Mario Kart Tour may have already spun out by locking 200cc races behind a subscription

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Mario Kart Tour is available now on iOS and Android, but speed fiends may find the game less free-to-play than they were expecting. The first mobile game in Nintendo's 27-year-old kart racing series offers single-player races across a number of courses, circuits, and speeds, though if you want to play the highest-end 200cc mode, you'll need to sign up for a monthly subscription.

Mario Kart Tour is a "free-to-start" game, to use Nintendo's parlance, but it uses gacha-style collection mechanics that let players pay for more chances to unlock the stuff they want. This includes new drivers, karts, and gliders. On top of that, you can subscribe for a Mario Kart Tour Gold Pass subscription that enables extra in-game rewards and additional goals to complete. New players can try out the Gold Pass with a free two-week trial, though once it ends it will automatically convert to a $4.99 monthly subscription unless canceled.

The Mario Kart series has always broken down its speeds and associated difficulty by engine class. The highest engine class has the biggest challenges and associated rewards, so locking it behind a monthly subscription pass in Mario Kart Tour is a bummer - even if the rest of the game of the game is ostensibly free.

Whether or not you're subscribed, you'll be able to participate in a limited-time series of city courses, each taking place on tracks specially designed after real-world locations. The current course is themed after New York City and will be available until October 8. The mayor of New Donk City, Pauline, will also be available as an unlockable driver until then, along with a New York themed kart and glider. Future weeks will let racers visit cities such as Tokyo, Paris, and beyond.

Find more fun in the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond in our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.