Friday marked the release date of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, an augmented reality game where you drive a Mario RC car around a track you build in your house. You control it with your Nintendo Switch, which shows the view from the car’s camera with AI opponents, powerups and obstacles added on-screen via CG. For obvious practical reasons, it doesn’t support online play, and a local multiplayer setup requires hundreds of dollars invested in multiple RC cars and separate Switches for each player. It’s fortunate then that, early adopters are finding household pets to be far more entertaining opponents than humans or AI.
Throughout Friday morning, videos and photos of cats interupting Mario Kart Live began pouring onto social media around the world. Some had a tendency to wander into the track by accident, while others deliberatedly stalked and attacked the RC car. In some cases, cats were so scared of the car that their owners couldn’t resist chasing them around the house with it.
Unfortunately, there is a hidden cost to pets’ participation in Mario Kart Live. IGN reviewer Janet Garcia cited constant maintenance at a significant drawback to the product, reporting the need to frequently disassemble the RC car’s wheels and use tweezers to remove jammed-up hair. Human hair can certainly contribute to a problem like this, but pets shedding in your home will no doubt multiply the amount of cleaning required to keep the car running.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is available now for Nintendo Switch and costs $100 USD for a set with the game, a single RC car, four gates and two arrow markers to define your track boundaries. You can get either a Mario or Luigi car, and additional CG character skins can be bought with coins earned in-game.
At least we finally have a physical version of Mario Kart that doesn’t cause real life traffic accidents and lawsuits (yet).