Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart Tour, its mobile version of the quintessential kart racer, is finally getting multiplayer modes, launching March 8.
The mobile game has been out for close to six months, with multiplayer right at the top of most players' wish lists for most of that time, so it's good to see that Nintendo has been listening.
Multiplayer for #MarioKartTour comes out on Mar. 8, 8 PM PT! You can compete against seven other players, whether they're in-game friends, nearby, or around the world. Are you ready to play? pic.twitter.com/IRwBONq560— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) March 3, 2020
As the announcement details, you'll be able to race against up to seven other players, whether they're friends that are right next to you, or random players from around the world.
Race against players worldwide to raise your grade under rules that change daily in Standard Races and Gold Races. When racing friends or others nearby, Rooms let you pick speed, item slot number, and more. Play your way when #MarioKartTour multiplayer launches Mar. 8, 8 PM PT! pic.twitter.com/ckkekAsbHS— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) March 3, 2020
Racing against nearby players will let you have a bit more control over the conditions and settings that you race with, it looks like, mimicking the experience of classic local multiplayer on console versions of Mario Kart. The fully-online segment has a ranking system to keep races competitive.
The good news is, of course, that as a free-to-play game you'll be able to try the new modes out when they launch, just by downloading the app. That said, it does (as you'd expect) have a premium currency as part of its progress system, that helps you earn characters and vehicles to play with, and race in the fastest mode, and subscribers will indeed get access to a few more modes in the multiplayer segment.
The game's had a tremendous launch, making it to the top spot for 2019's most downloaded mobile games despite only launching in September, and it will be interesting to see whether launching multiplayer makes for even more sticking power for Mario Kart Tour.