Mario Kart Tour

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Mario Kart Tour
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Oh come on Nintendo, why did you have to make virtual racing more of a costly venture than something actually fun?
Genre(s): Racing
Platform(s): Android
iOS
Release: 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 which 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 final Mario game to release on mobile, and the second one to still be playable as of now after Super Mario Run.

Why It's No Tour

In General

  1. Misleading title: You might think that racing tracks based on famous real-life locations are the main focus of this game (which it is), but the only such tracks currently released are set in New York (four times), Tokyo (eight times), Paris (seven times), London (six times), Vancouver (four times), Los Angeles (four times), Berlin (thrice), Sydney (thrice), Singapore (twice), Amsterdam (twice), and Bangkok.
    • Most tours in fact have a random Mario character as their theme, and pretty much, it’s a very ridiculous feature (counting that in previous Mario Kart games they were mostly Power-Ups). Also, to rub salt into the wound, all the courses were taken directly from the previous titles (except Mario Kart 8, which will be mentioned later).
    • These days, Nintendo is starting to have trouble finding matches with Mario characters to do new tours. This has led them to recycle old tours with the worst offender by far being the second Sydney Tour, which had already been done in April of the same year. Why not look out for some other interesting city or country on which to create a circuit? There are plenty of them that are known for missed opportunities, like Moscow, Miami, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, and so many others. Italian cities such as Rome, Venice, Milan, Genoa, or Naples would be particularly ideal given Mario and Luigi's ancestry.
  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.
  3. Rubies, the game's main currency, take way 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 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 cheapest ruby pack doesn't even give you enough to pull the pipe 1 time since you only get 3 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 a tour.
  4. 200cc and many parts of the game are locked behind a $4.99 a month "Gold Pass" which is incredibly lacking. 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. 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 less features.
  5. Trying to steer with a touchscreen device is very clunky and awkward; you might often hit the barriers because of the poor manageability. 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. Previous Mario Kart games have allowed more conventional controllers as an alternative to motion controls, so Nintendo should know better!
    • 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 you would fall into a pit, 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 and the chances to get those characters are very low. This even 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 with 90 rubies and a quick ticket. This costed 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 are 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 ATV's.
  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 this could work during ACR (All-cup Ranking) for a higher score.
  9. Even more clones in the form of characters like Musician Mario, 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, 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 Cyan), 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), Paratroopa, 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) or Hammer Bro (who was later added in his own tour, the Hammer Bro Tour).
    • 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, Cyan Shy Guy, 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 eventually 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. Hell, 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.
    • There are alts that include Power-Up drivers (Fire Rosalina, Penguin characters, Cat characters, Tanooki characters, and Builder characters).
    • There's 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 karts got a clone kart like Dozer Dasher, Apple Kart, B Dasher Mk. II and Taxi having several alts (the first one having Black, Pink and Ice Blue, the second one having Green, Poison, Pumpkin and Gold Pumpkin, the third one having Red, Pink, Cyan, Green, Black, Cream and Classic, and the last one having Platinum, Red and Rose).
    • 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, White Raccoon Mario (despite being an actual powerup 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.
    • 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 a ? Block Mii Suit, a Cat Mii Suit, Ice Cream Mii Suit, Dolphin Mii Suit, Chef Mii Suit, and a Chain Chomp Mii Suit, instead of Mii suits of other key characters like Daisy, Bowser (& Bowser Jr.), Waluigi, Lakitu, Kamek, Diddy Kong, Chargin' Chuck, etc.
      • The stupidest Mii Racing Suit is going to be a Cheep Cheep Mii Suit, and not only because of the special item (which is useless even as a HIGH END item), the infamous Bubble item, but also speculating that it could be Bowser Mii Suit.
    • 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 don't match the drivers' respective appearances, with the worst offenders being the Gold Roving Racer (which uses the black pipe frame instead of gold), Pauline, and King Bob-omb (who both use magenta pipe frames 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 (compare 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 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.
    • 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 afterwards. Due to the lag, items you apparently 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 with 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 media 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 on 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 could 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 the daily 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 that 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.
    • There are drivers who have false items instead of correct ones like Explorer Toadette and Golfer Luigi's Double Bob-ombs, Builder Toad's Bob-omb Cannon, Penguin Toad's Dash Ring, Kamek and Meowser's Coin Box, Cat Luigi's Giga Bob-omb, and White Tanooki Mario's Giant Banana. It could be better to have the Hammer (for Builder Toad and Explorer Toadette), Ice Flower (for Penguin Toad, Kamek, and Golfer Luigi), Cat Bell (for Meowser and Cat Luigi), and Super Leaf (for White Tanooki Mario) for those who have false items.
  17. When the opponent hit 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 that want them, 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 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 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 crossover tracks of things from other franchises).
      • To add insult to injury, Super Bell Subway does not feature anti-gravity sections. This is the only Mario-themed course to have this distinction. The developers could easily put this track into the game.
      • The only track from here that will be added is Sky-High Sundae, which implies that this will be the next tour after the Ocean Tour, although some may speculate that the green background implies to be an "Explorer Mii Suit", alongside GBA Riverside Park. Although this makes sense since this new track can coincide with the Wave 2 of Mario Kart 8 DLC.
    • 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". In fact, every single track from Mario Kart 7 (along with the retro tracks from the said game) except 4 (listed below) or 5 (if counting N64 Luigi Raceway, the only Retro track from Mario Kart 7 that is absent in this game) appear here.
    • Even then, a lot of fan favorites or missed opportunities don't appear here:
      • The Bowser Castle tracks, Mario Circuit 4, and Ghost Valley 2 from Super Mario Kart;
      • Riverside Park, Lakeside Park, Snow Land, Yoshi Desert, Boo Lake, and Broken Pier from Mario Kart: Super Circuit;
      • Mushroom City (possibly one of the two biggest offenders), Wario Colosseum, and Waluigi Stadium from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!;
      • Delfino Square, Shroom Ridge, Mario Circuit, Tick-Tock Clock, and Peach Gardens from Mario Kart DS;
      • Toad Factory, Daisy Circuit, Dry Dry Ruins, and Moonview Highway from Mario Kart Wii;
      • Music Park, Wuhu Loop, Maka Wuhu, DK Jungle, and N64 Luigi Raceway (retro track) from Mario Kart 7;
      • Super Bell Subway from Mario Kart 8 (as mentioned before);
      • Even Wario Stadium from Mario Kart 64 (also counts as one of the two biggest offenders) doesn’t appear. It may appear in the future though.
        • Ironically, DS Shroom Ridge and GBA Snow Land do appear in the Booster Course Pass.
        • Ghost Valley 2 was mentioned in the announcement banner of the 2020 Halloween Tour, but it has still yet to appear.
        • In addition, there are six tracks returning from Mario Kart 8 of which are Piranha Plant Slide, Neo Bowser City, Royal Raceway, Yoshi Valley, Yoshi Circuit and Baby Park. So apparently 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 Blur 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. In fact, 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 have 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 actually 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.
    • However, tracks found here like Ninja Hideaway, Tokyo Blur, New York Minute, Sydney Sprint, and Paris Promenade 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.
  25. There are paid banners that are plagiarized in certain tours with the biggest offenders being the 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).
  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 after:
    • Filler tours (depending on your view)
    • The New York Tour (which started the game on a bad note)
    • 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 in a bad note and due to Lederhosen Luigi controversy)
    • The Bowser vs. DK Tour (the infamous (Team Rally) tour)
    • The Kamek Tour (depending on your view)
    • The Wario vs. Waluigi Tour (also depending on your view)
  28. Numerous problems in several tours that can be messed up rather than fixed comparing to several tours in this game:
    • In rare occasions, some of the bonus challenges take place in a different course, despite not appearing normally (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#16b).
    • Causing the game to have an error at the start of the Metropolitan Tour until it was fixed in the next day or later.
    • Putting "Do Jump Boosts" with Peachette in Tokyo Blur in the last cup of the Tokyo 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 the 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).
      • Depending on your view, these can be considered intentional due to the time constraints, even if they looked messed up.

