On the inside, overtaking the sofa, it’s Mario! PETER HOSKIN test-drives Mario Kart Live
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Nintendo Switch, £99.99)
Verdict: Formula Fun
Amnesia Rebirth (Playstation, PC, £23.99)
You just have to marvel. On his 35th birthday, that irrepressible plumber Super Mario has managed to pull off something new.
It’s a version of the riotous racing game Mario Kart in which the car you drive is real: a plastic, little red number that has a model Mario at the wheel which you control with your Nintendo Switch console (right).
Here’s the brilliant part: the cars have small cameras attached, beaming live video to your screen, while the console overlays all the usual features of a Mario Kart race (weather, opponents, power-ups). Your lounge floor is the track. The plastic car responds to every on-screen boost and hindrance.
You just have to marvel. On his 35th birthday, that irrepressible plumber Super Mario has managed to pull off something new
There are limitations. Because it is constrained by the dimensions of your house, the gameplay is neither as varied nor as vertiginous as traditional Mario Kart. There’s a chance that this whizzy toy will end up gathering dust.
But I haven’t really rubbed up against these boundaries yet. Mario Kart Live is tech in the service of joy. And when you’re not racing, you can always use it to surveil the cat.
What is the opposite of Mario Kart? The answer might be Amnesia: Rebirth. This is an adult and scary game, the third in a series, best played by yourself in the dark.
Or perhaps in the light. For the story begins under the merciless sun of the Algerian desert after a plane crash — and it really is a story. As you press on into caves and then into deeper, stranger places, you uncover more about your character, a member of a 1930s expedition, and her personal tragedies.
The beginning and end sections are too long. But this is a refined form of terror, screeching monsters and all.