Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Game Review)

Mario Kart is a series that I’ve been playing for the past twenty years (you can read more about my Mario Kart racing journey here). So I couldn’t wait to try out the new Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit which recently launched for the Nintendo Switch.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is Mario Kart like you’ve never seen it before! You’ll be able to turn your home into a race track as you drive a kart in the real world. The controls will be familiar if you’ve played a Mario Kart game before, but what’s new is seeing the action from your kart’s on-board camera displayed on your Nintendo Switch or TV.  You can download the free game software from the Nintendo eShop.

Set up the circuit in your home by assembling and placing the gates on the floor around your room. You can make a course in any shape you like, as long as it’s got the four gates to drive your kart through you are good to go. Some of the course suggestions the game offers are figure of eight, a circle or square. You can put other obstacles on the course if you’d like to add an extra challenge, we added some blocks to drive through, and decorate it however you want to as well, we dotted some fun spectators from the Mushroom Kingdom around our course. I’ve seen other gamers using ramps and tunnels, your course can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. A pro tip would be putting something heavy on the gates to weigh them down otherwise the kart will push them if you bump into them, I found even using a bit of prestick helped to keep them in place.

If you thought setting up the course was fun just wait until you start racing! In fact, I challenge you to play this game and not get a huge grin on your face as you race. Line your kart up on the starting point and race against Bowser Jr. using the console as a handheld or you can use a controller and play with the race on your TV. You’ll see your course on the screen, and it’s really great fun seeing your course brought to life with different in-game environments and racing through your own room that’s now be transformed into an under the sea experience, ghost house or snowy wonderland.

In addition to trying to beat the other racers, you’ll need to avoid the obstacles the game throws at you. The gates are themed according to each race and present different enemies, so make sure you keep an eye out for Piranha Plants, Thwomps and more as you speed through. There will also be lots of items you can collect and we loved using them to power-up our race and slow down our opponents. What makes it really fun is that your kart will be affected in real life by things that happen in-game, so using a mushroom will give your kart a small burst of speed and another racer’s red shell will make you come to a stop.

It’s easy enough to pick up and play that my four year old could race too, but do expect some crashes with younger players. With that being said, however, I was surprised at how well he could reverse the kart out of most situations if he did deviate off the course. The kids loved unlocking the different outfits, karts and horns for Mario and Luigu as we played.  The kart itself is awesome, simply charge it through the Nintendo Switch using the cable. You will need to stay relatively close to the console for it to stay in range.

This new way to race offers a fantastic opportunity for the whole family to enjoy some Mario Kart racing fun, making Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit a great title to add to your Nintendo Switch gaming library and a definite must-have for your Christmas wishlist.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is available for a recommended retail price of R1999. It’s available in two different sets, the Mario set and the Luigi set. You can enjoy multiplayer races with up to four players, but each player must have their own Kart, Nintendo Switch console and a copy of the software. After testing out the multiplayer racing with the Mario and Luigi kart I can honestly say that it’s awesome fun to race the two karts against each other!

So if you know the importance and value of a well-placed banana, the joy of a red shell hit, or the frustration of the blue shell, you should check out Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit! Take a look at the game in action in our video below.

Thanks to Nintendo South Africa for sharing this fun Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit fun with us. 

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