Collecting coins in-game will also unlock customization options, allowing players to spruce up their on-screen look with different costumes and kart types. Similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s also a steering assist option to help the kart stay on the track and allow younger or less experienced players to join in on the fun.
In addition to Grand Prix mode, there are various other ways to play Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.
Custom Race: This mode gives players even more room for creativity, designing not just the physical layout of the course, but also the ability to add hazards, items and more to bring truly unique creations to life.
Time Trials: Players create a course and then race to set the fastest time possible – competing either against their own personal best, or handing the controller to another player for an exciting Time Trials head-to-head that requires only one Nintendo Switch system and one Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit game.
Mirror Mode: For those who fancy an extra challenge, this mode allows all of the Grand Prix cups to be played in mirror image, with right turns becoming left and the familiar becoming unfamiliar.
With multiple Nintendo Switch systems and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit games, up to four players can race against each other in either Grand Prix or Custom Race modes.
With so many different ways to play, and the ability to use furniture, toys and other household objects to create unique home racecourses every time, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit offers a world of possibilities for imaginative racers of all ages and experience levels.