We’ve spoken before about how Mario Kart tour was developed by Nintendo in an effort to bolster their mobile games lineup by partnering with developer DeNa. What I always thought odd about the game was that you were forced to play it in portrait mode. Sure, this allowed you to play one handed, and it catered more to the nature of a mobile game, but I always said it would be a game better played in landscape mode so that it mirrored its console counterpart. Well, now you can…sort of.
Just this morning, Nintendo updated the game to include portrait mode gameplay. This immediately made me more excited to play it. Upon downloading it, I noticed something rather strange though. Portrait gameplay only occurs during races! Wait, what? That’s right – You play the game and navigate its menus in portrait mode and then you rotate your phone during a race to play. When the race is over and the score board comes up, the phone flips you back to portrait mode. Not only is this visually jarring, but it’s also very inconsistent as a game design principle.
This latest addition to the game comes after Nintendo’s micro-transaction history with the game came to a head after they hid their star character – Mario behind a subscription pay wall, as well as the ability to race fast enough to have fun with the game. This latest oddity just caused me to uninstall the game again immediately after installing it. I think I’m simply over the charm and starry-eyed thought of Nintendo’s mobile efforts.
I was most excited for the landscape gameplay update because I have long since wanted to play Mario Kart on my Chromebook. I downloaded the game on my Lenovo Duet and fired it up and this is when I realized the problematic design. That being said, you still won’t want to play this on your Chromebook, sadly. The touch controls (left and right) in order to turn feel unnatural and the gyro controls still aren’t great either. For now, I would say to continue playing this on your phone, if at all.
While the landscape design would have been a welcome feature, it’s been implemented poorly. Let’s just hope that Nintendo realizes this and gives the rest of the game a landscape mode as well.
What do you think of the new landscape mode gameplay for Mario Kart Tour? Let us know in the comments below!