News Article

Let's Gaze With Admiration At Five New Courses for Mario Kart 8

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Flipping it around

Considering the notable success of its predecessor and the fact that we've thoroughly enjoyed our limited hands-on time with it so far, there's little doubt that current and prospective owners Wii U are keeping a close eye on Mario Kart 8. Much is yet to be revealed — such as the online and multiplayer modes, the potential inclusion of Communities and so on — yet Nintendo has time to build hype ahead of its 30th May release.

Details are slowly being teased out, however, and Nintendo's recently been using its social media channels to show a little more of some new courses; naturally we've decided to put them all in one convenient place. Of the five shown so far three have been playable at press and expo events — Mario Circuit, Toad Harbour and Twisted Mansion. All three of those have gone down well with the Nintendo Life staffers that have taken them on.

Below are the Facebook posts that give a glimpse of these new tracks, including Sweet Sweet Canyon and Thwomp Ruins.

Mario Circuit

Sweet Sweet Canyon

Thwomp Ruins

Toad Harbour

Twisted Mansion

Let us know what you think in the poll and comments below, while you can also check out the latest trailer that was first shown during the most recent Nintendo Direct.

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Which of these Mario Kart 8 courses are you most excited about? (418 votes)

Mario Circuit


Sweet Sweet Canyon


Thwomp Ruins


Toad Harbour


Twisted Mansion


Ooh, I can't decide


Bah! None of them...


Please login to vote in this poll.


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (105)



Dark-Luigi said:

I can't decide...all of them? They're all so goooood!!!
Although I do love twisted mansion.



Klunk23 said:

These stages all look pretty fantastic. I'm really getting pumped for this.



ueI said:

The courses are one aspect in which Mario Kart continues to impress me.



sinalefa said:

Hey, there is a Piranha Plant in my Sugar Rush!

All look great, but I gave my vote to Toad Harbour.



rjejr said:

Toad Harbour for moving the Statue of Liberty to San Francisco. Can't go wrong w/ trolleys.

At first glance that 2nd Mario Circuit track photo looks like a really lame homemade MNR track, they should have showed it from the other side where ever that track twists off to.

Glad to see Nintendo marketing this, maybe someday we will get a home demo w/ online challenges like Rayman.

Do we know what the Gamepad screen is used for yet? I really want a game to have FP view on that screen. FP view on the Gamepad while using it to motion steer could be really cool - and vomit inducing - on those anti-grav tracks I only ever played MK Wii w/ the wheel so I'm ready to steer.

I watched exactly 1 hour of tv last night and saw 1 commercial each for inFamous 2nd Son and Titanfall. At least those 2 will be long gone from memory when MK8 comes out.



Dark-Link73 said:

I only voted Toad Harbor because it reminds me of San Francisco where I went on vacation last year. I fell in love with that city. Otherwise you guys need to add a "I can't decide/All of them" voting option because they all look great!

On a different note. Instead of killing their own F-Zero franchise by adding some of its elements to Mario Kart (wall and twisting tracks), Nintendo and Miyamoto need to create the next installment of F-Zero. Both games belong to completely different subgenres of racing games and they can coexist on the same console.



DreamOn said:

These screenshots are very nice but I've been spoiled by the many Gamexplain analysis so I need some really really new screens lol



babyguess said:

A bright red Wii U MK8 bundle limited edition of this will certainly move boxes. My local GameStop already has an overhead poster up (it looks so beautiful). I am so pump up and looking forward playing this game. Played this game last year at BestBuy E3 / Nintendo demo.

The Toad Harbor is very much appealing to me, since I grew up in the Yay Area.



Fill-N said:

toad harbour for the looks, mario circuit for the upside down part, twisted mansion for the insanity. this game just screams level design. every course shown from all the traillers (there are about 12 courses so far) is going to be awesome.



ThomasBW84 said:

@rjejr On preview builds I've played the screen can show an overhead map (if memory serves) and had a car horn button; you can also switch between motion and stick controls.

I hope it's used for little, to be honest, as it's really all about the race. Hopefully local multiplayer will go up to 5 if someone can play solely on the GamePad screen.



NintyMan said:

It was a hard choice between Sweet Sweet Canyon and Twisted Mansion, but I voted for Twisted Mansion. It looks like what Luigi's Mansion U should look like. They're all fantastic, though. The online for Mario Kart 8 is going to be massively fun and I will be hooked this summer!



