App review: ‘Mario Kart Tour’: Fun, simple, on-the-go version of all-ages racing game

Parents need to know that "Mario Kart Tour" is arcade-style racing game for iOS and Android devices. Like other "Mario Kart" games, players can use bombs, turtles, and banana peels to take out the competition, though it's all rather cartoony, so there's no blood or gore. Otherwise, this has no objectionable content. Commercially, players earn coins by playing, and can use these coins to buy new characters, vehicles, and other items. Players can also buy coins, and other items, in the game's store, including bundles or a monthly subscription that gives them exclusive vehicles, races, and equipment as well as more coins when you win. The game's also the latest in a long-running series, one that's created multiple games, toys, cartoons, and more. You also need to have a Nintendo account and be willing to link to it to play (though it is free and can be set up through your phone or tablet). Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.


In "Mario Kart Tour," the gaming's favorite plumber, his friends, family, and frenemies all engage in a series of go-kart races like they have in the previous "Mario Kart" games. Using simple touch controls, players have to not only navigate the twisty jump-filled tracks, but also use bombs, turtles, and banana peels to take out the competition. Unlike some racing games, this doesn't have a deep story for a single player campaign. It's just a quest to do well so you can unlock the next event and keep going.


While this does a decent job of translating the arcade-driving series to mobile devices, it doesn't satisfy the need for speed as well as other installments or other mobile driving games. Like other "Mario Kart" games, Mario Kart Tour has Mario, Donkey Kong, and their associates engaging in a series of go-kart races. Except that unlike any other go kart races you've played in games or real life, this one not only lets you race against the computer or other people, but it also lets you take them out by tossing turtles, bombs, and other items at them. This also has a large variety of twisty, jump-filled tracks – including some ones from earlier "Mario Kart" games – and will even change them up every two weeks.

What sets this apart from other games in this series – aside from being playable on your phone or tablet, and thus having simplified touch controls, of course – is that it not only has tracks from its console counterparts, but new ones that are designed to look like wherever the tour is currently being held. That's why, for example, when you're racing in Manhattan, you get to speed past The Limelight on 6th Ave. Unfortunately, this game does hit some speed bumps. Not only does it awkwardly play in portrait mode, not landscape, but it also looks more like 2008's "Mario Kart Wii" than the more recent, and thus more detailed, "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" for the Switch. Ultimately though, "Mario Kart Tour" is still a halfway decent way to get your motor runnin' when you can't sit on the couch.


Recommended for ages 6 and older

Quality: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 5 out of 5

Violence and scariness: 0 out of 5

Sexy stuff: 0 out of 5

Language: 0 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 5 out of 5


Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android

Price: Free with microtransactions

Release date: September 30, 2019

Category: Racing games

Size: 195.70 MB

Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up

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