Mario Kart Tour will kick off 2020 with the New Year’s Tour, introducing four new characters and a tweaked track. Here’s what we know.
Launched in September, Mario Kart Tour was Apple’s most-downloaded free iPhone game, topping the likes of Call of Duty: Mobile and Fortnite. The mobile spinoff of Nintendo’s popular kart racing franchise, it was the company’s most successful mobile game launch ever. All of this, despite middling reviews for the game.
While 2019 was a big year for Mario Kart Tour, 2020 will kick it into a new gear. Nintendo announced that the first tour of 2020 will actually arrive on December 31, starting at 10:00 p.m. PT. It’s aptly named the “New Year’s Tour.”
A teaser for the upcoming tour gave us a look at some of the new looks for four racers. We’ve got Mario wearing the traditional Happi attire from Super Mario Odyssey, as well as Red Yoshi, Party Toad and Gold Koopa Troopa. The trailer also revealed what looks to be an updated Tokyo track, which appears to be decorated for the new year.
Mario Kart Tour may have been dinged for its microtransactions, but a lot of the game’s success can be attributed to Nintendo’s ability to deliver fresh content regularly. A new tour is added just about every two weeks with new characters, carts and content. The Holiday Tour is going on right now.
Mario Kart Tour is technically free-to-play, but a Gold Pass is sold separately for $4.99 per month. This subscription provides additional in-game rewards such as cosmetics and tour gifts as well as access to the 200CC race difficulty.
While a subscription pass is nothing new or unheard of for free-to-play games, its combination with excessive microtransactions — some of which have been deemed pay-to-win by the community — is what has frustrated players. That said, Mario Kart Tour is still perfectly enjoyable without spending any money at all.