Mario Kart Tour Has Record-Breaking Launch

Start your engines--Nintendo's new mobile game is out now.

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Nintendo's next major mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, has officially launched on both iOS and Google Play as a free-to-play game. While you could download it overnight, a maintenance period rendered it unplayable, but it's now ready to go--as are its arguably off-putting microtransactions.

Update: Not only is the game live, but it's reportedly breaking records. Analyst firm Apptopia reports that Mario Kart Tour racked up 10.1 million downloads globally on its launch day, setting a new record for a mobile game. That would put it comfortably ahead of what's now the No. 2 launch ever, Pokemon Go, which saw 6.7 million downloads at release. Tour was no doubt helped by the prominent placement in the iOS App Store and corresponding pre-orders that prompted users to download the game right away.

Nintendo and developer DeNA have not verified this 10 million number, but it may in fact be understating how many times it's been downloaded--the Google Play store lists it as having gotten more than 10 million installs, and that would only encompass those on Android devices. Whether it retains a significant number of players remains to be seen. One thing to bear in mind is that it's currently single-player-only--despite how it may seem, Mario Kart Tour multiplayer is coming in the future. The original story follows.

Mario Kart Tour is the first official Mario Kart game for mobile devices. It is among Nintendo's most recognizable and popular franchises, and therefore it stands to be a huge hit given its mass appeal. Sure enough, on launch day, it launched to the No. 1 spot on the iOS App Store's charts for free games.

The game is "free-to-start," as Nintendo describes it, but players can spend more money on microtransactions to unlock various extras. The game features a number of real-world locations for courses, in addition to a variety of courses from throughout the series' history; we've gotten glimpses at Rainbow Road and Choco Island from the SNES game, as well as Dino Dino Jungle from Double Dash. The game also features 30 racers, who you'll be able to unlock via a gacha mechanic.

Mario Kart Tour is free to download and features microtransactions and an optional subscription component. To play the game, you'll need to have a Nintendo Account. You can create one of those for free on Nintendo's website. For more details on Mario Kart Tour and its first event, check out the video above.

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