Mario Kart: The only racing game with carnivorous plants

Megan Staff Image

When I was a kid, you were either team Nintendo or team Sega. My sister and I were Nintendo lovers all the way, starting at a babysitter’s house after school. Of course it became our big request for Christmas, and Santa was kind enough to bring us a real one (we were afraid his elves would make it out of wood).

One of my all-time favorites is Mario Kart, a series now in its eighth installment. How fitting that I received Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch this Christmas.

Mario Kart

For those who’ve never played, I’ll give you the gist. It’s a racing game featuring popular Nintendo characters like Mario, Princess Peach, Link, and others. In true Mario style, players can hurl shells at each other, use stars to become invincible, and even nab a hungry piranha plant to chomp at opponents. Things can get a little frantic at times.

Popular tracks from previous installments make a return, but with new twists. My personal nightmare, Rainbow Road, now has railings to keep players like me from falling off the track every few minutes. These are no ordinary race courses, though. You’ll defy gravity, drive under water, explore the gears of a giant clock, and more. I’m starting to sound like a commercial, but seriously, it’s a lot of fun.

Mario Kart gameplay
Picture by Joshua Livingston (via Flickr)

Last night I played online against a friend. For the moment, Nintendo is allowing online play for free and I’m taking advantage now, before they start charging a monthly fee. You can also play against strangers all over the world. Nintendo has solved one of the great banes of online gaming by limiting chat to pre-set phrases. It may get a little corny when people can only say things like “That was fun!,” but at least there are no off-color comments about mothers, for example.

Want to try it out? You can borrow Mario Kart and other games from the library! Why not throw a few shells and see if you’ve got what it takes to roll, slide, or glide across the finish line first?

Start your engines

Borrow a Mario Kart game

Megan is a Children’s Library Assistant at CLP – East Liberty. When she isn’t reading fantasy, magical realism and/or pretty much any children’s book, she enjoys gaming, watching movies, and writing fiction and poetry, some of which has been published.