Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Top Critic Average
A wonderfully inventive attempt to bring Mario Kart into the real world, whose mere premise is enough to amuse and delight, despite some unavoidable practical limitations.
Mario Kart Live is a wondrous and magical toy that combines real world and digital play in an incredible way. It's a shame though that not everyone will have the space, or the money, to experience it.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is an entertaining take on the classic franchise. The mixed reality format allows player creativity to shine, as the ceiling for possibility is practically infinite. Nintendo is able to expertly weave staple Mario Kart features and characteristics into an augmented reality setting, making the game stand out from other RC racers.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is heavily dependent on the amount of free floor space you have available. If you have a large home, space to drive under the sofas, no extra rugs or thick carpets, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be an amazing experience to share with the children. If you live somewhere fairly cramped or have a lot of clutter that's going to get in the way, then you will find this very difficult to enjoy indeed. Great for the kids at Christmas, as long as you have the space.
My time with Home Circuit was fun, and I’m sure I’ll set up a new course sometime in the future when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I just wish there were two karts in the box so I could play with a friend, and I wish the range was double what it is so I could build bigger and better courses. I’m not so sure I feel like I got a $99 value out of what I played so far.
Hindered or enhanced by your imagination, Nintendo's latest mad project is still a well-designed and madly charming new entry in its beloved karting franchise.
After a couple different track designs and laps, we’d had our fun with the tech, but I’d imagine children wouldn’t tire (pun intended) of Mario Kart Live Home Circuit‘s novelty quite as quickly. It’s largely targeted for that demographic, we’d say, a creative and novel way to spend time in whatever level of lockdown you’re currently engaged in.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is immersive, addictive and refreshingly fun - a fresh way to interact with the living space; blending a traditional toy with that intense Mario Kart action! Throw in those familiar items, themes and chirpy music and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a recipe for an afternoon of Augmented Reality racing. Home Circuit does certainly have room to grow and questions around replay value - whether through more affordable additional RC cars, extra accessories, and additional extras in the game.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a magical, transformative experience under ideal conditions that works way better than you’d think. When you stray from those conditions even a little, though, it deteriorates rapidly.
Overall, I came away feeling like I did when I first played tennis on the original Nintendo Wii console years ago. That feeling of something genuinely evolutionary when we were able to play with motion controls for the first time agains nan on Christmas day. And I suspect this Christmas, there will be many game fans trying this out for the first time and really getting a kick out of the use of augmented reality in a familiar family-friendly race game. It’s not perfect, it feels like the start of a new genre rather than the definitive conquering of one.