This racing game manages to capture the fun of the franchise, and with its adjusted price, the space of your house may be its biggest obstacle to the winner's circle. Nintendo is well-known for its peripherals, and Mario Kart Live Home Circuit is the latest in the company's tradition of thinking outside of the box (or in this case, outside of the TV). Thanks to a clever melding of the wireless kart and its camera along with a set of cardboard gates, players can create and recreate any series of tracks they can think of to test their racing skills around their house. It's hard to not be blown away by just how innovative the kart and the course creation is after just a few minutes of play. The kart is extremely responsive, and is able to move from carpet to hardwood or tile floors without missing a beat (lower speed settings may crawl as it tries to get traction on these surfaces, while higher speeds have no issue here,) In fact, you'll be up and ready to build racetracks within minutes, and if you want, you can swap them between races to test your skills on new tracks you create. It's also very cool to discover how the game scatters in coins, question blocks, and environmental threats across the virtual landscape in your house to give you a challenge. Sure, some of your opponents may drive through furniture or other obstacles that you see through the kart's camera since they aren't actually real, but for the most part, they follow the course that you've initially designed. What's also notable is that the karts have pretty solid battery life: you can get at least two hours on slower speed classes, but it'll be shorter as you race at faster speeds, especially as the kart whips around corners. The sense of speed from the kart, especially at 200cc, is incredible as well – it adds an extra challenge to your races as you drift around corners or find yourself spinning out on hairpin curves from going too fast. The latest update to version 2.0 adds some nice features as well, like the new Luigi Cup, with three new courses. Windmill Meadows and Music Broadway are fun tracks, but the stand out is King Boo's Courtyard, which flips the screen upside down and places large Boos in your view. It's also fantastic to see the addition of split-screen play, making it vastly easier for more people to play on one system, as well as Relay Race, so multiple people can trade off between laps. It helps more players hop behind the wheel, and boosts the fun. Even better, the price has been cut in half, so it's more affordable than ever to grab karts and get racing.
Home Circuit isn't perfect, especially if you happen to have pets, who will frequently choose to turn the kart into a new toy to chase around the house. You're definitely restricted by the amount of space you might have in your house, so you may have to become creative with your course layouts to keep the gameplay fresh. In fact, changing the layouts does become a challenge to prevent things from becoming repetitive, because it's up to you to make courses different, instead of relying on the tracks that Nintendo has developed in previous Mario Kart games. If you have the space, are willing to create courses on your own, and are looking for a unique racing experience, look no further than Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.