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 that fact that you can only get this item around 8th to 6th place! Meaning 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, and even the Sydney 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 of time. 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. Compared to the bonus challenge that contained only Rocket Starts, the "Take them out quick!" bonus challenge only serves as a filler in only three tours so far (2020 Winter Tour, Doctor Tour, and Ocean Tour).

Back then

  1. Prior to 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 would go on, the final scores to aim for on the first cup would become ridiculously high. In fact, 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 in order 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. Prior to 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 into 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 Lance, Steven, Cynthia, and Diantha appear in the title screen on the base game (however, Cynthia does appear, but she is not playable) but 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. Though, Nintendo actually promised to release it later.
  7. The Baby Rosalina Tour. At this point, many fans have 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 almost never 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.
  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. 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 Gold Pass.
  13. The Mii Suits of Rosalina, King Boo, Birdo, the Question Box, and Petey Piranha had 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 pro (or whales) at the game.
    • And just to add more salt to the wound, they reran the Mii suit of Rosalina with the same exact unlock goal.
  14. For some reason, the Metropolitan Tour becomes somewhat unplayable when several players start the game, thankfully it was resolved later in the same date (16 in some time zones).
  15. For some reason, the Amsterdam Tour does not show up the Mii Cup, even though there is a Mii Racing Suit showed up in the thumbnail in N64 Yoshi Valley, which is completely unacceptable considering that Miis do appear in that tour.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. There are new drivers who were playable for the first time as well as old drivers 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 alt 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 an power-up of Bowser via separated); and
    • Chargin' Chuck (becomes fully playable starting with the Peach vs. Bowser Tour)
    • 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 finally returns since Mario Kart: Double Dash.
    • 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 costume 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 some 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, Explorer Toadette, Builder versions of Mario, Toad, Toadette, and Luigi, and the 16 bit versions of Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. (despite not having his original model).
  3. The item balance is once again based on position rather than distance, due to criticism with Mario Kart 8's item balance, albeit you can still get overpowered items (such as Coin Box and Lucky Seven) in 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.
  7. At least the microtransactions aren't as extreme as the ones in Chocobo GP (pre-Season 2), 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 actually 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 fully dynamic appearance, despite having a few top-tier tracks.
  9. The 2019 Winter Tour updated 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.
    • As of July 21, 2020, Landscape Mode has been added into the game.
  12. The tracks that make their debut in this game are fun to play through.
  13. At least the game is more rewarding in recent times.
  14. Kart Pro has changed so that you can at least hold first place win streaks for 2nd and 3rd places as well.
  15. 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 costed $1.99 USD with 3-5 bonus rubies included.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Some pipes have really good odds, and are often easy to gain new characters, karts, or gliders from, while using as little 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 less 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, and the race start 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.

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.

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