The striking similarities between Pokémon Masters and Mario Kart Tour

With the recent releases of Pokémon Masters and Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo has allowed two of its biggest franchises to reenter the mobile scene. Both Mario and Pokémon have had mobile games in the past, with Super Mario Run and Pokémon Go being other examples. But Pokémon Masters and Mario Kart Tour are similar in style, which means their presentation may be the way forward for Nintendo Franchises on a mobile landscape. Here is a list of some of the similar strategies used by the game developers, and the fans’ reception to the games.

They both do not guarantee the players get a character, only that the players have a chance of getting a character

This sounds like a serious problem, but a lot of mobile games are like this. In fact, a type of game where players pay currency in order to have a chance of getting specific rewards is commonly called a “gacha game.” Both Pokémon Masters and Mario Kart Tour have some characters that can be unlocked through doing specific events in the game, but not all characters are able to be obtained in this fashion. Players have to rely on obtaining a type of premium currency (gems for Pokémon Masters and rubies for Mario Kart Tour) to pay for a random reward. Getting a specific object in the game can be very difficult, especially when both games allow for duplicates to be awarded to the player. In the case of a duplicate, the object gets powered up.

They both have fans complaining about the amount of free currency.

Some people are not satisfied with the amount of free content the games allow you to get. Some people play these games to play as a specific character, and getting all the characters can be a long and expensive process. The odds don’t get any better with how many times you make a purchase. A person could get the character they want at $5, $100, or even more than that. That wouldn’t be too much of a problem if players had a reliable way to obtain a lot of currency for free. But some fans on Twitter, Reddit, and other discussion forums. seem to not be happy about the amount. Neither game has shown any signs of changing their free currency amounts.

They both are saving content the fans want for later.

When having a game that relies on people consistently spending for currency, it makes sense to save some of the things people are most looking forward to purchasing. Both of these games had prominent characters missing at the launch, such as Red for Pokémon Masters and Luigi for Mario Kart Tour but also saving specific parts of the overall experience. Pokémon Masters does not have its complete story mode out, and Mario Kart Tour has promised multiplayer will be coming eventually. From a business perspective, it makes sense to have some stuff prepared that fans will be interested in. But at the same time, it is just another aspect the fans look at and see an unfinished product.
They both take a lot of aspects from their core series and make an enjoyable gameplay

Not everything these games are doing is bad. The games take their respective titles into account and are able to formulate engaging gameplay. Pokémon Masters scraps the turn-based element, which is an engaging change. Mario Kart Tour has all of the typical racing action but makes the controls more suited to a mobile device. Core elements and fanservice in both games thrive, which is they both had the initial audience.

They both are free to play and do not run ads.

A lot of people’s biggest gripe with both games is about the lack of currency, but the way the games are structured makes the problem inevitable. They don’t put on ads, and they are both free to play. These games need to make money somehow. I personally believe having each game not be free to download and running ads would allow the developers to add in more currency. That way, players who don’t want to spend a bunch of money can continue getting rewards from the games. It’s not a terrific solution, but I believe it’s a compromise fans complaining about the lack of currency would take.

They both seem to be acknowledging fan complaints

Although both games had some negative backlash upon release, they didn’t entirely give up on the player bases. On Oct. 17, Pokémon Masters released a message to their players addressing some concerns. They cited from Oct. 17 until March as a time where adjustments will be made into the game. Mario Kart Tour released Luigi on Oct. 22, to coincide with the Halloween season. Those are both massive steps that show they are at least taking fans feedback into consideration. That will lead to fans enjoying the games as they try to grow after launch.

Image result for mario kart tour

The two games are not unplayable, but it seems like people were expecting a similar experience to games released on Nintendo systems. These games are not suitable substitutes for their more expensive counterparts, and I would not invest a lot of time into collecting and upgrading everything in them. But as quick time wasters during an interval in a day, a person could do a lot worse than these two. As for which one I would recommend, Mario Kart Tour’s gameplay is more fun and feels less repetitive. So go with that one for quick fun. But if even after all the complaints, a person still wants to invest a lot of time into one of these games, Pokémon Masters has been more kind to newer players in getting currency. It will get more stingy on the currency, but it gives enough to get a reasonable start.

Promotional photos courtesy of and Nintendo

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