Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour is a kart-racing game and an entry in the Mario Kart series for iOS and Android, developed and published by Nintendo on September 25, 2019.
Why It Sucks
- The game's monetization system is very egregious much like Dr. Mario World, even for a mobile game and Nintendo standards with an insulting inclusion of loot boxes.
- Rubies, the game's main currency, take too long to obtain. You cannot use them to buy characters, karts, or gliders. Instead, the only thing you can buy with them is pipes, which randomly unlocks one of the three aforementioned things.
- To make matters a lot worse, there’s a 99.9% chance of getting something you already have, to the point that you’ll only get something new once in a blue moon.
- 200cc and many parts are locked behind a $5 a month "Gold Pass", which is incredibly lacking. Yes, this is actually 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.
- Trying to steer with a touchscreen device is very clunky and awkward.
- Drifting is automatic, which means you'll always drift when you turn, even if you don't need to drift.
- You only start as Toad or Toadette (or in extremely rare cases, Peachette; you will also gain either Peach or Bowser after the tutorial.) The rest of the characters are locked through the loot box system and the chances to get those characters are very low. And yes, this includes Mario and Luigi themselves.
- To add insult-to-injury, some characters are locked behind overpriced paywalls, with the most infamous example being Diddy Kong, who costs about $40, which is almost as much as a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is a better game than this! At least the microtransactions in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes aren't that major.
- Lack of other vehicles from previous games like bikes and ATV's.
- Wheel customization is also missing.
- You are normally unable to drive off road, something of which you can do in every other Mario Kart game. This takes away some challenges as a result because driving off the road would normally slow down your kart. The only way to end up driving off the road is by getting hit by a shell while in mid-air.
- This, along with the fact that you automatically accelerate, makes it possible to win races by doing absolutely nothing.
- Like with most free-to-play titles, it has always-online DRM, so an internet connection is required to play the game.
- Even then, you'll race against CPUs most of the time, similar to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and 's Battlez mode.
- With that said, you can't pause normally during a race. Fortunately, It works by bringing either the notification center or the control center if you’re playing on iOS.
- One of the two leading characters of the Mario franchise, Luigi, wasn't added into the game until 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 in the title screen before he was even in the game.
- The beta version of the game had a stamina system, 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 after enough races, rewards will be heavily reduced unless the player waits the next day, acting very similar to it.
- There are no tracks from Mario Kart Wii or Mario Kart 8.
- For some reason, there are no losing animations for getting 5th or below, even though you lose experience if you get 5th or below. This makes the characters look like they're okay with losing rewards.
- The Coin item is still in the game. While it could be acceptable if it is only collected on the track, you still gain them from item boxes. Speaking of which, while you usually only get around 10-20 coins per race, the cost of items in the shop range to at least 800 coins to 12,000 coins!
- Speaking of items, the Triple Red Shell and Golden Mushroom, the former of which has been in every main series Mario Kart game since Mario Kart 64 while the latter was absent from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, are absent. While it's understandable to not have them due to the game having Frenzy mode, it's still a disappointment nonetheless. Not to mention that the Feather and Boo, which both returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, are also absent.
- Even more clone characters in the form of characters like Musician Mario, Black Shy Guy, and Peachette that only serve no purpose other than for filler. While most of them are not as insultingly bad as clones like Tanooki Mario and Pink Gold Peach (the latter was even added on the Winter Tour), they 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, Petey Piranha, Paratroopa, etc. who haven't appeared in forever or characters who haven't appeared in a Mario Kart title, but have potential, such as Hammer Bro.
- Every update adds at least two new clone characters. Speaking of which, Nintendo had the guts to completely recolor characters like Birdo, Yoshi, and Shy Guy and attempt to pass those off as additional characters. What's worse is that they share the same animations, sounds, and artwork.
- You have to wait a while to get cups, which can range from a few hours to a week!
- The game can only be played in portrait mode and with swipe gestures for steering, which is unacceptable for a mobile racing game, so don't expect to play it with a controller.
- There are no My Nintendo points to earn, making this app pointless for those that want them.
- Multiplayer support when it was in beta is about as bad as the multiplayer in Kirby Battle Royale:
- There tends 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.
- Tracks are only selected from a cup of the running tour in order and are only rotated every 30 minutes.
- Custom lobbies lacks any customization options, so it's just the same as playing on quickplay with only members you choose to join.
- You currently do not gain any rewards for completing a multiplayer race regardless of your position.
- Much 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 is 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.
- As time would go on, the final scores to aim for on the first cup became ridiculously high, to the point that it just becomes unfair. It’s understandable to keep it at maybe 1000 or maybe 1500 points in order to achieve a Grand Star. However, would you expect newcomers to achieve 7300 points on their first race?!
- It's great to see Pauline being playable in Mario Kart.
- Some great items return here, such as Bowser's Shell and the Mega Mushroom.
- At least the Fake Item Box and Thunder Cloud, which are awful items, aren't in the game.
- The graphics are great.
- Mission mode returns again, since Mario Kart Wii's tournament mode.
- Most of the aforementioned characters are planned to be added in future updates.
- At least the microtransactions aren't as extreme as the ones in 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.
- Diddy Kong and Birdo finally return since Mario Kart Wii.
- Mario Kart fans might like it.
- The Winter Tour updated added the option to steer without drifting.
- Multiplayer mode at least encourages victory over position instead of over points.
Mario Kart Tour was met with mostly mixed reception from critics and mostly negative reception from gamers. 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 4.0/10.
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 pitful reception, Mario Kart Tour won the "Racing Game of the Year" award at the 2020 DICE Awards, beating out Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled.