The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Pass review: Are the new tracks worth the price?

The go kart racer has some new content

<p>Paris Promenade is one of the new levels</p>

Paris Promenade is one of the new levels

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has remained incredibly popular since it was originally released on the Nintendo Switch in 2017, so the addition of new content with the booster course pass will feel like a win for anyone hoping for some additional features after close to five years.

The new content was announced during a Nintendo Direct event in February, with a total of 48 courses from previous Mario Kart titles making their way to the Switch.

Each wave of releases will include eight courses, four for each new cup being added, over a two-year period.

Now that the first wave of new courses has officially been released, we have a much better idea of how this content fits into the rest of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and whether we think the new courses are worth the price.

Read our full review of each new course in the rest of our article below.

How we tested

We’ve downloaded the booster course pass and played the two new cups, the golden dash and lucky cat cup, to see the new courses in action and how they compare to their original outing on previous Mario Kart titles.

‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ booster course pass: £22.49, Nintendo.co.uk

  • Rating: 7/10
  • Consoles: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 18 March 2022
  • Price: £22.49

Booster course pass golden dash cup

Four tracks are included in the first cup: Paris Promenade, Toad Circuit, Choco Mountain and Coconut Mall.

The first of which comes from the mobile game Mario Kart Tour and as expected, is a recreation of the French city – complete with Eiffel tower, Arc de Triomphe and, in true Parisian fashion, an accordion-heavy soundtrack.

The course itself is fairly straight-forward but with each of the three laps, the order of the course changes, which means by the final lap the race has completed a loop and gone back on itself. If not for this, the rest of Paris Promenade is fairly flat.

Toad Circuit, the original starter course on Mario Kart 7, is almost an exact transplant from the original 3DS game, with little variation. It fits in well to the rest of the courses from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe but as the first race track of that game, it’s already quite simple.

Choco Mountain, a favourite of the Nintendo 64-era hasn’t aged particularly well on new hardware, as its design can be described quite fairly with one word: brown. It is, however, probably the strongest course on the cup with plenty of obstacles such as falling boulders and moguls to break up the course and the addition of glider segments has shown a better level of integration into the updated game than the previous two courses.

Coconut Mall, arguably the most iconic course from Mario Kart Wii, is a disappointing port over to the Switch. The escalators have been replaced with flat ramps and the cars towards the end of the lap that used to move back and forth are now stationary and easy to navigate passed.

Booster course pass lucky cat cup

The other four tracks include, Tokyo Blur, Shroom Ridge, Sky Garden and Ninja Hideaway. All of which are a far stronger addition to the first wave of content on the booster course pass.

Tokyo Blur is similar to Paris Promenade in that it also comes from Mario Kart Tour as well as featuring a dynamic race track that changes each lap. There isn’t much in the way of obstacle navigation but more variety in height distances makes up for its simplicity as the course elevation makes a significant difference in its approach.

Shroom Ridge is by far the strongest entry in the first wave of content though. With winding roads and moving cars to avoid, it’s the most engaging even without too much complexity and shows that Mario Kart DS had some of the best courses out of the series. Hopefully, we’ll see more of them added in future waves.

Sky Garden, from the Game Boy Advance but more recently featured on Mario Kart Tour, is another passable addition, but one that hasn’t changed much from its mobile port. Its design bears an uncanny resemblance to another Mario Kart 8 track, Cloudtop Cruise just without the depth that its zero-gravity segments provide.

The final course is Ninja Hideaway and even though it was ported from Mario Kart Tour, it isn’t listed as such on the course selection menu, presumably as half of the current offering has come over from the mobile port. It’s certainly the most dynamic of the eight courses, with multiple branching routes, elevation and shortcuts but while it has more verticality, some stretches can feel quite narrow.

The verdict: ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ booster course pass wave one

What is instantly clear is that the majority of content is coming over from the mobile game Mario Kart Tour. And while the courses from retro consoles are enough to garner interest, these eight courses on their own may not seem like the best deal.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that the price tag will also include 40 more courses that have yet to be announced and with a large catalogue from over three decades of Mario Kart titles we could easily see some worthy additions.

It’s also worth noting that the additional content is free for anyone who already owns a Nintendo Switch Online expansion pass (£34.99, Nintendo.co.uk) which will give you full access to the content as long as you are a subscriber.

‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ booster course pass

Voucher codes

If you’re looking for discounts on technology or video games, then try one of these codes:

Looking for the best deal on a new Nintendo Switch? Here are the best deals on consoles and bundles for the best-selling console

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in