Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit FPV Car - RCGroups Review

Part video game, part RC car, part FPV and all fun! Check out the unboxing and setup videos. This is very impressive and a great RC product for the house!

Splash

Control a real-life Mario Kart with Nintendo Switch and watch it come to life in the game!

I love FPV and my son loves video games. When he came to my office to explain that Nintendo was working on an FPV RC car I knew what I had to do. I used my years of industry experience to figure out how to contact the right person at Nintendo to get a Mario Kart Live for review. I told my son to not hold out too much hope. I was very surprised to receive an email yesterday that my unit was shipping and even more surprised when it arrived this morning! My son was equally excited!

Nintendo says - Race a real-world Mario Kart through your home! Use the Nintendo Switch system to control your kart and watch as it reacts to whatís happening in the game as you boost and drift to victory. Your in-home course comes to life on-screen with a view from right behind the driverís seat. Turn your home into a Mario Kart course of your design

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - ONLINE UNBOXING! (6 min 13 sec)

Truman and I worked together doing the unboxing video. After we charged the car we got going on getting everything setup. I shot the video for this review as we figured everything out. So you get an idea of what to expect if you decide to purchase one these for your house.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Setup and Racing Experience (13 min 0 sec)

The Mario Kart RC car is controlled by the Nintendo Switch . The Switch is the brains of the operation and most of the kids in our neighborhood have one. In the video you will see how we use the onboard FPV video camera to connect with the game. You then use the screen on the switch just like the screen for an FPV plane or quad. My son hooked it up to our flat screen TV so we could all check out the action.

You place the provided cardboard gates around your living room and customize your own courses. The crazy part is that Nintendo makes your living room come alive with different in-game environments like jungles and snowscapes and obstacles like Piranha Plants. You can use objects from around the house to customize your courses and add challenge, then watch the game transform your home into the Mario Kart world.

Zoom around the house with up to three friends...

Bring along some friends to race around your custom course in Custom Race or Grand Prix! Just make sure each player has their own Nintendo Switch system, the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit game and either the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Mario Set or Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Luigi Set.

The magic of augmented of reality doesnít just mean youíll see your course and opponents come alive on screen. Hit a boost in the game? Watch as your real-life Mario Kart speeds up. Get hit by a Green Shell? Look out, because your kart will slow down! If youíre worried about straying too far from the course (or your living room), Smart Steering will help guide you along.

While I have had something like this to review in the past the execution by Nintendo is pretty astounding. The blend of gaming 3D objects and your living room is amazing.

The races you progress through in Grand Prix mode are variedóthe windy environment might push your kart to the side, while the in-game Piranha Plant gate will bite you if you pass through the wrong side. As you play, youíll unlock more speed settings, costumes, environments and more! These can all be used when you want to create your custom course. Even Rainbow Road makes an appearance!

Features

  • Use your Nintendo Switch system to control a real-life Mario Kart
  • Create a course in your home by placing gates and watch the race come to life on screen in augmented reality
  • The kart will react as you boost, hit items and drift around the course
  • Unlock in-game environments, gates, costumes and more as you play
  • Up to 4 players can race around the house together (additional games, systems and karts required; sold separately)
  • Nintendo Switch Lite plays all games that support handheld mode

Conclusion

I thought I knew what to expect and I was pretty blown away by the effects that simulate being in a video game applied to your actual surroundings. Our family has played it's fair share of group Mario Kart games so to see all that imposed on to our living room is mind bending!

The car itself is built to last and pretty darn cool. If you are an RC car person that has a Switch, or even better, a son or daughter with a Switch, this is almost a must have. It combines my love of FPV with my sons love of gaming in a way that makes us both grin. Be sure to watch my video to really understand how this works. I'm a big fan and so is my son!!

PS - The cat loves it too...

We should be adding to this review in the coming days.

Truman's Update and Conclusion...

Here is my own personal review going into detail on all of the features of Mario Kart Live. First thing is the car itself. It is incredibly solidly built, despite handling it multiple times and bumping into walls it is still completely spotless. If it was just released as an FPV aimed at kids it would still be worth the price with its build quality.

Actually connecting the car is super easy, if itís your first time you just need to use the car to scan a QR code. If youíve already connected the car all you need to do is turn it on, open the game, and choose single player or multiplayer. One of the best features is how fast you can start driving. I assumed that all of the modes would just be in a menu, instead after you start the game you are immediately dumped into explore mode where you can freely drive around. When you want to start a race, set up a race, or customize your kart you just need to drive to the starting line and youíll be given these options.

The races themselves are based heavily on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe using most of the same mechanics. Almost all of the same items are used and you are able to collect 2 at a time. I did find the game significantly more difficult than Mario Kart 8. At this point Iíve played Mario Kart 8 enough that my brain just goes on autopilot when playing it, in Mario Kart Live the fact that itís a real car made it much more involved. I had to be careful when taking turns instead of just drifting on every corner I saw.

While the tracks are all dependent on your house and how you lay them out, the game does do itís best to add variety. There are 8 grand prixs each with 3 tracks that can change things up. This can range from adding obstacles onto the course, wind that causes your steering to veer, or magic that mirrors the FPV feed and reverses the controls.

In terms of latency thereís very little lag with one caveat. You need to make sure there are no walls in between the kart and the Switch. Otherwise you wonít get much lag. The kart generates its own wi-fi that the Switch connects to. One advantage of it being an official app for the Switch is all of the set up is automatic, you just need to start the app and it will automatically connect to your kart. No confusing wi-fi syncing here.

