Nostalgic Nintendo

Ethan Verderber, Writer

The sounds from our past have come back to us — Mario Kart has gone mobile. It’s on the app store, for free. It’s the official Nintendo Licensed, good as the days we played, Mario Kart.  

   It has the option to tilt your phone to turn, like the Wii Wheels, or use your thumb like a common mobile game. There’s a lot of characters  from earlier games — Mario, Toad, Peach, Bowser, Luigi, Donkey Kong –the essentials. They’ve also got Metal Mario, Pauline, and Dry Bowser; less common characters for the franchise. You don’t start with them all though. You get Toad or Toadette, and the rest come randomly from reward packs or milestones. 

   And it’s a hit. With 617,000 ratings, you’ll find someone playing it wherever you go. It’s what everyone’s doing right now, and it’s bringing people together. People are putting friend codes on their stories, comparing how many courses they’ve cleared, and betting who’s going to leave who in the dust when the private multiplayer eventually drops.   

   Jessica Shelton (11,) sees something different though, “People have become more detached — I’ve seen whole groups of people isolated on their phones playing the game.” This can be seen as isolation, but people are still together and having fun. Sayuri Waybright (11) puts it well, saying “My friends and I are always competing to have the highest completion score and brag about the characters we win in the lottery, such as the legendary character, Pauline.” So people are together, but not in the happy-go-lucky way the game may appear. But the competitive element is putting a new flavor in a lot of relationships. People don’t have a lot of excuses for friendly rivalries right now, but the lighthearted headbutting over those ever-increasing scores isn’t uncommon to overhear. 

   In all reality, it’s exciting to see something come back from all of our younger days, and bringing people together in new ways. The accessible and inviting medium of the game has thrown it into the spotlight. The simplistic controls can only help with this, and everyone hopping on board all at once makes matches come fast. The only downside there seems to be is the daily experience point cap — but maybe that’s just a good sign it’s time to take a break. Or not.