Nintendo is releasing Mario Kart for smartphones early this year – here’s everything we know so far

Nintendo is releasing Mario Kart for smartphones early this year – here’s everything we know so far
Nintendo recently confirmed that the game was still on track for an early-2019 release (Image: Nintendo)

Fans of casual gaming may be excited to hear that beloved racing simulator Mario Kart will soon be available to play on your phone.

Mario Kart sees the characters of the Super Mario games jump into racing cars to put their driving skills to the test across a number of wacky courses.

Power-ups, special abilities, and those dreaded blue shells all come into play, making it one of Nintendo’s most popular series of games.

Coming soon

The multiplayer fun is set to arrive on smartphones this year, so expect to see the frustrated faces of those who have just been red-shelled on your commute in the near future.

Though Mario Kart Tour was announced almost a year ago, the Japanese gaming company recently confirmed that the game was still on track for an early-2019 release.

Nintendo have so far not released any details on what the game might entail, but it will likely be a paired-back version of the console versions, in keeping with previous mobile games from the company that have included Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Despite being completely silent on the project, Nintendo confirmed in a financial report that the game is still expected to release in “the fiscal year ending in March 2019”.

How much will it cost?

The only other detail that is known about Mario Kart Tour, is that it will be “free-to-start“, as confirmed by developer DeNA.

This means it will be free to download and play, but optional extras will likely need to be paid for.

Like previous Nintendo mobile games, these extras will probably be completely non-essential, and not forking out for them shouldn’t effect your enjoyment of the final game.

Mario Kart Tour will be the first new game in the series since 2017’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch, a version of the Wii U game that came bundled with new characters and features for Nintendo’s portable console.

The Guardian called it “the best, most versatile version yet”, and it went on to sell over 11 million copies, making it the second best-selling game on Switch (behind Super Mario Odyssey), and the best-selling racing game of all time in the US.