Mario Kart Live was a bit of a revelation due to the way it took the core gameplay of the Mario Kart series and transplanted it in the real world using remote-control karts equipped with cameras – and the power of the Nintendo Switch, of course.
However, if Mario Kart Live wasn't quite 'real' enough for you, then you might want to check out Chaos Karts, which is billed by its creator as a "live-action video game experience that combines real-life racing with augmented reality".
Imagine indoor go-karts, but with state-of-the-art, digitally-projected detail; when you fire a weapon at a rival, you see it glide along the floor before smashing into your opponent. However, due to the fact that the obstacles are entirely virtual (and the karts come with clever anti-collision technology), you don't need to wear a helmet during play, which means that anyone aged 13 and over can take part.
Tom Lionetti-Maguire, the founder of Chaos Karts, had this to say:
We are so excited to be launching this brand-new attraction, and especially to be doing so this summer. Creating a real-life version of a videogame has been an obsession for some time and we are delighted to have cracked it. Every time you play it, the adrenaline, the pure elation of it… it still surprises me every time. The gamification of experiences is a phenomenon that is here to stay, and this is the purest distillation of it… it’s a game and an experience, wrapped up in a whole load of silliness, with a sprinkling of nostalgia for good measure. CHAOS KARTS is game changer. All this and opening in time for a summer of fun that we so desperately deserve, is frankly a dream come true!
Bookings are open now, and the event is due to open on 14th August 2021, with London's Shoreditch being the first venue. It certainly seems like the closest thing to a real-life Mario Kart experience – even more so than Mario Kart VR – but the team behind Chaos Karts have wisely decided to give their brand its own visual identity, perhaps in response to the way Nintendo has tirelessly hunted down imitators in the past, such as the Toyko-based 'MariCar'.
Disclaimer: In the interests of transparency, we'd like to mention that Rupert Loman, Nlife Media's chairman, is one of the investors in Chaos Karts.