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So I blacked out earlier and when I came to I had spent entirely too much money buying two Mario Kart Live sets to Kart Marios in my living room. For those who don't know, Mario Kart Live is an AR game where you spend $100 to get a lil' RC car to play actual Mario Kart in your actual house/apartment. Like, real Mario Kart on your Switch, with red shells and mushroom boosts and everything. Here's us playing it (CW: My feet):

This shiz is wild.

My brain kind of couldn't deal with it at first. It feels so similar to a regular Mario Kart that I kept forgetting I was playing in a physical space. I almost barreled straight into my husband's foot until I reminded myself that it was not a video game foot. There's also amazing trickery going on, where the actual RC car is puttering along kind of slowly, but the audiovisual experience makes you think you're going a lot faster. It's by far the most impressive AR game ever made.

It's also not perfect. I got really excited when the Karts were able to drive under our couch (they can drive under any space that's 4" or higher), but the connection got really finicky under there, and unplayably laggy at times. It took us a while to find a good balance between a track that was compelling to play while maintaining decent latency. We probably spent more time building than racing. Though figuring out how to make a good track within our limitations got real compelling after a while. I feel like I learned a lot about how to lead a player around a track (the video above is an early draft, so it's not our best work). If you like level design you'll like this game.

Still, the buy-in is huge. It's a really good purchase for me, specifically, because we have two Switches and tend to host a lot of get-togethers. As you'd expect, multiplayer is exponentially more exciting than single player. I imagine most folks who can only get one Kart will probably end up shuffling it off to the closet after a fun weekend.


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I'm sure this could be a fun novelty but I'd really want a place with more open space and less hoarded clutter if I was to buy and play something like this.


space hero for hire
(He/Him + RT/artee)
I don't have this, but everything I've seen keeps breaking my brain. Like, all the video footage somehow makes people's places just look like hyper-real videogame environments.


Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Much like Labo, this would have been great to play with my son with if he was maybe five years older.


The Goofiest Hrothgar
I've seen video of pets being an amazing hazard for courses, like a cat laying across the entirety of the virtual track.


I desperately want this, but 90% of our house is carpet.

That being said, your note about single player not being as fun makes me hope I could find it used in a few months.


Played some more today, rearranging the furniture to give the Karts free reign over the whole living room. Husband is a lot better at course design than I am. Most of my time with the game will probably be spent figuring out different layouts we could potentially do in the distant future when we can have company over again. I'm sure it will go into hibernation soon but as it is I'm pretty in love with it.

The variety of course environments and gate effects is pretty impressive, and a clever way to make Grand Prix races feel varied even if they're all happening on the same track. All the Grand Prix cups are available from the start, but you have to unlock the various effects in order to mix and match in the Custom Race mode.
I'm sure this could be a fun novelty but I'd really want a place with more open space and less hoarded clutter if I was to buy and play something like this.
Our living room is juuust big enough for it to work well, mainly because we can incorporate the couch. I was biting my nails that there wouldn't be enough space, as the game is definitely dull if you can't do more than a simple circle.
I desperately want this, but 90% of our house is carpet.
It works on carpet! Most carpet, anyway.


Summon for hire
I just replaced all the carpet on my first floor with flat flooring, and have a large great-room with two couches such that I could probably do a pretty sweet figure-eight track, as long as it supports track layouts that cross over themselves. I'm... a bit tempted I gotta admit. Probably not right now but maybe later.
What's the range on this? I'm about to move into a place where the whole ground floor is all laminate with a big living room connected to a dual-entry kitchen and dining nook to the side.


Nintendo recommends within 15 feet or 5 meters of the system. That range seems about right to me, though a lot of factors seem to affect it, like objects or walls. There’s anecdotal evidence that playing undocked is better but I have no idea if that’s true.

I had one track that did a loop from our bedroom through the hall to the office, with the two doors right next to each other. The game stuttered a bit if I sat in one room or the other, but seemed alright if I stood dead center in the hall.


Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I got two of these for my nephews for Christmas, and they're just sitting in my dining room MOCKING me.