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Nintendo’s Mario Kart has evolved a lot over the years, from an 8-bit video game Super Mario Kart released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 to mobile game Mario Kart Tour released in the later half of last year. The latest addition to this beloved game series is Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which is played on the Nintendo Switch.
Yet another Mario Kart game, you might think. But unlike its predecessors such as the Mario Kart 8, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit has introduced a mixed reality (MR) aspect to its gameplay. How it does this is through a real-life toy kart which comes in the box when you buy the game. You also get to choose between a red kart driven by Mario and a green kart driven by Luigi. The actual game itself has to be downloaded (for free) from the Nintendo game store and is not included in the box. All that is left then is to build your own race course using the four gates and start racing!
As in the announcement trailer, you sit in the living room (or somewhere spacious, at least) and your kart — like a radio-controlled car, except you stare at your screen and not the physical kart — will go around according to your custom race course. Other than your furniture being actual road blocks, you also get items to deter other players’ movements or to temporarily boost your speed, just like in the rest of Mario Kart games. What’s even more amazing is that when the kart is hit by an on-screen item, it will slow down or stop in reality!
Although Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit has its disadvantages, such as requiring a spacious area for playing, and multiplayer mode (up to four players) is only possible if the other players bring their own Nintendo Switch and a kart, it is still a pretty cool and innovative game from Nintendo.
Depending on where you buy Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit from, the manufacturer's suggested retail price is US$99.99 (about S$136), £99.99 (about S$177), or 9,980 yen before tax (about S$130). But similar to the popular exergame Ring Fit Adventure, the actual retail price of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit has been marked up: at S$332.94 on Amazon SG, and S$239 from Singapore game retailer Qisahn.
Pro tip: get the game from Amazon JP, which is selling it at a discounted price of 10,892 yen after a 10% tax at the time of writing. International orders on Amazon JP are not taxed, so essentially you only pay 9,902 yen (about S$129) plus the shipping cost!
If Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is too expensive for you, you can console yourself with the next latest version of the game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.