Mario Kart Tour: How Monetization Works (Or Doesn't)

Mario Kart Tour isn't a bad way to scratch the Mario Kart itch if you don't have access to any of the other titles, but is it really worth the deluge of microtransactions? The mobile game is set up similar to other free to download games on the mobile platform with in-app purchases. However, Nintendo has taken it a step further this time by pushing a monthly subscription service as well.

As with many microtransaction-riddled games, Mario Kart Tour uses a three-tiered currency system of common, uncommon, and real-life currency, representing coins, rubies, and the US Dollar. The cost of living in the game certainly exceeds the going pay rate. Through the daily rewards, you receive 5 rubies every other day, which is the same price as the cheapest item available. The game offers various stacks of rubies to compensate for this, but only if you're willing to pay real money. Coins don't seem to be all that plentiful either, despite the fact that the game is a Mario title.


The In-Game Store

There are three main attractions at the in-game store: the Pipe, Daily Selects, and The Gold Pass.

The Pipe acts as a sort of grab-bag system. Players may choose to spend five rubies for a randomly selected reward from the pool of Drivers, Karts, and Gliders. There's an option to get 10 items for 45 rubies as well, which are also randomly selected.

Meanwhile, Daily Selects cost coins and rotates through available Drivers, Gliders, Karts, and Tickets. This allows players to buy a certain item without spending rubies on The Pipe. Daily Select prices vary from 100 coins to 2,000 coins or possibly more.

RELATED: Mario Kart Tour Review: Hand Over Your Rubies And Fire Off That Pipe, It's-a Microtransaction Time


Lastly, we have the Gold Pass. This is Nintendo's in-game subscription service, which costs $5 per month. With the subscription, you receive access to 200cc races, along with the ability to earn Gold Gifts through racing tours and Badges through Golden Challenges. However, it's not a great deal, as you'll be paying directly out of pocket for these unnecessary frills.


Microtransaction Nightmare

In conclusion, Mario Kart Tour is a microtransaction nightmare. While a Daily Select may be worth it from time to time if you have the coins at the ready and the Pipe is a good way to keep your racing combos fresh when you have the rubies on hand, it isn't worth it. The Gold Pass is nothing more than a crude money-making gimmick and doesn't deserve your hard-earned money.

Mario Kart Tour is currently available on iOS and Android.

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