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Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Review

Posted: 15 months ago, last updated 4 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Mario Kart Live, MarioKart Home Circuit) is a kart racing game with a difference. You play on the Switch but use it to control a real life Mario kart that races around the floor of your living room. You see the race from the view of the car beamed back to the screen of the Switch and must battle other racers like Luigi and Bowser while also collecting power ups.

Image 228It's an augmented reality version of Mario Kart, but one that leverages the classic remote controlled toy fun alongside new video game mechanics. The physical kart even responds to the in-game power ups. Pick up a boost and you can go faster, get hit by a shell and you will stop dead.

A bit like Anki Overdrive or Hot Wheels Real FX, you place gates on the floor to determine the course. This is then scanned in by the toy kart to determine the course before the race begins.

You can race against Koopalings in Grand Prix, unlock a variety of course customisations and costumes for Mario or Luigi, and play with up to four players in local multiplayer mode.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Price: 25% off

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Creative, Physically Active, Racing and Sports

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Velan Ventures (@VelanVentures)

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between 3 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round of this game. Duration of each race depends on how quick you are and how large your room is. You also need some time to clear space, put down the racing gates and the drive the car around the course to mark it out.
 
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. You can race Mario Kart Live with 2, 3 or 4 players in the custom courses in Custom or Grand Prix races. Each player does need their own Nintendo Switch system, the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit game to provide a Mario kart or Luigi kart.

An update to the game after launch enables two players to race together on the same Switch in Split-Screen. This means you can connect two karts to the same Switch, reducing the cost considerably.

A new Relay Race mode enables up to four people to play the game using a single Mario or Luigi Kart, taking turns on driving over the 8 laps.

CostsCosts

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit usually costs £99.99. 

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

 
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. You need one set for each player, but this does expand how many gates you have to make the course. They come in two varieties Mario and Luigi and are $99/£99 each. With the recent update you can race two Karts with one Switch in Split Screen mode.

An update added the Luigi Cup with Windmill Meadows, Music Broadway, and King Boo’s Courtyard. Doing well in these races unlocks Luigi’s Poltergust customization.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 3.

Skill Rating

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.

AccessibilityAccessibility

You can select different speeds of Karts for different difficulties: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and 200cc. Because you layout the circuit yourself you can also control how hard it is to navigate. There is an Auto Assist for steering that enables you to race by just using the accelerator and brake.

There is a map of the course on the screen, although it is quite small. Because of the augmented nature of the game, you can choose to race watching the car or the screen. You need the screen to see opponents and power-ups but well marked out time trial races can be completed without looking at the screen.

Nice tip to make any of the tracks easier: take some detours between gates when mapping the course. When you race you can shortcut these while the AI characters follow them religiously.
 
Our Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Accessibility Report documents 24 accessibility features:

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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