When Nintendo announced the Switch console, putting a focus on not just having great games to play at home, but also being able to take the console with you and play games like Mario Kart and Legend of Zelda outside of the living room, one of the reasons I was excited about the console was the company's longstanding racing franchise with Mario behind the wheel.
I'm a big fan of Mario Kart. But, more than that, I thought it would be a fun experience for my two kids who could play the game while we were waiting to do other things. The mobility of the Switch is one of its strongest facets, and the games just add even more reasons to buy one.
Alas, I haven't picked up a Switch yet. I'm not entirely sure one's on the horizon, either.
Which is one of the reasons why when I started looking through the news cycle this morning, I got so excited to see that Mario Kart Touris a thing that's coming to smartphones. I was hoping that it would be a game that was launching soon, but it looks like we will have to wait until at least the Spring of 2019 to see what a smartphone Mario Kart title looks like.
I'm hoping for some amazing things, but I know I should be realistic, too. This is a mobile game we're talking about, which means the possibilities of what Mario Kart Tour actually looks like and plays like are vast. This could be some crazy card-battle game, or even a match-three title. Nintendo didn't go into any details about the title, so there's nothing to go on here.
Still, I'm excited to see what comes of it. I am really hoping there is some kind of multiplayer, and not just local.
This is admittedly a pretty strange move, too, especially if you consider the rumors that Nintendo is also developing a smartphone game within the Legend of Zelda franchise. After all, as I mentioned above, that mobility of the Switch is one of the strongest selling points for the console. If Nintendo launches ridiculously good titles for smartphones that tap the Mario Kart or Zelda (or Metroid, for that matter) franchises, one can't help but wonder why a customer should fork over the cash for a Switch, too.
Which is why I'm going to try and remain skeptical about the Mario Kart Tour experience, especially this far out. I'm one of those customers that won't buy a Switch if I can get a great Mario Kart experience on my smartphone and tablet, after all. One can't help but wonder how the experience will be "limited" in comparison.
Super Mario Run is probably a nice way to judge it. That game really is a lot of fun, but it is a trimmed down Mario experience -- especially when you compare it to Nintendo's newest Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo has seen these mobile titles as a way to spark interest in a game, then bring more sales to the Switch and the full-fledged title customers enjoyed playing on their smartphone.
The same will probably be the case for Mario Kart Tour, so, who knows, maybe it'll be the game to convince me I should have been playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch all this time.
What about you? Are you excited about playing a Mario Kart game on your smartphone next year? Do you wish it was launching sooner like I do? Or is this a title that won't catch your attention at all? Let me know!