Nintenjoe64 said:

a) Give us the demo Nintendo, we can beta test the online!
b) I am too hyped for rational thought
c) This looks great, let's hope Nintendo listened and made 32 new tracks and included every retro track for this one
d) I hope they've found some interesting new modes that use the gamepad and that splitscreen can be horizontal as well as vertical.



NImH said:

This will be the first Mario Kart where I just drive instead of race. I will be racing online, but I'll also be hitting the brakes and just taking in the view as well. Toad's Harbor gets my vote.



Emblem said:

@ThomasBW84 Totally agree, too much gamepad use would be detrimental to the core game. Also since its locàl and online multi they can give the gamepad too many functions or it will be unfair.

Maybe a special one player mode for the gamepad like DR Luigi has would be okay though.



ThomasBW84 said:

@luke88 I think there might have been a rear view option, but good God don't quote me on it. It was months ago.

That maybe emphasizes the point, as my eyes were glued to the TV. While the concept of a rear-view mirror is nice, I honestly think hardly anyone would look at it.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Nintenjoe64 MKWii doesn't have communities though, does it? I thought it was just Friend's lists. The idea of having an article where we can post comments as we play might be fun though.



sinalefa said:

Regarding Gamepad usage, it would be fun to have a Double Dash mode where the copilot has his/her own view on the Gamepad, while the driver uses the TV screen.



MasterWario said:

I think Thwomp Ruins will be the best in game, but from the pics it looks a bit bland so the mansion gets my vote.



Mooj738 said:

LOL i was going to say none, because i can't see them, other than one, but the Haunted Mansion easy!



YoshiTails said:

It looks like Nintendo are pumping everything they have into this title in the hope that it will swing a little fortune Wii-U's way. Or rather a humungous amount of fortune...



Andyjm said:

Is that a Rosalina Statue of Liberty in the background of toad harbour???



Rafie said:

I CAN'T FRICKIN' DECIDE!! They all look so delicious...I Yeah good! Mario Kart is one of my favorite franchises, so I may have bias with it. It can look terrible, but I would find some beauty in it. LOL Seriously though, all of the tracks look great and I can't wait to see more.



luke88 said:

@ThomasBW84 Yeah I do think you could be right but am still hopeful as I think it would be a neat feature, even if it does go a little underused. Perhaps it depends how much time you're planning on spending in first place? ; ) Personally I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time checking my rear view mirror.

Am so excited for the game, so jealous of you guys having spent some time with it.



NintyMan said:

I wonder if these tracks will have different names for the U.S. considering these track names came from Nintendo UK? Mario Kart tracks do have different names across regions.



FriedSquid said:

All of the courses look really great, but Toad Harbor and Thwomp Ruins stood out to me the most.



Whopper744 said:

As soon as I see Toads level, I started singing in my head "rolling around at the speed of sound..."



Shugo said:

Gotta love Sweet Sweet Canyon for its obvious nod to Sugar Rush.

And even if it isn't meant to be, it's still really cool in how similar it is. The starting/finish line even has a crowd of gingerbread people, very similar to the crowd of candy people in Sugar Rush.



dkxcalibur said:

Toad Harbor looks awesome but at the same time, I've always hated the levels with other "traffic" in them. I didn't like Coconut Mall or Moonview Highway for the same reason.

The Sweet Sweet Canyon track reminds me or Wreck-It Ralph's Sugar Rush.

Thwomp Ruins and the Mario Circuit tracks made me excited to grab this game the second it comes out.



OorWullie said:

@ThomasBW84 That would be great if you can host at least 1 MK Wii night before it goes off.I've not got a 3DS so have missed out on those nights Cmon mate



jjmesa16 said:

Thwomp Ruins probably looks the best to me but I'm most excited for the Twisted Mansion.



Ryno said:

Meh, I just can't get excited by looking at a couple of screens.



Bolt_Strike said:

These handful of screenshots don't really do anything for me either, I'm waiting to see what kind of a role the antigravity is going to play in the track design, but so far I haven't seen much. I've never been much of a fan of MK's track design anyway.



Phantom_R said:

Psyched for the new Mario Circuit. I can't get enough of courses that just go in a straight line with zero player interaction.



