|Single Player, Multiplayer, Online|
|Media Included||Nintendo 3DS Cartridge|
Mario Kart Unlimited, also called Mario Kart 8 in Japan, is the 8th and newest installment in the Mario Kart series for Nintendo 3DS. It is the first time two installments will be released on the same handheld. Like Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, players race with two characters on one kart again. New characters, courses, and modes are added, as well as an online mode, using Nintendo Network. The game is in development by Fantasy Factory.
The gameplay is much like Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, players race with 2 characters on one kart, and Special Items return (which are now called Super Specials). A team consists out of a driver, and a character who takes care of the items. However, there are also some differences. The classes the characters are seperated into are not longer depended on size, but classes like Speed, Technique and Power are added. Like Mario Kart 7, 1st person mode is added, and Tricks also make a comeback. Also added from Mario Kart 7, Gliders do reappear. However, Coins, Kart Customization and Underwater Racing don't. For the first time in the series, the players are invincible against their own items.
|B Button||Brake/Drive in reverse|
|X Button||Use item|
|Y Button||Look backwards|
|Control Pad||Switch to 1st person mode|
|Circle Pad||Steer your vehicle|
|Select Button||Options Menu|
|Start Button||Pause Menu|
In Grand Prix Mode, the player needs to win the cups against computer-controlled opponents. The difficulty level against CPU racers increases while selecting the engine class which are four:
- 50cc - Easy. The minimum top speed is low for all karts and CPU racers have a very limited selection of items.
- 100cc - Intermediate/Medium. The minimum top speed is fairly average, while CPU drivers have a wider selection of items: they may Red Shells to shoot it to the player in front of them.
- 150cc - Hard. The minimum top speed in the karts is high, and CPU drivers have a wider selection of Items, most notably, the Spiny Shell's addition. In this level, CPU drivers can take down players using the items against them. Additionally, all characters race in mixed teams. CPU-controlled heavyweight karts always take the top positions.
- Mirror - Very Hard. Similar to 150cc engine class, as well all racecourses are turned. CPU-controlled heavyweight karts always take the top positions.
There are mainly four cups in Grand Prix mode, each one with four stages to race. These cups bear their difficulty levels as well as the racecourses within. The most basic is Mushroom Cup with simple courses and few gimmicks. The Star Cup, on the other hand, contains long and gimmicky racecourses.
In Quick Race Mode, a single player battles against computer-controlled opponents. The player can customize options, like how many races, racing in teams or not, which engine class, turn Super Specials on/off, and which items.
In Time Trial, a single player races courses over a set number of laps to record the fastest completion time. When a race gets started, the characters will have three mushrooms in hand for speed boost. The best time elapsed in a lap and a race on a specific track will be saved after completing the race. Once completed the race on that racecourse, the user is able to compete against either their ghost from the current ghost data or the staff ghost within the stage. Otherwise, if a race is failed, the ghost data will not be saved.
In Balloon Battle, a single player battles using items. If he/she got hit by an item, he/she will lose a balloon. If all balloons are lost, the player has lost. The last player standing wins.
In Coin Thief, a single player should collect Coins, which are spread over the stage. He/she also can also earn coins by hitting other players with items.
In Mission Mode, the player should clear special missions. A mission is unlocked after winning a cup in Grand Prix. A Boss Battle is unlocked after clearing a Grand Prix. All misisons and Boss Battles are different. Some examples are racing through gates in order, collecting special objects in a short amount of time, or kicking a villain of a platform.
In Story Mode (called The Golden Wheels), the player should clear various minigames (which are mostly missions from Mission Mode with a twist) and a boss to clear a world and obtain a golden wheel. It contains 4 worlds: Mushroom Kingdom, a grassy valley where Toad Town and Peach's Castle are located, Dark Village, an haunted and spooky village where Luigi's Mansion and King Boo's Haunt are located, Jungle Park, a wild jungle where Yoshi's House and DK and Diddy's Tree House are located, and Lava Land, a world made out of lava where Boom Boom's Bunker and Bowser's Castle are located. The world itself is the hub, but using shiny spots (sometimes with a character standing next to it), which activates minigames, are all over the place. Several minigames have to be won to unlock new minigames, areas or worlds. The mode is unlocked after the player has earned all gold cups and cleared all missions with at least 1 star rank.
