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Mario Kart Tour is now out in beta, if you’re in Japan

Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo’s free to play mobile game based on the friendship-destroying cutesy racer, has emerged in its beta form for Android devices.

The beta, which is currently only available in Japan, is our first glimpse at what a smartphone-based Mario Kart game could look like and it seems that aside from automatic acceleration most of the game is intact.

We’re not in the beta, but screenshots and video from the beta have leaked online. This shows your car automatically driving, not dissimilar from an accessibility option in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Then you just drag to the left or the right to turn.

On top of that, there’s the addition of the new familiar items, characters and courses. I’ve had a look and while it seems some characters are locked behind a Gacha system, it has proven impossible to find out if Shy Guy is or isn’t in the game. I’d like to play as Shy Guy in this and all Nintendo games, so here’s hoping.

The bets doesn’t show off monetisation features, but as the game is free-to-play it’s reasonable to expect some purchases. The beta has recharging stamina and collectible characters, so an obvious first point would be to expect to be able to pour cash into there.

It’s not an exceptional first look from the sound of things, although I’m cautiously hopeful that we’ll be able to get into the beta in the UK in the near future, although Nintendo hasn’t confirmed a European test. Just yesterday it announced that it would be pulling Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes from sale in Belgium, so it’s unclear if Europe is in the firm’s plans right now.

Want to see some gameplay? Of course you do. It’s not in English, but what language do you need to watch karts go around a track?

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