What is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a shell flinging, anti-gravity drifting, Nintendo themed arcade racer for the Nintendo Switch. An upgraded version of the Wii U's Mario Kart 8, this Deluxe edition packs in all the same courses, characters and modes as the original, including downloadable content, along with a few new additions: a revamped battle mode, five extra characters (Inkling Girl and Boy from Splatoon, Dry Bones, Bowser Jr, and King Boo), the ability to stockpile two power-ups in races (rather than the usual one) and a few new vehicles. With support for both single player against-the-computer play, and a whole host of multiplayer options (split-screen, online, and local wireless), it's up to you to choose a kart, and take to the track as one of your favourite Nintendo characters in a rubber burning, shell flinging, boost-drifting battle for first place.
How do you play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?
An arcade racer through and through, Mario Kart 8 is all about drifting to gain boost power, and using the power-ups you find scattered across the track (like green shells, homing red shells, or fireflower fireballs) to hamper your opponents. Whether you're mashing your foes as Mario, leaping into first place as Link, or pulling off perfect passes as Princess Peach, there's a wide range of Nintendo characters to get to grips with, and loads of intricately themed tracks to race around, with all tracks, characters and modes being unlocked from the second you start the game.
Whether you want to take on a pack of computer controlled opponents in single player or split-screen, head online to take on the best in the world, or simply fancy having a split-screen race between you and your friends, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes with a number of modes to sink your teeth into. Offline, there's the basic Grand Prix, which lets you play through a series of four tracks (come first overall, and you'll earn three stars), along with Time Trials, arena based Battles, and even customisable VS Races, that let you adjust everything from the difficulty of your computer opponents, to the frequency and types of power-ups. And to give you plenty of reason to keep coming back, collecting coins as you race will let you unlock brand new karts and components to customise your racer!
Like most Mario Kart games, though, it's in the multiplayer that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe truly shines. With each player needing only a single Joy-Con to get in on the action, you can play in two-player split-screen out of the box, without the need for any extra controllers, and can even take on opponents around the world in split-screen online! With support for up to four players in split-screen, up to 12 players online, and up to eight in the all new local wireless mode (letting you take on other Switch owners who are nearby), there's plenty of reason to keep you coming back. Be sure to check out Renegade Roundup - a battle mode that's essentially cops and robbers, asking one team to simply survive, while the other tries to catch them with their Piranha Plant power up, and put them in jail!
How easy is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Nintendo have gone out of their way to ensure that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the easiest Mario Karts ever to pick up and play. In addition to a range of control schemes that let you choose whether you'd rather steer by tilting your controller, or using the analogue stick, along with support for both single Joy-Cons, dual Joy-Cons and the Pro Controllers, there's even a pair of brand new assists you can turn on to make things even easier for learner drivers.
First up is smart steering, an absolute godsend for beginners that makes it impossible for you to drive off the edge of a track - something that's a lot easier than you might expect on certain courses (we're looking at you, Rainbow Road). Slightly less useful is auto acceleration, a setting that'll basically control your car's throttle for you, giving you one less thing to worry about while you steer frantically around the corners. With four difficulty levels on offer, each gradually increasing both the speed of your car, and the difficulty of your opponents, everyone should be able to join in the fun with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features nothing in the way of mature content - no swearing, sex or violence.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Switch