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Mario Kart re-imagined to celebrate Mario Kart 8

Do you ever have one of those moments where you think of an idea or come up with a plan and it is an eye-opening, life-changing moment? You sit down with a friend, think it through, iron out all the wrinkles and decide the best course to making it a reality…

…and them someone else goes ahead and does it before you get a chance.



Staff writer Jamie and myself spent a good hour talking about the possibilities of a real life Mario Kart game, complete with bonuses, track alterations and the relevant costumes of course and then we hear that Pennzoil and Nintendo have teamed up and provided a four player, live action Mario Kart for the clientele of SXSW, the annual tech and music conference in Texas.

According to Austin360, players can collect power-ups that affect their own and other players’ karts. The power-ups are displayed on a giant screen that displays the feed from four GoPro cameras that are attached to the karts themselves. So, if a player picks up a green shell they can fire it at another kart which will cause that player to slow down, pick up a star and you’ll get a bit more speed in your kart.

We could be jaded to think that this is an obvious marketing ploy to flog copies of Mario Kart 8 and Pennzoil products, but seeing as this is the closest that anyone has ever come to real life Mario Kart, our seven year old selves can’t help but take charge when faced with something this amazing. Not to mention that Nintendo has a history of staging marketing stunts to promote games, like the time it gave away a life size Mario Kart. There are a few things missed out but we can let that go as spinning a car out when it goes over a banana may not be the safest thing but here are a few things that we feel Nintendo and Pennzoil could have added:


The scenery on the tracks in Mario Kart is iconic and instantly recognisable. Would it have taken much effort to dress the track in the classic Mario Circuit or Koopa Beach? Maybe even dress some extras up as Goombas and let them wander around the track?


How am I supposed to feel like I am a hero plumber, rescuing princesses and vanquishing overgrown turtles if I’m not kitted out with bright blue overalls and a fake mustache? The karts look great and all, but I’ll be sat there looking like your average Joe rather than a video game character.

Race Map

This could have been achieved with a screen mounted on the steering wheel or a secondary big screen showing the race map. This would be the only way I could see what position I am in, other than looking around that is.

Mystery Power ups

All jokes aside I feel that if they had figured out a couple of other power ups and how to translate them into real life and have mystery box squares on the floor, the whole experience could have been much better. There could then be a button on the driver’s wheel that stops the random selector. Simple.