Mario Kart Tour is available now, and it has monetization. I think I've already been over the monetization over and over again already, once in my Mario Kart Tour review, and then just for good measure, in a big feature calling Mario Kart Tour Nintendo's greediest move yet. Needless to say, I have opinions on Mario Kart Tour's monetization.
Free to play games need to make money, ultimately, that's just a fact, so I can't hate Mario Kart Tour for offering things to buy, but when there's a subscription service in addition to greedy gacha mechanics (duplicates in gacha is the devil's work) well, something has got to give.
But I am a games journalist, and I must do my due diligence. As such, I have subscribed to Mario Kart Tour's Gold Pass service, just to find out what you get in it, whether it's any good, that sort of thing. And, is it any good? Well, let's go over my main takeaways…
From every reward milestone you hit in Mario Kart Tour, you will get extra rewards from having a Gold Pass subscription - if you've already opened all of your rewards, you will have a time limit to redeem your gold rewards, should you consider subscribing.
You will get more coins, rubies, drivers, karts, and a load of tickets to level all of them up.
I'm not one to complain about extra rewards, and honestly, the rewards you get from the Gold Pass in the early game are very helpful, and if you get as many as you can, you will find them to be a much better value than buying rubies straight.
Yes, paying the subscription for a month or something is better value than just buying premium currency, though that shouldn't surprise you. It's like a battle pass VS loot boxes. One is always going to be better value.
Are the extra rewards worth it, though? Well, it's certainly good value if you're the kind of person that would buy up rubies anyway. Otherwise? No.
200cc, Mario Kart 8's biggest and most challenging mode, is in Mario Kart Tour, but locked away behind a Gold Pass. How cruel. So, once you unlock it, how does it change the game?
Well honestly, 200cc is not an enjoyable way to play the game. The game lists the mode as being "Too Fast" and that is correct. You will be blundering your way through tracks with minimal amounts of control, but at a very high speed, which can get these sometimes tedious tracks out of the way pretty quickly.
There are no extra points available just for playing in 200cc, however, the extra speed means that you will be able to hold on to combos for longer, as you will more quickly be able to race to more dash pads, more coins, more areas and items to help you extend your combo.
200cc definitely has its advantages, but 150cc is definitely how this game was designed to be played, especially since this game doesn't actually have a brake button…
But, it's gold?
Um, we've run out of nice things to say about Gold Pass.
You do get other gold things. A Gold Blooper kart. Some gold icons and stickers to show off to friends. Gold challenges will even give you exclusive Grand Stars, to make those next rewards even more attainable.
Yes. You get gold things. But nothing of particular value or interest, honestly. Unless your interests are, um, strictly uninteresting.
Fiver a month
It's a fiver a month. $4.99. Or, y'know, £4.99 around here. That's like, two Mega Melt breakfasts at Subway, or a third of a gym membership.
It adds up to £60 a year. That's just… That's the price of a AAA game. Mario Kart Tour is not a AAA game, it's not as enjoyable as even half of them. Is it worth the same kind of money? Absolutely not, no way, not at all.
Should you buy Mario Kart Tour's Gold Pass?
So, my recommendation? If you really like Mario Kart Tour, get the Gold Pass free trial before all of those rewards you've already opened lose their gold rewards.
Once you've got those back, make a calendar reminder to cancel your subscription before you get charged. This is the best thing to do. Godspeed.