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Parents' Guide to

Mario Kart DS

By Erin Bell, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Fresh, fun go-karting with cartoonish mischief.

Game Nintendo DS 2005
Mario Kart DS Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 5+


Classic Kart racing with tons of slapstick comedy. This is in the big selection of kart games of consumerism.
age 2+

Mario Kart is fun for everybody.

Great game. I've played Mario Kart ever since it's debut on the Super Nintendo (which I still have). If you're going to get your kid a DS for his/her birthday, include this great game with it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (45 ):

Part of what makes this game so good is the plethora of game modes beyond the Grand Prix modes including Time Trials, VS races, Battle and Mission. The game allows up to three other people to compete through an ad hoc network or over WiFi.

One slightly controversial aspect is the effort to try to level the playing field: Power-ups are still a big part of the racing strategy, and karts running at the back of the pack receive better power-ups than those at the front. This is great if players of varying skill levels and ages want to play together, but it can be frustrating for the leaders. Still, the Mario Kart series has always been more about fun and inclusiveness than purely skills-based racing, and Mario Kart DS is no different. The game's stellar course design, top-notch production values, and depth make it the game by which all other DS kart racing titles must measure themselves.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

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