In case you forgot, Nintendo has a Mario Kart mobile game coming at some point in the near future. It's called Mario Kart Tour, and the latest (and pretty much only) news about it is that it's slated for this summer. Nintendo allowed fans to sign up for a chance to participate in a closed beta for the game. Now, it seems like a select few are receiving emails about when they can take part.
A fan on the Nintendo subreddit called montrayjak shared the contents of their email. It's pretty standard, simply announcing the period of the closed beta and linking to an FAQ page that provides more in-depth details. It reads:
"Thank you for applying for the Mario Kart Tour Closed Beta Test on Android™ devices. Good news: You have been randomly selected to participate!
Nintendo will send you another email when the Closed Beta Test is ready to start. As a reminder, the Closed Beta Test is scheduled for Wed., May 22 through Tues., June 4.
Please review the FAQ to make sure you are ready to participate. Thank you for being a Nintendo fan!"
The FAQ, meanwhile, does offer one hint about the game. A warning reads: "In game character abilities, kart performance, etc., as well as their specifications, may change without prior notice during the closed beta test period."
That makes it sound an awful lot like players will have a wide variety of characters, karts, and abilities to choose from. That might not be the most surprising news. After all, the more recent Mario Kart games have put an emphasis on adding more characters and karts to choose from. And unlockables are essential in a mobile game as they provide an easy incentive to spend time and/or money.
Nintendo's mobile initiative has had trouble when it comes to retaining an audience. Hardcore fans have kept niche titles like Fire Emblem Heroes and Dragalia Lost afloat by whaling as expected. But the more casual efforts - Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, and Pokémon GO - always seem to lose all but the most dedicated players. They make money, sure, but they don't seem to be pulling people away from Clash of Clans and Candy Crush they way Nintendo might've hoped they would.
Mario Kart Tour's closed beta will give us our first round of feedback about the game sooner rather than later, and we might finally know if it's the casual mobile hit Nintendo has been waiting for.