In Versus Mode, players battle against each other in races. It is similair to Quick Race mode, but now with multiple players.
In Co op Mode, multiple players can form a team and work together to win the race, similair to the mode from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
In Minigame Mode, multiple players battle against each other in several twisted missions from Mission Mode. Like Quick Race Mode, the options can be customized. The player who won the most minigames wins.
In Battle Mode, the player can select Balloon Battle or Coin Thief. The games are very similair to the single player variants, only the computer-controlled opponents are now human opponents.
The game marks 18 teams of 2 characters and Mii, making it 37 characters in total. Characters are seperated into 4 different classes.
Balanced: The character performs well in all classes.
Technique: The character is great in turning and aiming items, but isn't fast or heavy.
Power: The character throws items at high speed and is very heavy.
Speed: The character is very fast, but isn't technical or heavy.
Each character has its own Super Special, an item that can only only be used by one specific character and its partner.
|Image||Team||Super Special||Standard Kart|
Fireballs: Mario throws several fireballs on the course, burning players if hit.
Poltergust: Luigi can suck players so they can't move for a few seconds.
Parasol: Peach can hit players with her parasol and damage them, similair to the Tanooki Tail.
Fire Flower: Daisy can throw 7 normal sized fireballs which can burn players.
Dash Pepper: Yoshi turns red and the car goes at maximum speed for a few seconds.
Birdo Egg: Birdo throws an egg which will chase and hit the player in front of her, and it will then reveil 3 items on the course.
Wario Bomb: Wario will throw a bomb which will cause mist for the other players, so they can't see where they're going.
Oil Tub: Waluigi will throw Oil on the course, which will let the other players slip.
Bowser Shell: Bowser throws a massive Shell, shaped like his own, on the course, it crushes a player if hit.
Paint Brush: Bowser Jr., using his Paint Brush, can throw 3 paintballs on the course, which let players slip if hit.
Aqua Koopa: Koopa lets tons of water appear, which will make all other players drive very slow for a few seconds.
Spiny Shell: Paratroopa throws a Spiny Shell which will automatically go to the player driving in first, and then cause an explosion.
Mini Chomp: Baby Mario's kart will be pulled by a Mini Chomp, making it go really fast.Fire
Fire Chomp: Baby Luigi will throw a Fire Chomp on the course, which will burn a player if hit.
|Goo Goo Buggy|
DK Barrel: Donkey Kong will throw a Barrel, which will roll in a straight line and crush a player if hit.
Jr. Vine: Donkey Kong Jr. will throw a vine on the kart in front of him, pulling himself forwards.
Golden Mushroom: Toadette can speed up 10 times, as if she has used a Mushroom.
|Mii Varies||Look at Mii!: Your Mii will make the course darker for a short amount of time, so it's difficult for the other players to see where they going. A shiny spotlight is aimed at the Mii, so he/she can still see where he/she is going.||Standard Kart|
Characters that aren't available from the start and have to be unlocked.
|Image||Team||Super Special||Standard Kart|
Power Star: Rosalina gets a Power Star, so her kart flies at high speed for a short amount of time.
Star Bits: Luma throws several Star Bits on the course, when hit, players will get launched into the air. If not hit, the Star Bits will grow giant and explode.
Shy Guy Spear: Shy Guy will throw his spear on the course, which will spread fireballs over the course.
Super Wand: Magikoopa will cast a spell on the player in front of him, freezing him/her for a few seconds.
Banana Boomerang: Diddy Kong will throw a massive Banana on the course, which will act like a boomerang, and damage a player if hit.
