Over a year after Nintendo first promised the new game title for iOS devices, it looks like Mario Kart Tour finally has a public launch date — September 25.
Nintendo shared the news today on its official Mario Kart Tour Twitter account, suggesting users follow it on Twitter for more details as the launch date approaches.
Mario Kart is one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises and it’s a bit of a surprise that it’s taken this long to make it to iOS. While Nintendo held out on smartphone gaming for an absurdly long time, when it finally caved with Super Mario Run a few years ago, many were expecting the floodgates to open for a bunch of other popular titles to make their way to the iPhone and iPad.
While we saw a few, such as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes, Mario Kart remained conspicuously absent until last year’s teaser announcement, which was light on details beyond a promised March 2019 release. While Nintendo did release a limited closed beta of the game in the spring, it otherwise missed that date by about six months — but better late than never.
Gameplay and Preorder
According to MacRumors, which has obtained reports from those invited to the closed beta, like the console version, the game is set in the Mushroom Kingdom, and will challenge players to race to the finish line faster than their rivals. It’s said to use the same single-handed, touch-screen-friendly control scheme as Super Mario Run, letting players swipe their thumb across the screen to control their kart while it otherwise accelerates on its own.
Default automated controls will provide easy gameplay for those new to the game, with karts easily drifting around corners, but there’s also a manual mode that can be enabled for those who want more of a challenge, or simply to get more control over their karts. There will also be four difficulty levels, along with the same classic Mario Kart soundtrack found in the other games.
The game also reportedly mixes up tracks from prior versions of Mario Kart, including Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash, and Mario Kart 7, and users can play as Luigi, Toad, Shy Guy, Waluigi, Peach, Toadette, and others, although as we expected, this will be a freemium game, mean you’ll have to spend money on in-app purchases to unlock some of the characters.
According to the App Store listing for the game, where it’s already available for pre-order, in-app purchases will range from $1.99 to $69.99, with most of them related to buying “rubies” as in-game currency.
It looks like the game will be available on both the iPhone and iPad for its initial release, with no sign that it will be coming to the Apple TV any time soon. Despite the simplified controls, support for PS4 and Xbox One controllers coming in iOS 13 may make for a more interesting experience as well.