It was lucky number seven for the Mario Kart franchise in a game released 5 years ago today.
Mario Kart 7, developed by Nintendo and Retro Studios and published by Nintendo, was released exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS console on December 4th, 2011 in North America.
The game, like the six previous installments in the series, lets players control one of several characters from the Mario Bros. Universe on a variety of colorful race tracks. Aside from simply being the fastest in a race, the player must avoid obstacles on the course and battle against other characters in the process. This can be done with a variety of offensive and defensive items.
Mario Kart 7 introduced some new elements to the franchise, such as portions where the player controls the kart in hang-gliding sections as well as some underwater sections. Characters such as Wiggler and Honey Queen are playable for the first time, and there is even a first-person mode where the player uses the gyro feature to control the kart.
The game includes 32 tracks—sixteen new tracks and sixteen “retro” tracks inspired by courses from previous installments in the series. Aside from the Grand Prix mode, where the player must race against computer players across four races, there is also a time trial mode and a battle mode as well.
The game was a critical success, garnering mostly positive reviews. In addition, the game has also sold nearly 14 million copies across the world.