Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is an installment in the Mario Kart series for the Nintendo Switch announced as part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The game makes use of physical kart products of Mario and Luigi with a camera attached to the back of the kart, which live streams the surrounding area to the player's Nintendo Switch. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit released worldwide on October 16, 2020.
To set up a course, the player has to place the four gates around the room. Lakitu will come down and paint the kart, and the player has to then drive through the gates, marking how they want the course to appear on the screen. The appearance can be from a simple loop to a curvy track through their furniture. The gates can also be customized, having Item Boxes, Boosts, or hazards. The controller connects to the kart product and controls it, similar to an RC Car. Items affect the kart product when used, such as Mushrooms making the toy move faster or a Koopa Shell making the toy stop momentarily. Using augmented reality, items, Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings appear on the player's screen, as well as the second player's kart.
Explore Mode is the mode the player starts off in. Here, they are free to drive around and are able to customize gates. Any items collected in this mode will always be either Mushrooms, Triple Mushrooms, or Golden Mushrooms. Stopping in front of Gate 1 and pressing will call Lakitu and bring up the menu for the other modes. The previous race created can be viewed in this mode.
The player can compete against CPU opponents in cups, in which trophies can be obtained. There are four different engine classes: 50cc and 100cc are available from the start, while 150cc and 200cc are unlocked when the player has collected a trophy on respectively 5 and 10 different cups. When the player has collected a trophy on 15 different cups, they will unlock Mirror Mode. Each race in Grand Prix is five laps long, regardless of how long or how short the player makes the race.
In Time Trial, the player has to complete their course in the fastest time possible. The player can change the kart speed, the number of laps (3, 5, or 7), the music that plays, and the environment to play it. After creating the course, the player will then have to race through it as fast as they can, and the customized gates are taken into account. The only items that can be obtained in this mode are Mushrooms. After racing, the player has the option to keep the current course or change it; changing it will result in inaccurate times and ghost data, which the player is also given the option to clear for a new race. Any coins earned will count toward unlocking a new kart customization.
The player can create courses using their own rules. The player can change the kart speed, the number of laps (3, 5, or 7), the music that plays, and the environment to play it, and the customized gates are taken into account. After creating the course, four random Koopalings will come down for the player to race against. Any coins earned will count toward unlocking a new kart customization.
There is also a Random Cup, which includes 3 courses with randomized environments and gate features.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit was developed by Velan Studios. Shinya Takahashi served as the general producer of the game, while Kosuke Yabuki, one of the key staff of the Mario Kart series, served as a supervisor. The game's original music was composed by Ryo Nagamatsu, who previous composed for Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit received both mixed and positive reviews. In most cases, the unique gimmick of the game was praised, along with the more independent concept offered. However, certain factors, such as the boundaries of a player's actual living area, were mentioned. Two different reviews mention Mario Kart 8 as being an ultimately superior though just as intriguing installment.
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