‘Mario Kart VR’ is Real, and It Looks Terrifying

It's-a me, motion sickness!


Classic Nintendo]( game Mario Kart is a spectacle for the senses as it is, but a [virtual reality]( version ups the ante to a whole new level. Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, an officially-licensed game first announced in June, uses an HTC Vive headset to transport players into a colorful blast around Bowser’s Castle. If you’re prone to motion sickness in VR, this probably isn’t for you.

“Basically it is Mario Kart, but dialled up to beyond 11,” IGN reporter Lucy O’Brien said in a hands-on preview published Monday. “The actual thrill of the experience is just so ridiculously high. You’ve got these huge piranha plants looming over you, the sense of scale is just ridiculous.”

Although the visual experience is rather overwhelming, in terms of content the game is a pared-down version of the console editions. The game is set on a mashup of various Mario Kart levels, and unlike in the original game where there’s a wide array of weapons to collect from specially-marked boxes, there’s only three items to collect here: banana peel, hammer and green shell. The items are found floating above the [car](, and players need to reach up and physically grab the items and throw them. A pair of sensors strapped to each wrist registers the hand movements in-game.

The special chair in action.


The player sits alongside three other people in a specially-diesnged chair with a steering wheel. The chairs move during the action, adding to the thrill of trying to keep your lunch down during a competitive session.

Unfortunately, the game is rather difficult to get hold of for now. It’s exclusive to Bandai Namco’s VR Zone Arcade in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. The area is an experimental look at the sort of experiences virtual reality makes possible, like piloting mechs and driving trains. Hopefully if Mario Kart Arcade GP VR sees a wider release, it comes with the wild-looking chair that makes it so unique.

Watch the game in action here:

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