Parents' Guide to

Mario Kart 8

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Fun family racer lets kids upload sweet moves to YouTube.

Game Nintendo Wii U 2014
Mario Kart 8 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 9+

Finally a video game that is family friendly!

It's not violent, it's not brainwashing, it's easy to play, it's not inappropriate, it's fine!

This title has:

Easy to play/use
age 2+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13 ):
Kids say (36 ):

Mario Kart 8 is fun straight out of the gate, offering accessible all-ages racing within graphically sumptuous environments. Kart handling is terrific, allowing racing rookies to experience success right away while encouraging more experienced players to take the time to learn how to finesse corners with drifts and boosts. The high-definition tracks are cleverly designed -- some are twisty enough to provide a real challenge when racing more powerful karts -- and a delight for the eyes, with bold colors, shifting scenery, and plenty of nods to Nintendo games past. Occasional stretches of antigravity track don't alter the racing action as much as you might think -- kart wheels simply transform into antigravity engines -- but they occasionally create a pleasantly discombobulating effect.

Still, as with past Mario Karts, it's not a flawless racing experience. Although there are some 30 characters, many of them are baby versions of primary characters or relatively unknown members of the Koopa family -- disappointing. Plus, the Battle mode is a complete miscalculation, swapping out open arenas in favor of circuitous tracks, forcing players to drive long stretches without seeing anyone to battle. And, of course, there's still the problem of running perfect races only to be struck down at the finish by a random blue shell, potentially falling from first to fourth in the blink of an eye. Mario Kart 8 is a ton of fun -- especially when played in groups -- but this storied racing series still has room to improve.

Game Details

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