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Mario Kart Live Home Circuit Review

mario kart live home circuit

MarioKart Live Home Circuit brings the magic of Mario to your home! With remote-controlled karts, players can build and race Mario tracks in their house. Watch as your Kart races from your living room into your kitchen and see it on screen. With an augmented reality overlay, your real-life kart can be seen racing against others, picking up boxes and using powerups. But is this gadget just a novelty?

Here We Go!

In the box, you get 1 remote controlled Mario kart, 4 checkpoint posts, 2 arrow signs and a charging cable. The companion game can be downloaded from the Nintendo Switch store for free. Connecting the car to your Switch is easy. Load up the game and then use the kart’s camera to scan the in-game QR code. The kart will then connect to the Switch and you can race it around your living room.

Setting up the track is another matter. As you will be building your own custom tracks, in your house, you will need to clear a lot of space. You then need to place the checkpoint gates in order and add some obstacles to make it extra fun.

Once you have crafted your track, you set it up in game by driving through the gates. You are now ready to race. In game, other NPC’s and powerup boxes will be added to your track. You can then practice driving around it. Just be warned, NPC’s can go through any physical obstacles that might be on the track. This means they can cut corners you can’t. Also, power ups like the bullet might make your kart charge into the edge of your sofa as it cannot see the obstacle.

Time To Race

Once you’re happy with your circuit, you can load up any of the 8 Grand Pris Cups. These Cups consistent of 3 tracks each and are unlocked from the start. Each track adds a different overlay to your in-game track. This gives each race a unique feel, even though you are racing the same track you have built in real-life. One race includes a sandstorm and when activated your real-life kart gets pushed around by an invisible gale!

Each Cup has the option of 50cc, 100cc,150cc and 200 cc! I would not advise the 200cc races unless you have a lot of space as the kart goes fast! If you don’t have a lot of space to drive, you will find yourself crashing into everything. The racing has everything you would expect from a Mario game. It is speedy and you can even execute drifts. It's strange when you see your kart driving round your living room as on the game it feels so much faster! It really captures the Mario magic.

What About Luigi

Mario Kart Live Home Circuit can be enjoyed with others. 4 players can join you in local multiplayer but there isn’t an online multiplayer mode. Currently, karts with Mario or Luigi in the driver’s seat are available to buy. To play local multiplayer, each player will need to have their own kart and their own Switch... as you can imagine, multiplayer is an expensive ordeal. As you are adding other karts to the mix you also need to build wider tracks to allow for all karts to get around it.

Despite expense and space issues, the multiplayer is epic! It’s definitely the way it’s meant to be played. Watching yourself and other players race around and bash into each other steps up the competition tenfold. As you race towards the finish there’s an extra element of suspense as you can see how far away you are from each other. This game takes Mario mayhem to the next level.

Under The Hood

The remote-controlled karts are technical marvels. They handle brilliantly. As they are made of sturdy materials, they can take hard hits and still function as normal. Crashing them isn’t a problem. Depending on your track size, the battery life can last up to 4 hours. The battery life is shown in game as a fuel gauge which is a nice touch.

However, there are some drawbacks. The kart camera which connects the live feed to the game isn’t streamed in HD. This can cause some visual problems as it isn’t the crispest picture. Additionally, the footage captured by the camera is sent to the Switch over wi-fi. This means the kart cannot be 5m from the Switch as otherwise it cannot relay the footage. If your wi-fi isn’t great, you’ll encounter latency issues. This can be jarring as your kart on screen doesn’t match the location of your real-life kart. Players who suffer from motion sickness might struggle playing for long periods due to latency causing frame rate issues.

Finally, the karts cannot be used outside, and they cannot drive up ramps. As karts cannot travel up or down it can make tracks feel flat as there are no levels which you expect in a Mario circuit. Also, the karts struggle to drive on plush carpets and drive better on hard floors. Pet owners might also find themselves removing kart tires to tweeze pet hair out of their motors.

Final Verdict

Mario Kart Live Home Circuit is a lot of fun! Building your own tracks, although time consuming, is rewarding when you see them in game. It’s also great to see your car whizz around your home whilst you battle Bowser on screen.

Despite the ridiculous cost of multiplayer, this game is at its best when there are a few of you playing. Having karts physically racing turns Mario into a spectator sport. Everyone can get involved cheering players on from the side lines. Family pets can also join in and add an extra challenge to the game.

However, once the novelty wears off, there are issues with this Mario adventure. Building tracks can be frustrating when you are working with limited space. If you live in a small house or flat, this game is impossible to play as you can only build one type of track. Also, bad wi-fi connections can ruin the experience as your kart stops moving or crashes constantly.

Ultimately, this is an experience best enjoyed in a large space with family and friends. It’s not something you will whip out the cupboard often as the track setup takes time. It’s a gadget that you can have a lot of fun with, but you might not use it enough to warrant its steep price tag.

That concludes our thoughts on Mario Kart Live Home Circuit. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Mario Kart Live Home Circuit today click here!