Mario Kart 7 is an upcoming racing title for the Nintendo 3DS in development by Nintendo EAD and to be published by Nintendo. Mario Kart 7 is slated for a December 4, 2011 release in North America.
Similar to other games in the Mario Kart series, it incorporates various characters from the Mario games racing with one another on Mario game-themed tracks. New additions to the game include hang-gliding attachments for karts and the ability to drive underwater.
While carrying on from the traditional gameplay, Mario Kart 7 introduces many new gameplay features. One of these includes a hang glider attachment which allows players to drive off ramps and fly through the air in order to clear across obstacles or take alternate paths throughout the course. Driving underwater adds a propeller to the kart, offering a different style of handling. Another new feature is the ability to customize one's kart, such as changing its tires which affects its handling on certain surfaces. Coins make a return from some of the previous installments in the series, which will allow players to increase their speed or strengthen defenses against attacks.
Shigeru Miyamoto stated that the new sense of depth makes it clear where all the objects are. GameSpot, IGN, and Computer and Video Games have commented on the game's good use of 3D in the game, stating that it helps with judging distance, "heightening that sense of falling," and giving more depth to viewing items and their effects, such as the "ink blot." The three sites also praised the game's graphics in general, especially the frame rate of 60 frames per second while in 3D mode.
A new feature is how characters interact with each other while driving. Characters not only turn their heads when another racer is nearby, but make faces as well, such as "glaring."
The game was the number one most wanted 3DS game by IGN and in a poll conducted by Official Nintendo Magazine.
At E3 2011, it was announced that the game would feature more customization of karts than previous games, such as adjustment of tires, and will feature segments that would include hang-gliding and underwater races. The game is planned to be released this holiday season. It was revealed during Nintendo's Developer Roundtable that Retro Studios contributed assets to developing one of the Donkey Kong themed levels.
It has been confirmed that players will be able to play online, and exchange "Ghost Data" (a player's personal replays of their best race time).