Mario Kart Tour’s beta has arrived, complete with plenty of microtransactions

Mario Kart Tour, the smartphone debut of Nintendo’s long-running kart racing franchise, has started its closed beta in Japan and the US, and it hasn’t taken long for videos and screenshots to start appearing on the web. But Kotaku reports that the game also features lootbox-style (or “gacha”) systems where you spend virtual currency for a shot at unlocking new items which offer different degrees of rarity and functionality.

For five green gems, for example, you get a random chance of earning a new driver, kart, or glider. Certain equipment and characters get you bonuses on different tracks, but other characters seem to have a better average bonus across all the game’s courses. There’s also a stamina system involving hearts, and once…

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