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Footage Of Mario Kart Tour Gameplay Leaks Online

You just knew it was going to happen. After emails started going out for Mario Kart Tour's closed beta, Nintendo asked participants to keep their screenshots and video clips to themselves. But you know what they say about rules: they're meant to be broken. And thanks to some kind rulebreakers, we now have our first look at Mario Kart Tour's gameplay.

As you can see from some of the footage shared onlineMario Kart Tour looks strikingly similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch. Thanks to the game's art style, the graphics don't really seem to take a hit like they might with a more realistic title. Everything you'd expect to see in a Mario Kart game is there, from the item blocks to the weapons contained within them to the coins that offer a tiny boost. According to those taking part in the beta, the karts automatically drive themselves forward, leaving players to swipe either left or right to turn. And the air gliders are even present, adding a bit of verticality to some of the tracks.

We had some questions about how Mario Kart might look and play on a smartphone. Aside from making it nearly impossible to crop a good-looking image, Mario Kart Tour seems to pull off the portrait perspective rather well, and the controls — from the perspective of someone watching and not playing — make sense.

The big question is, how is Nintendo going to make money off of this thing? According to Variety, the current beta contains "rare characters" that could eventually be purchased for real-world cash, though purchases are currently disabled. And a gaming consultant who's seen the beta noted that the "stamina system limits races available on an hourly basis," which means you could be locked out temporarily if you don't pony up for more stamina.

None of this is set in stone, of course, and Mario Kart Tour's revenue model could change between the beta period and the game's final release. But Nintendo has a very fine line to walk here. People need to get hooked on Mario Kart Tour for the company to sell them microtransactions. But those microtransactions can't be too over-the-top, either, or else players might not bother with the game at all. We'll have to see how things shake out when Tour becomes available to everyone else, which (for now) is sometime this summer.