Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit doesn’t appear too different from other versions of Nintendo’s wildly popular racing game. Then you notice Mario or Luigi drive under a living room couch.
On Thursday, Nintendo shared more details on Mario Kart Live, which combines the racing game with a real-world kart as part of a mixed-reality experience. The game is available Oct. 16 for $99.99, and works with both the standard Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.
Nintendo provided USA TODAY a sneak peek at Mario Kart Live, highlighting how the game will work, what’s included and much more.
Here’s everything you need to know.
A Piranha Plant awaits at a gate in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. (Photo: Nintendo)
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What does Mario Kart Live include in the box?
It includes a kart with either Mario or Luigi as the driver, four gates, two arrow signs to help guide drivers on the track, and a USB-C cable to recharge the kart.
How easy is it to set up?
The software for the game is available through an online download on Nintendo’s eShop. Players will take a QR code from the screen and capture it using the physical kart’s camera to pair the kart with the Switch. Players then fold out the gates and place them where they choose.
How much space do I need?
Mario Kart breaks out into four speeds, from slowest to fastest: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and 200cc. For a 150cc race, players should carve out a 10 x 12 foot space for the course, says Nintendo. Slower speeds favor smaller tracks.
An underwater race in ‘Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.’ (Photo: Nintendo)
How’s the battery life for the kart?
Nintendo says for 150cc racing, the kart can go 90 minutes on one charge. A drop in speed, or a bump up, can extend or shorten the battery life respectively.
What kind of races can I enter?
There’s a main Grand Prix mode, which is modeled off the variety of courses from previous Mario Kart games. There are also Time Trials where you try to complete a race in the fastest time, and multiplayer where each player with their own Switch and kart race each other.
What are the races like?
Players will see environmental effects like driving underwater or in the rain immediately impact the physical kart. Gates can be customized to add effects such as boosts, item boxes to pick up tools like banana peels, or obstacles including Piranha Plants that pluck Mario or Luigi from their vehicle.
The in-game effects impact the physical kart, too. If Mario gets pulled from the vehicle, the kart stops. If there’s a sandstorm, the kart will veer left or right.
There are also augmented reality obstacles like lava on the course that players must drive around. Players can also add their own physical barriers to add creativity to the course.
After races, players will earn coins they can use to unlock items within the game.
Ultimately, what will potentially make racing in Mario Kart Live fun is the imagination players use in crafting their courses. Just don’t ding the furniture.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
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