Mario Kart is one of the most beloved Mario Bros. “spin-offs” and is present on almost all platforms Nintendo has touched. But while Mario Kart’s smartphone incarnation has been widely regarded as a disappointment, the company surprised fans last month with the announcement of a completely new take on the game with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Nintendo is now revealing more of the game’s secrets that will probably have Switch owners and Mario Kart fans scrambling to get one in about two weeks.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is practically a combination of a toys-to-life system that Nintendo is already very familiar with thanks to its amiibo and AR-based car racing. It’s easy enough to compare it to Anki’s discontinued Overdrive system but Nintendo admittedly takes it to a whole new level. Rather than just using the Switch as a controller for the “Real Kart”, it actually lets you see from the point of view of the kart, just like in a normal Mario Kart game. Not only does it make it easier for younger players to keep their focus only on the Switch rather than Switch and Kart at the same time, it also gives the game a unique vantage point of your house.
Also unlike Anki Overdrive, you’re free to make your own courses without any race tracks. You simply put down four Gates and drive through them at least once. The path you take during this setup process will be the course’ track so you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want.
Since you are viewing everything on your Switch, you aren’t limited to seeing only real-world objects. This is where the fun AR part comes in, overlaying your opponents, virtual obstacles, weapons, and boosts like in the real game as well. Whatever happens to your in-game Kart, from getting a speedup to getting hit, will also happen to your real Kart.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit features multiple playing modes, from the Grand Prix that pits you against Koopalings across different environments to Custom Races and Trial modes that lets you play with up to three other racers who should have a Switch and Kart of their own. There’s even a Mirror Mode that flips the world virtually. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit launches on October 16 for $99.99, which includes a Mario or Luigi kart, four Gates, two arrow signboards that animate in-game, and a USB charging cable to fuel up that real-world Kart.