Nintendo has announced a Mario Kart mobile game, called Mario Kart Tour. The franchise is one of the most long-running and successful racing series around, with generations of gamers falling in love with the kart racing mechanics of the franchise and the way it uses characters from the Mario universe. The end result is a number of entries that could be considered among the best multiplayer games to play at a party.
On top of that, the Mario Kart series as a whole has also seen some fantastic portable iterations over the years. Mario Kart: Super Circuit was potentially the best game on the Game Boy Advance, and Mario Kart DS provided thrills of its own. Meanwhile, Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS showcased the online potential of a handheld Mario Kart game, with races available over the Nintendo Network.
Now, Nintendo has announced another first for the Mario Kart series. The publisher has revealed that it is releasing a mobile game for Mario Kart, titled Mario Kart Tour. Nintendo also confirmed a rough estimate of when interested players will be able to see the game, announcing a launch date of the fiscal year ending March 2019.
The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near. A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour! #MarioKartTour Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. pic.twitter.com/8GIyR7ZM4z— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 1, 2018
Exactly how the game will operate remains to be seen, but fans will be hoping that the game stays faithful to the main series of Mario Kart games, rather than straying too far into the realm of smartphone game mechanics. After all, no-one wants another Dungeon Keeper Mobile, a game so poor that it ended up ruining the franchise. That said, getting rid of some of those most hated Mario Kart items might be a good thing for the title.
Nintendo has been making strong steps into the world of mobile gaming, so it's perhaps no surprise to see Mario Kart get the mobile treatment. After all, Mario himself has already seen a mobile game released, with Super Mario Run releasing in December 2016, while Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes have taken their respective franchises into the mobile circuit too.
Perhaps the most important mobile game based on a Nintendo property, of course, is Pokemon GO. The Niantic-developed title became a genuine phenomenon upon release, and its AR-based gameplay has managed to maintain a strong level of popularity, with the game even returning to the top of the App Store in December after a new update was released. If Nintendo is able to reach even close to that level of popularity with Mario Kart Tour, then the game will have been a smash hit.