Banana Hoard: Dixie Kong will let a massive hoard of Bananas fall on the course, blocking or crushing players if hit.
Mega Bone: Dry Bones will throw a massive bone on the court, which will cause a earthquake, like a POW Block.
Power Hammers: Hammer Bro. will throw several hammers on the court, which will explode when a player comes close to it.
Pom Pom Power
Boom Block: Boom Boom lets a giant Brick Block appear on the course, which will cause a powerful earthquake and it'll block or crush other players.
Pommerang: Pom Pom will throw 3 boomerangs on the court, which will explode when close to a player.
Gold Flower: Cosmic Mario will turn gold and can create a wall of coins to block and damage other players.
Spiky Ball: Dino Piranha gets spikes on his tail, and using it, he can knock back other players.
Baby Peach Technique
Baby Daisy Speed
Hearts: Baby Peach is surrounded by 3 hearts. When hit by an item, instead of being damaged, she will obtain it. It works 3 times, as there are 3 hearts.
Flower Bean: Baby Daisy will throw a bean on the course, which will immediately grow to a massive flower field, which will slow down the oher players.
King Boo Technique
Mini Boos: King Boo is surrounded by Mini Boos, which make him invisible and invincible for a short amount of time.
Blue Fire Flames: Dry Bowser can spit 5 Blue Fireballs, which can be controlled by the player after spitted.
Air Plane: Timber's kart transforms into an airplane, so he can fly for a few seconds.
Turtle Dash: Tiptup dashes around the kart in his shell, eventually creating a large gab for other players to fall into.
Despite the characters' special items, other items that can be used by anyone are also included.
|Banana||Common (1st-3rd place)||Other players can slip over it, or the player can use it to protect him/herself against Shells.|
|Triple Bananas||Common (1st-3rd place)||Other players can slip over it, or the player can use it to protect him/herself against Shells.|
|Green Shell||Common (1st-5th place)||After thrown, it will go in a straight line and hurt a player if hit. It can also be used to protect the player against Shells and Bananas.|
|Triple Green Shells||Uncommon (3rd-6th place)||The player is surrounded by 3 Green Shells. After thrown, it will go in a straight line and hurt a player if hit. It can also be used to protect the player against Shells and Bananas.|
|Red Shell||Common (2nd-6th place)||After thrown, it will automatically follow the player in front of the player and hurt him/her.|
|Triple Red Shells||Uncommon (4th-7th place)||The player is surrounded by 3 Red Shells. After thrown, it will automatically follow the player in front of the player and hurt him/her.|
|Mushroom||Common (1st-7th place)||Let the kart go at maximum speed for 2 seconds.|
|Triple Mushrooms||Uncommon (3rd-8th place)||Let the kart go at maximum speed for 2 seconds. It can be used 3 times.|
|Fake Item Box||Common (1st-4th place)||Looks like a normal Item Box, but a player will be damaged after hitting it.|
|Bob-Omb||Uncommon (3rd-6th place)||Can be thrown on the course, and it will explode after 4 seconds, or if a player/item hits it.|
|Invincibility Star||Very Rare (7th-8th place)||Makes the player invincible for about 10 seconds.|
|Bullet Bill||Very Rare (8th place)||Transforms the kart into a Bullet Bill, which goes at maximum speed and steers automatically.|
|Lightning Bolt||Very Rare (8th place)||Shrinks the other players for a short amount of time.|
|Bowlo Candy (new)||Rare (5th-8th place)||Transforms the kart into a rubber ball, crushing players if hit. Using the Touch Screen, the player can control it, which is pretty hard.|
|Tweester (new)||Very Rare (7th-8th place)||After thrown, it will drag a player into the air if hit.|
|Monster Wheels (new)||Rare (6th-8th place)||The kart will have massive wheels, so it goes very fast and it'll crush players if hit.|
|Super Special||Uncommon (1st-8th place)||An item introduced in MKDD makes its comeback! Its effect is different on each character.|
Nitro Grand Prix
The courses in the Nitro Grand Prix are introduced in this game. They are seperated into 5 cups: the Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the Shell Cup, the Banana Cup, and the Star Cup. The Mushroom Cup contains easy and short courses, and the Star Cup contains great and hard courses. All courses have 3 laps, except Wario City (2 laps) and Timber Island (1 lap).
