As technology develops, mixed reality games are becoming all the more popular. Game developers are constantly looking for new ways to engage and entertain their audience. Nintendo isn’t immune to this phenomenon, either. That’s why they created Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.
The mixed reality racing game came out in 2020 and was announced as a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario franchise. Unlike some other Mario anniversary games – Super Mario 35, for example – this one stood the test of time. It has also sold 1.27 million copies all across the globe, which stands as a testament to the game’s popularity and success.
Mario Kart Live Home Circuit – How does it work?
The key point of the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit racing game is that it’s mixed reality, which means it merges the real and virtual worlds. Nintendo achieved this by creating radio-controlled toy cars with video cameras on them. Players steer these cars using their Nintendo Switch. The game supports up to 4 players in a match, and you can also play against AI.
You get 4 gates and 4 arrow signs – during the setup, the game maps out the tracks in correlation with your apartment based on where and how you placed the gates (and the space between the gates). Gate 4 needs to loop back in with Gate 1, but it doesn’t have to be in a circle – you can add places where you need to cross your original path as you’re mapping out your tracks. The gates and signs are cardboard, and you could technically print out your own with stickers should you wreck them.
You can race in the Grand Prix against Bowser and the Koopalings, unlocking new costumes and other customization options for the characters. You can also create your own levels if you want to add a bit of flair to your race tracks. Placing guidance arrows on the four gates allows players to make checkpoints to be able to advance in the race.
How do you set it up?
Setting the karts up in your home isn’t hard at all. Once you load the game onto your Nintendo Switch, the game itself shows you instructions on how to sync your karts to the Switch. After that, you need to take a photo for your “license” using the video cameras on the karts. Finally, assemble your race track and set up gates along the Mario Kart race tracks. Now all that’s left is to test out your course and enjoy the game!
Does it work on a carpet?
In commercials and most other promotional content, players set up the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit on tiles and hardwood floors. These work well, but depending on your tastes, your living room might look a bit different. Carpets are a must in some people’s homes, and you may wonder if the Home Circuit can work on your carpet or if you just spent all that money for nothing.
We’re here to deliver the (mostly) good news! Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit can work on carpets, but only up to a certain point. Depending on the type of carpet you have and how it’s made, there are a few places and angles where the karts may get stuck, like areas where you have details on your carpet. Rugs are also a bit of an issue, their edges being a particularly tricky place. In general, thick carpets and rugs are probably going to cause an issue with your race tracks.
If you’re going to build your Mario Kart race track on a carpet, make sure to have as few places as possible where the karts can get stuck. Maybe take the karts for a test drive every now and then while you’re building the track and work around the problematic areas? It’s all up to you!
How limited is Mario Kart’s Live Home Circuit?
In terms of dimensions, you’re going to need at least 3×3.6 meters of space to create your tracks. You could theoretically make the track as big as you like, but you need to make sure to have your karts within 4.5 meters of the Nintendo Switch so you don’t keep losing connection. Other than that, there aren’t that many limitations.
Players can use objects in their homes to create obstacles on the race tracks. You can make pillow and blanket mountains, toilet paper roll tunnels, and other barriers to add some flair to your Mario Kart race track.
Can you play it on your TV?
Yes, you can play Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit on your TV. However, you can unfortunately only do so in docked mode. This means that if you have a Switch Lite, you have to stick to portable mode only.
Since the 2.0 update, multiplayer split screen mode is also available, meaning only one player needs to set up the track and plug their dock into the TV – the other players can just hook up to the game via their controller (but they do need to have a second kart purchased, though).
Is Mario Kart Live Home Circuit worth it?
Is Mario Kart Live Home Circuit worth it? If you want the Mario Kart real life experience, then you should look into it for sure.
This game is fun, innovative, and a great way to surprise your loved ones (or yourself). It can also bring out anyone’s creative touch. There are two different sets to choose from: the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Mario set and the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Luigi set. There is no price difference between the versions, even though the sets themselves are a bit pricey. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it, though! You’re sure to spend hours setting up race tracks and racing your friends in an augmented reality setting.