Now my only problems with Mario Kart Live. My first problem is the gates themselves. They are fairly big and donít fold up for storage that much. Itís a bit of a departure from the cardboard creations in Nintendo Labo which all had secret ways of comparing themselves for storage. You will need a large area in your house if you want to play this to its fullest. You probably already have this in mind if you are interested but itís worth mentioning.

I do think that Mario Kart Live is worth the price, itís a high quality product and the AR features makes it even better. It feels like it would be a good way to introduce kids into FPV racing. While itís not a full game it has enough content to keep you entertained. If you or your kids are interested I highly recommend it.

Learn More

Head over to the Nintendo site for more information on Mario Kart Live!

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Oct 19, 2020 at 10:41 AM..
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Oct 16, 2020, 09:31 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
So stinking cool!
Oct 18, 2020, 09:46 PM
Registered User
My son wants this in the worst way.
Oct 19, 2020, 06:06 AM
rainy days suck
any word on the latency?????
Oct 19, 2020, 08:23 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
Truman has continued to drive this on a daily basis. UPDATE - The Mario Kart itself actually connects to the Switch. We have determined the only issues with interference are when you get too many walls between you and the Kart. More on this in the review when we add our updated conclusion.
Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Oct 19, 2020 at 10:28 AM.
Oct 19, 2020, 09:29 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Dang, now I really want one so we can race!
Oct 19, 2020, 10:41 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
Truman's update has been added - a lot of great thoughts from him on this.

Here is my own personal review going into detail on all of the features of Mario Kart Live. First thing is the car itself. It is incredibly solidly built, despite handling it multiple times and bumping into walls it is still completely spotless. If it was just released as an FPV aimed at kids it would still be worth the price with its build quality.

Actually connecting the car is super easy, if it’s your first time you just need to use the car to scan a QR code. If you’ve already connected the car all you need to do is turn it on, open the game, and choose single player or multiplayer. One of the best features is how fast you can start driving. I assumed that all of the modes would just be in a menu, instead after you start the game you are immediately dumped into explore mode where you can freely drive around. When you want to start a race, set up a race, or customize your kart you just need to drive to the starting line and you’ll be given these options.

The races themselves are based heavily on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe using most of the same mechanics. Almost all of the same items are used and you are able to collect 2 at a time. I did find the game significantly more difficult than Mario Kart 8. At this point I’ve played Mario Kart 8 enough that my brain just goes on autopilot when playing it, in Mario Kart Live the fact that it’s a real car made it much more involved. I had to be careful when taking turns instead of just drifting on every corner I saw.

While the tracks are all dependent on your house and how you lay them out, the game does do it’s best to add variety. There are 8 grand prixs each with 3 tracks that can change things up. This can range from adding obstacles onto the course, wind that causes your steering to veer, or magic that mirrors the FPV feed and reverses the controls.

In terms of latency there’s very little lag with one caveat. You need to make sure there are no walls in between the kart and the Switch. Otherwise you won’t get much lag. The kart generates its own wi-fi that the Switch connects to. One advantage of it being an official app for the Switch is all of the set up is automatic, you just need to start the app and it will automatically connect to your kart. No confusing wi-fi syncing here.

Now my only problems with Mario Kart Live. My first problem is the gates themselves. They are fairly big and don’t fold up for storage that much. It’s a bit of a departure from the cardboard creations in Nintendo Labo which all had secret ways of comparing themselves for storage. You will need a large area in your house if you want to play this to its fullest. You probably already have this in mind if you are interested but it’s worth mentioning.

I do think that Mario Kart Live is worth the price, it’s a high quality product and the AR features makes it even better. It feels like it would be a good way to introduce kids into FPV racing. While it’s not a full game it has enough content to keep you entertained. If you or your kids are interested I highly recommend it.
Oct 19, 2020, 12:32 PM
Wakka Wakka
streborz's Avatar
If you crash it you can fix it. Your ol'man is a website repairman. He has the ultimate set of tools!
Oct 19, 2020, 01:59 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
Like!
Oct 22, 2020, 01:41 PM
32 yrs. Of aircraft Flying!
epoweredrc's Avatar
pretty awesome
Latest blog entry: OMP M2 Helicopter.
Oct 23, 2020, 01:36 PM
Registered User
My trusted RC friends - I have an 8-year son who is a contrarian. It took him ages to like chocolate chip cookies, apple juice, and ice cream. Even now, he's proud to say he's the only kid in the class who has regular milk instead of chocolate.

I have not wanted to "push" RC on him because I don't want it to backfire, but at the normal intervals I've given him some toy RC cars, and he gets very "bored" with them in a few minutes. Last year I got brave and bought a nice Horizon Hobby truck for him and he openly disdained it...literally drove it straight into the shed, put down the controller, and walked away.

I could ignore all this, I don't want to push stuff on him, and I recognize he's still quite young, except he's been totally sucked into video games. Especially with covid. I would be happy to find anything else to get his attention, but it seems impossible. Even Christmas, he is barely interested enough to unwrap gifts because all toys are boring to him in comparison to games.

So...when I saw this item a few weeks ago I was thinking...could THIS be the bridge to physical toys, or just another wedge that makes the physical world into something represented on another screen?


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