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Kart racing game

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SuperTuxKart is a kart racing game featuring mascots of open-source software.

A kart racing game, also known as cart racing game or go-kart racing game, is a subgenre of racing games. Kart racing games have simplified driving mechanics while including unusual racetrack designs, obstacles, and vehicular combat. Though the genre has its roots in the 1980s, Super Mario Kart (1992) popularized the genre, with the Mario Kart series still being considered the foremost kart racing franchise.

Mechanics and traits[edit]

Kart racing games are known to have simplified driving mechanics while adding obstacles, over-the-top racetrack designs, a wide range of background music and various action elements. Kart racers are also known to cast fictional characters, particularly from animated media franchises, as the drivers of vehicles with unusual designs, often reflecting the distinct trait or personality of the character driving it.[1] Kart racing games are a more arcade-like experience than other racing games and usually offer over-the-top gameplay in which player characters can shoot projectiles against one another, collect power-ups to gain advantage, or perform special techniques to gain a speed boost.[1][2] Typically, in such games, vehicles move more like go-karts and scooters, lacking anything along the lines of a gear stick and clutch pedal.[3][4]

Kart racing games are distinct from and not to be confused with kart simulators, which is a minor subgenre of racing simulator games that simulates actual kart racing without over-the-top gameplay elements.[5]


Power Drift featured go-kart racing in 1988,[6] but Super Mario Kart (1992) is cited to have popularized the kart racing genre, being the first kart racing game to implement combat elements within races.[7] The game was also slower than other racing games of the time due to hardware limitations, prompting its developers to use a go-kart theme. Since then, many kart racing games have been released, with franchises such as Nicktoons and South Park featuring such games.[8] The Crash Bandicoot franchise in particular (starting with Crash Team Racing in 1999) consists of numerous kart racing video games.[9]

The Mario Kart series is often considered as the pioneer of kart racing series, and is the most successful in the genre, topping other popular games such as Diddy Kong Racing.[10][11] Though the genre seems to have been the most popular among developers during the 1990s,[12] Mario Kart DS (2005), and Mario Kart Wii (2008) became two of the best-selling kart racing games.[13] In the late 2010s, Mario Kart 8 and its Deluxe port became the best-selling racing video game of all time.[14] The kart racing mobile game GKART/QQ Speed (2010), which was heavily inspired by Mario Kart, became one of the highest-grossing mobile games.[15]


  1. ^ a b Gregory, Jason (2009-06-09). Game Engine Architecture. CRC Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-1439879184. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  2. ^ Adedeji, Shola (2012-06-14). "The Kart Racing Genre". Gamelitist. Archived from the original on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
  3. ^ Schwab, Brian (2009). AI Game Engine Programming. Cengage Learning. p. 192. ISBN 978-1584506287. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  4. ^ Rogers, Scott (2014-04-11). Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design. John Wiley & Sons. p. 502. ISBN 978-1118877210. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  5. ^ "This Could be the Realistic Go Kart Simulator You've Been Waiting for". Carscoops. 2014-04-29.
  6. ^ Kalata, Kurt (2012-08-26). "Power Drift". Hardcoregaming101.
  7. ^ Masser, Jeff (2012). "A Brief History Of Kart Racing Games". Modojo. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26.
  8. ^ Ryan, Jeff (2011-08-04). Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. Penguin. ISBN 978-1101517635. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  9. ^ "From CTR to Nitro Fueled: Crash Bandicoot's 20-Year Racing Career". Comic Book Resources. 2019-09-29.
  10. ^ Birch, Nathan (2014-05-29). "The 10 Best Kart Racing Games Of All Time". Uproxx. Retrieved 2014-11-27. I could just take the easy route and make this an all Mario Kart list, but I like a challenge, so this top 10 also includes pretenders to Mario's go-karting throne.
  11. ^ Carmichael, Stephanie (2014-05-29). "Review: Mario Kart 8 Turns the Kart-Racing World Upside Down". The Mary Sue. Retrieved 2014-11-27. Mario Kart is the king of the kart racer ... it's held that throne for a long, long time, ...
  12. ^ Alexander, Jem (2017-11-16). "3DClouds - Reinvigorating the kart racing genre". Develop-Online.
  13. ^ Tach, Dave (2014-05-15). "Mario Kart 8 will likely be the worst-selling game in franchise history, here's why". Polygon.
  14. ^ Maxwell, Tom (2021-04-17). "'Mario Kart 8' Has Become the Best Selling Racing-Game Ever". Input Magazine.
  15. ^ Nakamura, Yuji; Amano, Takashi (23 May 2019). "Mario Kart Tour Shows Promise of Mobile Hit for Nintendo". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2019-05-23. Retrieved 30 January 2021.