K-Gamer said:

Voted Toad Harbour. I like them all except for the sweet one.the newer stages, and the airport are the real highlights though.



NintendoROCKET said:

Hey that Sweet Sweet Canyon sure looks a lot like Sugar Rush from Wreck-It-Ralph! I voted Toad's Harbour because it looks like it'll probably be the most fun online!



rjejr said:

@ThomasBW84 - "I hope it's used for little, to be honest, "

Mahe is that you?

It occurred to me later that if the game has off tv play and motion controls - as it should - thats basically the same as it having a first person display. And I dont think we would ever use 5-player but 3 player - 2 on tv and 1 on the Gamepad - would also work nicely. So much potential.



BearClaus said:

Toad Harbor is looking to be the second funnest video game level based on San Francisco.



Bass_X0 said:

Can't we have courses based on actual existing stages from the Mario games? These courses look good but they're fake - they don't exist in the Mario games. How about Acorn Plains instead?

I would have each Cup based on a different Mario game. Mushroom Cup would be based on four though - Mushroom Kingdom, Subcon, Sarasaland and Mario Land - SMB1, SMB2, SML1 and SML2 respectively. Mario Land would have you racing around the map screen from Super Mario Land 2. Other Cups would be based on SMB3, Super Mario World, Wario Land, Mario Party Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, etc... Not just loosely based upon but directly based upon.



Gashole said:

I don't get excited by looking at screenshots, but by playing games.
It's just as well, there's not a hint of originality in any of these tracks.



LoveSugoi said:

Sweet Sweet Canyon gets my vote. I may have to have "Sugar Rush" playing in the background on loop lol. Toad Harbor is the close second.



IxnayontheCK said:

Sorry but looking at these locales only makes me want to explore them in an open world game not just race thru them! So gorgeous! Can't wait for about that rubberbanding...



tripunktoj said:

I hope this time we get more new (I loved Sweet sweet canyon) and retro tracks (There are many great retro tracks that havent made a comeback like Cheese Land, Ribbon Land, Cheep Cheep Lagoon) even if they are paid DLC



HandheldGuru97 said:

Toad Harbor looks AMAZING, heck this game is shaping up to be fantastic addition to the Wii U library!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Kolzig said:

Toad Harbour reminds me of San Francisco and Crazy Taxi on Dreamcast. So that's my vote.



King_Johobo said:

Well they all look amazing but if I had to decide Twisted Mansion looks pretty sick! And I love the look of Toad Harbour. can't wait!!!



StarDust4Ever said:

I voted Thwomp Canyon. The layout just looks epic! Is it just me or does the layout of the Toad level bear an uncanny resemblance to Lego City? Also did anyone notice that Mario Circuit is a big fat Mobius Strip?



darthmawl said:

Wow!!! Have you seen those textures??? Thats the best lookin game.of current gen for sure

** current beeing ps4/xbone



NintyMan said:

If the sky track with giant beanstalks, airships, thunder storms, and Gusty Garden Galaxy remixed music was in this collection, I would vote for that.



KarateKid1234 said:

I'm NEVER voting for this poll. Why? Because I like ALL of tgem. All of the stags I've seen so far are gorgeous.



Just_Ethan said:

@Andyjm I think it's Peach, and that would male more sense since she's the Mushroom Kingdom's political figure, but Rosalina's does look slightly more like Lady Liberty. I think she (whoever) is also holding a Toad in her left hand, too.



Pod said:

Heheh, if Disney can borrow from Nintendo, then expect Nintendo to borrow right back.



AshFoxX said:

@sinalefa That was my exact reaction to that screenshot, all we need are candy karts and Sugar Rush can be a reality! Too bad WiR has been out too long for it to be timely to have Vanellope as a racer.

Maybe King Boo or Shy Guy has a 'glitch' power-up.



Genesaur said:

Mario Circuit and Thwomp Ruins look fantastic, but I really love the Luigi trolleys in Toad Harbour - perhaps their own little reference to the L Train?



JimLad said:

This game looks incredible.
If they want to make the most of this chance they NEED a Mario Kart bundle. Maybe leave out the screen pad and drop the price to something parents can't refuse.
An HD Wii with a new Mario Kart for £150: PEOPLE WILL BUY IT.

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