|Mushroom Cup||Flower Cup||Shell Cup||Banana Cup||Star Cup|
|Toadstool Circuit||Daisy Deserts||Sky High Station||Mario's Mountains||Trouble Town|
|Flower Valley||Yoshi Park||Wario City||Block City||Penguin Playgrounds|
|Blooper Beach||Luigi's Mansion||Jungle Japes||Timber Island||Bowser's Castle|
|Peach's Palace||Birdo's Badlands||Dark Land||Piranha Courtyard||Rainbow Road|
Retro Grand Prix
The Retro Grand Prix contains courses from past installments, redesigned and remastered with new elements. The courses are seperated into the Coin Cup, the Acorn Cup, the Lightning Cup, the Leaf Cup and the Shine Cup. The Coin Cup contains easy and short courses, and the Shine Cup contains great and hard courses. All courses have 3 laps, except Maka Wuhu (1 lap) and Wario Colosseum (2 laps).
|Coin Cup||Acorn Cup||Lightning Cup||Leaf Cup||Shine Cup|
|Ribbon Road GBA||Mario Circuit DS||Bowser Castle 4 GBA||Tick-Tock Clock DS|
|Vanilla Lake 1 SNES||Dry Dry Desert GCN||Wario Stadium DS||Sherbet Land GCN||Yoshi Valley N64|
|DK Summit Wii||Music Park 3DS||Toad Factory Wii||Wario Colosseum GCN||Bowser Castle Wii|
|Riverside Park GBA||Maka Wuhu 3DS||Grumble Volcano Wii||Rainbow Road GCN|
Other cups are extra cups, not including different tracks, or they're downloadable.
|The Special Cup contains 10 random races from past Grand Prix's.|
Like every installment, Battle Courses appear. These are special courses specially made for the Battle Games (Balloon Battle and Coin Thief). Missions can also be held on these courses. There are 5 new courses (Nitro Courses) and 5 returning courses (Retro Courses).
|Nitro Courses||Retro Courses|
|Castle Gardens||Battle Course 2 SNES|
|Jr. Airship||Luigi's Mansion GCN|
|Nintendo 3DS||Tart Top DS|
|Bowser's Pinball Machine||Delfino Pier Wii|
|Good Egg Galaxy||Honeybee Hive 3DS|
References to Other Games
- Super Mario Land: The course Daisy Deserts highly resembles the Birabuto Kingdom.
- Super Mario 64: The course Peach's Palace is based on Peach's Castle from this game.
- Diddy Kong Racing: Timber and Tiptup reappear, and the course Timber Island is based on Timber's Island from this game.
- Mario Kart:Double Dash!!: The idea of duo-play reappears, as well as the Special Item from this game.
- Mario Party 8: The Bowlo Candy appears as an item.
- Super Mario Galaxy: Good Egg Galaxy appears as a battle course.
- Super Mario Galaxy 2: The course Sky High Station highly resembles Sky Station Galaxy from this game.
- Mario Kart 7: Gliders reappear from this game.
- New Super Mario 64 3D: The Power Flower design reappears, Toad's Mushroom Shield reappears and the course Birdo's Badlands is based on the course Birdo Badlands from this game.
- The Super Special item takes the form of a Power Flower, probably because that item also has a different effect on each character.
- The game was originally selected to be in the August 2012 episode of Fantendo Power, but was replaced with New Super Mario 64 3D.
- Courses returning from Mario Kart 7 are indicated by 3DS, but this game is also for 3DS.