While it was originally delayed out of launching earlier this year, Mario Kart Tour will be going into beta very shortly. But this beta will only be for the US and Japan, and it will only be available to Android users. In this guide to everything we know about Nintendo's next mobile game, we'll be going over details of the Mario Kart Tour beta dates, and more.
Mario Kart Tour Release Date
Nintendo announced Mario Kart Tour, its smartphone app entry in the multi-million selling Mario Kart series, on January 31, 2018. While no firm Mario Kart Tour release date was given, Nintendo did reveal that the game will release before the end of March, 2019. Unfortunately this release window has since been moved back to Summer 2019, which means Mario Kart Tour shouldn't launch too long after the beta takes place.
Mario Kart Tour Beta Impressions
Now that Mario Kart Tour is in the hands of a select group of players, there are some impressions popping up online. This thread on ResetEra is a good cross-section of what people think, so be sure to give it a read.
Mario Kart Tour Beta Dates
Nintendo just revealed that Mario Kart Tour will be going into beta phase during May, which is the first time we'll be able to play the game. The Mario Kart Tour beta will launch on May 22, and will go on for just a few weeks, until June 7.
You can head over to the official website to sign up for the Mario Kart Tour beta. But, as we noted previously, only Android users in the US and Japan will be able to take part in the beta. This is unlike the final game, which will launch on both iOS and Android.
What Kind of Game Will Mario Kart Tour be?
Nintendo has said absolutely nothing about the game that Mario Kart Tour will be, but based on what the company has done with its other mobile games, we can make a few educated guesses.
The first question that needs to be answered about Mario Kart Tour is whether or not it is free-to-play or a premium purchase. Nintendo has previously dabbled with both: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are free-to-play, while Super Mario Run is a premium game (although has a free to download trial). This choice will likely have a big impact on what Mario Kart Tour is.
Nintendo actually likes to call its free-to-play titles, like Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes, Free-to-Start games. According to Takashi Mochizuki, tech reporter at The Wall Street Journal, Mario Kart Tour will be Free-to-Start.
A free-to-play/free-to-start Mario Kart game will likely include numerous ways to spend real world money in order to make progress easier or to unlock new content. This could come in the form of spending cash on kart parts (building karts has been a part of the series for some time), characters, character customization items, and more. Locking tracks behind a paywall might not make great sense as it would discourage players from sticking with the game. A premium purchase app model for Mario Kart Tour would likely offer similar items to unlock, but getting them through general play would be far easier and require less grinding.
Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp are both stripped down, simplified versions of their console/handheld cousins, so the same is expected of Mario Kart Tour. Making their games control well on mobile is a high priority for Nintendo, so the firm might not be keen on a traditional touchscreen-controlled racing game. It may be that Nintendo goes down the Super Mario Run route, perhaps making the races on-rails (maybe something like Temple Run but with karts) or offering steering/weapon controls but with a simplified system for acceleration/breaking.
What Characters are in Mario Kart Tour?
Nintendo has a large roster of characters it can use in Mario Kart Tour, and we expect the roster will be largely similar to the line-up used in recent mainline Mario Kart entries. We'd be surprised if you don't get to play as Mario, Toad, Luigi, Peach, Wario, DK, Daisy, Bowser, and a number of others. It wouldn't be surprising to see a Mii-like character creation option, too.
With Mario Kart Tour probably not releasing for quite some time, we'll update this page with more details when Nintendo shares more info.