Mario Kart Tour, the smartphone version of Nintendo’s kart racing franchise has recently been released in Japan and the Us, and it didn’t take long before screenshots and videos started appearing on the web.
But there are also reports that the game also features loot box-style systems where a user spends virtual currency for a shot at unlocking new items that offer varying degrees of functionality.
For instance, five green gems could get you a random chance of earning a new driver, kart or, glider. Certain characters and equipment also afford you bonuses on different tracks.
One particularly exciting feature is the Stamina system involving hearts. Unfortunately once these run out, you will have to wait for them to replenish or dig into your pockets to purchase more hearts. However, since the game is currently n beta, these features may be changed any time.
Nintendo’s choice to go down the microtransaction route for Mario Kart Tour didn’t really come as a surprise to many. Initially, players were charged a single upfront fee of $9.99 in order to play the Super Mario Run, but the game failed to generate a substantial profit for the franchise. However, its subsequent Microtransaction-supported releases have proved much more profitable with versions like Fire Emblem Heroes alone reportedly grossing over $500 million in revenue two years on the market.
This microtransaction model also comes with its own difficulties. Like the recent announcement by Nintendo that it would be forced to shut down Animal crossing: pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium after the country categorized loot boxes as gambling. There’s still uncertainty if Mario Kart Tour will release in the country.
Away from the monetary aspects, reports from gaming forums suggest that Mario Kart Tour includes familiar characters like Dry Bones as well as a list of tracks that includes returning favorites from the SNES, GameCube, DS, and 3DS entries into the series. The Cart accelerates automatically and gamers are supposed to swipe left and right on the screen to steer.
For now, the beta is exclusive to Android devices in Japan and the US, but the game will be available for I phone users and the rest of the world when it releases this summer.