One of the most interesting upcoming games for Nintendo is Mario Kart Live: Home Arena. Developed by Velan Studios, it’s a title that follows the likes of Labo and Pokemon Go, In an effort to take hilarious Nintendo experiences and translate them into the real world. In this case, Home circuit It is a game you play on a switch and a remote control racer that will take over your living room.
There’s a lot going on, and I recently had a chance to demo the game, where I learned some interesting anecdotes about what the experience would be like. Here’s what you need to know beforehand Home circuitIt launches on October 16th.
What you get in the box
The $ 99.99 package comes in two variants – Mario or Luigi – although both offer the same basic experience. For this price you will get 1 RC Card featuring either of the two brothers; Four cardboard “gates” that serve as the core of your racing track; Two stock panels, which are optional components for building the course; And a cable to charge the card.
The game is free to download – but you need a card to play
In the meantime, the game itself will be available for free download from Switch eShop. However, while anyone with a switch could download it, the game wouldn’t be playable without the hardware. Very early in the game setup you will be provided with a QR code, which you need to scan with the camera on the RC kart to continue. Without a card, you cannot progress beyond this point.
You can play with up to four people
Home circuit Supports multiplayer with up to four people, but everyone will need the full group to participate. This means a switch, a copy of the game, and a race card. Once you get started, one person will act as host, and everyone will play their course. The multiplayer experience feels fun, albeit an expensive one. (There is no form of online multiplayer game.)
How to customize the courses
One of the most important calls Home circuit It is that you can build your own training courses around your home. And in the spirit of true mixed reality, you can do this in two ways. The essence of this is the gates you use to make the foundation of your path. There are no one-way cycles in Home circuit. Alternatively, you can use portals to form a route diagram, and players complete it by driving rounds through all of them. You can then incorporate physical obstacles – for example, table legs or LEGO blocks on the track – which players have to avoid.
But there are also in-game elements that only appear on the Switch screen. Gates, for example, can be customized with various features; You can have them drop things, like shells or mushrooms, or make a speed boost. Gates can also be home to obstacles such as revolving fire bars, thumpes, or chainstays, while signage can be used to add extra decoration to the course, with flashing lights and colors. Additionally, there are different themes you can apply to a path, some of which add more virtual obstacles. The lava theme features random bursts of lava bubbles on the track, while the 8-bit theme has goombas patrolling back and forth.
It looks like the best course designs will incorporate both virtual features and realistic obstacles.
You need coins to unlock features
Collecting coins during the race has a purpose here: Coins are used to unlock key features. This includes some course customization options, as well as cosmetic upgrades for your competitors. You can use the coins to turn Super Mario into Builder Mario, for example, and make him drive a piece of construction equipment. However, it is clear that the changes will only affect the on-screen version of the game and not the physical card.
Moments in-game will affect the IRL card
One of the coolest things I’ve seen is the way things happening on the screen have affected the RC kart. For example, when you use a mushroom to boost speed, you can see the little toy car speeding up the IRL. When hit by a red shell, the kart will stop completely. The best example I saw was a sandstorm track, where the constant winds caused the RC car to move intermittently as it detonated.
There is still a Grand Prix mode, but it works differently
The traditional single player jackpot mode is up Home circuit, But it works a little differently. You are in control of the basic layout of the course, while the game will cover different attributes and obstacles above that depending on which stage you are in. During the demo, I saw fairly traditional themes like underwater and ice, and there is also the Rainbow Road theme. What this means, however, is that you will not see the same kind of unbridled gravity-defying rotations that were made Mario Kart 8 This is a delight.
Battery life depends on speed
The kart will need to be recharged, but the number of times depends on how fast you plan to race. Home circuit It has four speeds: 50 cc, 100 cc, 150 cc and 200 cc. Nintendo says if you play at 150cc, you should get about 90 minutes of battery life. But that number will go up if you play on the slowest settings and lower if you decide to go to 200 cc.
It should work well on carpets
The videos shown so far mainly show RC buggies cruising on clean wood floors. But Nintendo says the game should work fine on carpets, although it might slow down a bit, especially if your carpet is on the thicker side. This might make for some interesting course designs, depending on your living room design.
You can play in manual mode or on TV
Home circuit It supports both the basic Nintendo Switch and the portable Switch Lite only. Both games will work in mobile mode, but you can also play on a TV on the standard switch. For multiplayer matches, this can add an interesting spectator perspective, as if you were watching a very small NASCAR race.