Following the popularity of Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Nintendo has announced that the hugely popular MarioKart series is next up to receive the mobile treatment. It’s called MarioKart Tour, and it should be out for iOS devices at some point in the next year.
Here’s everything we know so far about MarioKart Tour, including the latest release date rumours, platform availability, pricing speculation and what we’d like to see from gameplay.
Oh, and if you're looking for something that you can sink your teeth into right now, take a look at our selection of the best iOS games.
MarioKart Tour release date rumours
So, the biggest question right now is ‘When will MarioKart Tour be released?’ and while we don’t have a specific release date – or even a release window – just yet, Nintendo has confirmed in a tweet that “the checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near”.
For Nintendo to tweet that, it must be a matter of weeks away, right? Wrong. Nintendo confirmed that the game will be speeding into the App Store during the “fiscal year ending in March 2019”, so it looks like we’ve still got a while to wait.
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
There has been some concern raised about Nintendo mobile games falling behind schedule, which might explain why Nintendo is so hesitant to provide a release date, or even a release window, at this point.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long before Nintendo provides keen Mario fans with a confirmed release date – we’ll be sure to update this section as soon as there’s any news, so make sure you head back soon.
MarioKart Tour platforms and pricing
What about platforms? Will MarioKart Tour be an iOS exclusive, or will it also be coming to Android devices? Unlike Super Mario Run, which started as an iOS exclusive before being made available on Android, it looks like MarioKart Tour will come to both iOS and Android at the same time (whenever that may be!), much like Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.
In terms of pricing, it’s yet to be seen which route Nintendo will take with MarioKart Tour as it has been experimenting with different formats.
Back when Super Mario Run was released, it was a free app with an in-app purchase after a couple of ‘taster’ levels that’d unlock the full game. But while it was welcomed by over 40m downloads in four days (and over 200m total downloads since), Nintendo claims that it’s still “not yet reached an acceptable profit point”.
What about the free-to-play route? We’re not so sure about that either, as Nintendo recently confirmed that it’ll close its first mobile game, Miitomo, less than two years after it first launched. It managed over 4m downloads in its first month and was raking in $280,000 a week at one point, but interest plummeted quickly.
It continued this trend with the free-to-play Fire Emblem Heroes, though interest in that app is still relatively high.
While we hope that Nintendo will offer a premium gaming experience with a one-off payment like Super Mario Run, it seems like it’ll go down the free-to-play-with-IAPs route. We will, of course, update this once we hear about pricing from Nintendo so make sure you check back soon.
MarioKart Tour gameplay
Sadly, we’re still unaware of what MarioKart Tour’s gameplay could offer as Nintendo has yet to release any screenshots, let alone a gameplay trailer for the upcoming game. But with that being said, there have been plenty of MarioKart games across Nintendo devices, leading us to assume that it’ll feature all the crazy racing, Nintendo characters and crazy cars offered on the console variants.
The ‘Tour’ element of that name might provide a clue about the specifics of the game. Could it insinuate that the focus will be on multiplayer, like with other Nintendo mobile games? We imagine that you’ll go on ‘Tours’ around the world, meeting friends and racing in iconic MarioKart locations – but at this point, it’s only speculation.
We hope that it’ll offer some kind of offline gameplay for those boring tube journeys, but judging by past Nintendo releases, we’re not holding our breath.