For Mario Kart fans, this is the perfect Christmas gift.
Nintendo’s bosses have adopted their classic racing game, the booming Labo concept of physical construction and augmented reality technology to perfectly integrate toys and video games.
The concept is simple: racers use the Switch console to drive real toy karts around the living room on a homemade circuit.
The toy has a built-in camera that allows you to observe the front room from Mario’s perspective.
It seamlessly connects to your console and projects real-time video into the game background, then uses AR to fill the screen with computer-generated competing racers, collect power and use booby traps to trick you.
All of these are perfectly integrated to bring a wonderful gaming experience to all families.
You will find yourself wandering near your front hall in real life while trying to defeat five other virtual Koopaling racers who have not yet appeared on the screen.
It sounds silly, but once you get it up and running, it’s really great and puts your home at the heart of Mario Kart’s action.
With AR technology spreading Nintendo’s magical effects in real life, the room becomes a kingdom of deep ocean, sandy desert and rainbow colors, and brings a classic Mario makeover to your hotel.
Thanks to the QR code that was quickly paired between the machine and the Switch, I was set up within 10 minutes.
The kids love to play this technologically advanced game with me, and I love it every moment.
You will place four cardboard doors around the room for the game.
They are like the company’s previous Labo cardboard toy versus game bag. In the past, you could use a cardboard stick connected to the JoyJo controller to fish on the Switch and other operations.
It is ingenious in workmanship, and the cardboard is sturdy and durable, and will not easily get stuck in your hands.
There are also two cardboard arrow markers that can also help you bypass the homemade track.
These designs can be recognized by the camera in the game, and can be converted by software to make your room full of movement, such as turning the door into an enhanced checkpoint with computer-generated arrows, or an electrified door. For example, you Can get a temporary speed increase.
When you collect and use the speed boost feature, as in previous Mario Kart games, your actual kart will actually accelerate.
Similarly, the game will insert bad guys on the virtual route, and if you hit Koopa on the screen, it will temporarily prevent you from driving in real life.
It is very effective and there is almost no delay.
It’s surprising that the car is so slow when you drive around in the room, because the game on the screen feels faster and crazier, which proves that the developers have a breakthrough feeling in establishing virtual dangers and competitions jobs.
The kart itself is well-structured and can be charged via USB. Charging takes about three and a half hours and will last 90 minutes in a 150CC car.
Once you spend more than £100 on an actual physical machine, you can download the game software for free from Nintendo’s online store.
The entire design is designed to be easy and intuitive to set up and connect easily for me, showing only a small interruption at the far end of the room, so please note that the signal does have its limitations.
If you have enough money, you can also buy Luigi racing cars and Mario karts, and if you are willing to really spend four karts and four consoles, you can race up to four people in a multiplayer game.
Otherwise, if you use a Nintendo Switch, you can only play one player at a time. In the “Time Trial” mode, family and friends can take turns to set the best lap time on the route.
The home circuit can be played in rooms of various sizes. For smaller rooms or apartments, the boss recommends playing in a space of at least 3.5mx 3m.
It is also designed to be used indoors only, so please avoid bringing it to the garden, and be aware that these machines are not really built for thick carpets.
In terms of software, it feels more restricted than the full Mario Kart game, but you can indeed compete in a “time trial”, and there are 24 built-in courses in Grand Prix mode, and the game will launch different scenarios, such as water Or in the desert.
However, these of course overlap with the front room courses you actually designed, so it is effectively just a new look and effect on the same course each time.
You can give yourself an extra challenge in mirror mode, in which the course and your house will be flipped horizontally on the game screen.
As time goes by, you will become more arrogant and you will unlock new cars, Mario’s skins and horns, and higher speed races up to 250CC.
In general, I feel like playing tennis on the original Nintendo Wii console a few years ago.
When we were able to play with motion controls for the first time on Christmas Day, this feeling was a real evolution.
I suspect that this Christmas, many game fans will try this method for the first time and really benefit from the use of augmented reality technology in the familiar family-friendly racing game.
It is not perfect, it feels like the beginning of a new type, not a deterministic conquest.
As time goes by, I can imagine a garden-based version, more and more circuits with loops, jumps and hills, and a lot of imitation games.
There are limitations and I question how long the novelty will last with my little ones.
But for the innovations and unique things in 2020, I think this is correct.
During the holiday season, Nintendo of course will once again achieve amazing success.
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