The Game: It’s a big day at the races, with a field of drivers selected from the Mushroom Kingdom: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Bowser, and even Donkey Kong Jr. are among the racers vying for the top spot. From the grassy Mushroom course to the punishingly muddy Star course to the oceanside Flower course, there are challenges, hairpin turns and obstacles. Whoever can learn to navigate each course the fastest without ending up out of bounds struggling to get back on the course will be the winner. (Nintendo, 2001)
Memories: A better-than-merely-passable handheld version of Super Mario Kart, this game may actually exceed its inspiration by offering new environments, new drivers and other neat twists. For the most part, it’s a genuine improvement.
Those familiar with Super Mario Kart will find little to surprise them here as far as play mechanics go: it’s a very faithful port of the original SNES game. Obviously, though, there is one major component of Super Mario Kart that’s lost in the translation: you’re taking one of the all-time great “party” video games – the one with the fun factor that every Mario Party release in Nintendo’s history wishes it had – and putting it on a single-player platform with extremely limited multiplayer capability. While the basic game design is still strong and playable, you’re getting the original Super Mario Kart‘s central nervous system without its heart.
But it’s hard to beat for a quick fix of Mario Kart action on the go. If you can live without the multiplayer element, Mario Kart: Super Circuit is for you.