This handheld version of Mario Kart was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo on the Game Boy Advance in 2001, and it is quite wonderful to play! Like pretty much every Mario Kart game ever made… What’s not to like about them?
Mario Kart: Super Circuit was the first Mario Kart game created for a handheld console and can be played either single-player, or multiplayer via a link cable.
The single-player game has a Grand Prix mode, broken down into three different engine sizes and four different cups, a Quick Run mode with customisable rules, and a Time Trial mode with fastest laps that can be saved.
In multiplayer mode there’s a VS. mode where up to four players can link up their GBAs and race together (with only one cartridge required!), and the classic Battle Mode, which again can be played with up to three other human opponents.
There are forty different tracks in total (twenty in GP mode and twenty more that can be unlocked by collecting 100 coins in each of the cup races) and every single one of them is beautifully designed and full of all kinds of tricks and traps.
The presentation throughout is outstanding. The tracks move quickly and smoothly and the character sprites are chunky, but well-animated. Backgrounds are very colourful and representative of the Mario series.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit feels great to play, as you’d expect from a Nintendo game. No matter who you are driving as (there are eight different characters to choose from), sliding around corners and overtaking your opponents is a real thrill. Blasting the leader with a red shell just before they cross the finish line, and stealing the win from them, is arguably even better…