If you didn't know, March 10 is Mar10 Day. And for Nintendo fans, that means there's a whole host of deals to be had on games, consoles, merchandise and even Lego sets that feature the world's most famous plumber, race car driver, doctor, spaceman and athlete – as well as his iconic companions, of course.
The Super Mario franchise has been a powerhouse in gaming since the mid-Eighties, and it has even managed to infiltrate the camera industry with the Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab) game Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (opens in new tab) that blends the virtual and real worlds using a digital camera and clever augmented reality features.
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Did you realise that Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit can actually be played in your living room? And we don't just mean while curled up on the sofa with your Switch; your actual living room can easily become the real-life physical race track for the game!
You'll be dodging more than just red shells in Home Circuit, as you navigate your way around your own home avoiding sofa cushions, pets, furniture and whatever else might stand between your cart and the finish line.
The set comprises a physical remote control cart featuring Mario (or Luigi) that has a built-in camera, as well as two chevron signs and four sturdy cardboard color-coded gates that can be placed along a course of your making, and are recognized by the on-cart camera and brought to life in AR as you drive around the course.
Make sure you drive through the gates in order, though, otherwise you won't have completed your laps correctly.(opens in new tab)
In order to play, you'll need a Nintendo Switch console as well as the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit software – which can be downloaded for free from the Nintendo E-shop. Once this has been installed, follow the easy steps to pair your cart with your console using the ignition button on the vehicle.
Be mindful when setting up your course of any sharp bends that you might have to take to avoid damaging your decor, as well as floor surfaces. The carts can drive on carpet, but it feels much easier and smoother to set up a course on laminate floorings that you might find in hallways or a kitchen.(opens in new tab)
The controls are super easy to use and operate, with the A button on your Switch / controller acting as the accelerator, and B enabling you to reverse and drive backward, as Mario looks over his shoulder on your console screen.
As the video below demonstrates, the cart is susceptible to being attacked by pets and bumping into walls as you drive along the course. The aim is to create a course that matches up in a circle, a figure of eight, or the shape of your choosing – but be aware that once crossing through gate number 4, you must be able to reach gate 1 again, so straight-line courses won't work.
Watch video: Pets become obstacles in your Mario Kart Live course!
Sadly this Mario camera cart isn't designed for photography purposes, and unfortunately you cannot take screenshots with your console while using the software or looking through the cart camera on-screen.
This is a shame, meaning that the AR action can't be captured through your Nintendo Switch console. So you'll need to use an external phone or camera to screen record if you want to document the fun.(opens in new tab)
You can grab the Nintendo Switch-compatible Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit set today at a reduced price, if you love the idea of converting your home into a race course – the best deals are listed below in our handy widget.
You'll see your living spaces from a whole new angle, though, so if you'd rather not see some of the dust and daily dirt that lingers on your surfaces then it might not be for you! The power of AR is strong with this one, and Home Circuit is fun for kids and adults of all ages.
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