Mario Kart DS (Japanese: マリオカートDS Mariokāto DS) (マリオカーDS Mario Kāto Dī Esu) often abbreviated to MKDS, is the first Nintendo DS installment of Mario Kart for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Mario Kart game series. It was the first Mario Kart game to use an online play feature. It was released in November 2005 in the United States, Europe, and Australia. In Japan, it was released in December 8, 2005.
The game itself has a prototype which is the kiosk demo and the beta (or demo) version of the game.
As in previous games, the player can participate in a Grand Prix, each containing four tracks in which points are gained for the player's position at the end of the race. The player must come within the top three players at the end of the Grand Prix to win a trophy.
There are thirty-two tracks in Mario Kart DS. There are four sets of 'new' tracks, along with four sets of tracks which have appeared in previous titles in the Mario Kart series. Each set contains four tracks, and can be played entirely in Grand Prix mode.
The game supports up to four players in multiplayer modes including Versus and Battle modes, as in Mario Kart Wii. Players can play against each other or in a team in both modes. It isn't possible to unlock trophies or any other awards in multiplayer mode.
The game also includes DS Download Play. This mode lets the person with the cartridge in his/her system compete with someone else not having the cartridge in their system. The person not having the cartridge also gets to play as Shy Guy with the color choice picked for that player.
- D-pad: Highlight a tab in the specified direction.
- Stylus tap/A button: Select an option.
- B button - Back
The controls are not much different in this game than in other Mario Kart games.
- D-pad: Move in the specified direction
- A button: Accelerate
- B button: Brake/Reverse
- X/L buttons: Use an item, if any
- R button: Hop/Drift
- Y button/stylus: Change the map view (bottom screen)
- START: Pause the game
- SELECT: Blow balloon (only in balloon battle)
When coming to curves, power sliding is a way of making it through a curve quicker. The player must push the R button to drift so the kart may spark. The player must push the R button and the opposing direction the kart is going in. This allows the player to gain blue sparks coming from the kart. Holding a little longer results the blue sparks to turn orange so that the player can gain a speed boost, or when you start drifting, press both left and right directions on the D-Pad. This can also generate blue and orange sparks.
In the previous Mario Kart games in the series, the player has to press the A button immediately before the race in order to receive a boost. Though, this game has it different. When the number three or two appears on-screen, the player must hold the A button to go. Though, the first having to need the A button released at the number one to gain the boost. Then, a speed boost is given to the player. If not released or done too early, a cloud of smoke comes out of the back of the player's kart, thus a delay in starting the race, or holding the A button when the 2 fades out and before the 1 fades in and don't release it until the race starts.
When the player finds his/herself behind someone else, he/she can use a slipstream. As a kart goes forward, it breaks through the air that's usually stationary, and it relocates to the side of the kart, allowing the kart through. In the end, this action causes a slipstream, a V-shaped section where the air has already moved away. At the point of the V is the kart, and the section behind the kart is just where the air has moved.
There are things in the top and bottom screens that are displayed to show what goes on in the game and some additional extras.
- Item Box Icon: This feature shows which item the player has obtained and is located at the top-left part of the top screen. Only one item at a time can be obtained, meaning the current item has to be used in order for another item to be put in the item box icon. When an item is obtained, the item box item spins like a roulette and picks out an item.
- Team Box: This element is in Multiplayer mode games and the Single Player Versus and Battle modes. It is not used elsewhere.
- Lap Indicator: This indicator is shown at the top-right part of the top screen. It shows how many laps there are and also indicates the lap number the player is on. It blinks once a new lap is started. The top number shows the lap number the player is on while the bottom shows how many laps the player is on. The bottom nearly always says three. There is also the text "LAP" on the left side of the fraction-esque lap indicator.
- Events Screen: The event screen is where the events of a battle, mission or a race is going on. It is seen in all the Single Player and Multiplayer mode options.
- Position: The position indicates the placing order of the player ranging from first to eighth. It changes once the player gets ahead of kart(s).
- Wi-Fi Box: This box appears in the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode in the game. It ranges from no bars to three bars. The more bars, the closer the internet connection is. This box is located on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Character Positions: This feature displays the progress of the opponents (team members if applicable) and shows the items they're using, what place they're in and such. It is displayed at the entire left side of the bottom screen. If tabs switch, it means the opponent moved up a place. The names can be revealed once the minimap is viewed when the bottom screen layout is changed. In battles, it indicates the amounts of balloons or Shine Sprites one has.
- Race Time: The race time indicates the amount of time used by the player in a race by minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. It is located at the top-right part of the bottom screen.
- Map: The map shows an overview of the course and icons which indicate players and items. It moves when it is in motion. A minimap can be viewed when the bottom screen view is changed. The map is entirely located on the bottom screen, covering most of it.
Mario Kart DS has thirteen playable characters appearing in the game itself, one being an exclusive character to DS Download Play, making only twelve playable in general.
- Dry Bones: Complete all 50cc cups in the Nitro category.
- Princess Daisy: Complete all 50cc cups in the Retro category.
- Waluigi: Complete all 100cc cups in the Retro category.
- R.O.B.: Complete all Nitro or Retro 150cc Mirror cups.
DS Download Play-exclusive
As aforementioned, there are thirty-two tracks appearing in the game itself. Sixteen being Retro races from previous games in the Mario Kart series and sixteen others being new to the game itself. In Retro races, it goes from oldest retro course to newest retro course. Meaning to go from Super Mario Kart to Mario Kart 64 to Mario Kart: Super Circuit to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
|Shell Cup||Banana Cup||Leaf Cup||Lightning Cup|
|SNES Mario Circuit 1||SNES Donut Plains 1||SNES Koopa Beach 2||SNES Choco Island 2|
|N64 Moo Moo Farm||N64 Frappe Snowland||N64 Choco Mountain||N64 Banshee Boardwalk|
|GBA Peach Circuit||GBA Bowser Castle 2||GBA Luigi Circuit||GBA Sky Garden|
|GCN Luigi Circuit||GCN Baby Park||GCN Mushroom Bridge||GCN Yoshi Circuit|
- Nintendo DS
- Twilight House
- Palm Shore
- Tart Top
- Block Fort (Returned from Mario Kart 64)
- Pipe Plaza (Returned from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)
This game is the first and so far only game where there are mission included (not to be confused with the Mario Kart Wii tournaments). Missions mainly have the player having to complete a task within the time limit. This includes collecting coins, driving through gates, destroying Item Boxes, etc. There is also a boss stage at the end of each mission set. In each level, there is eight missions total along with a boss stage. Most bosses returns from Super Mario 64 DS. By getting at least a star ranking on all the missions level 1-6 allows Mission 7 levels to be unlocked.
Title screens and screenshots
Mario Kart DS is known to have well received reception and reviews from others. This includes GameRankings giving the game a rating of 91.19/100, GameStats as 9.2/10, 9.5/10 for IGN's rating. Though, most people have criticized the limited online multiplayer mode.
- This is the only Mario Kart game where Lakitu does not appear at the start of the race.
- Some of voice clips are reused from Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Superstar Baseball.
- Some of voice clips are reused from Super Mario 64 and its remake Super Mario 64 DS.
- In the Nintendo logo, Mario says "Yahoo!", on the original Nintendo DS, and he says "Here we go!", on Nintendo DS Lite systems, Nintendo DSi systems and Nintendo DSi XL systems.
|Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) · Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) · Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) · Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003, GameCube) · Mario Kart DS (2005, DS) · Mario Kart Wii (2008, Wii) · Mario Kart 7 (2011, 3DS) · Mario Kart 8 (2014, Wii U) · Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017, Switch)|
|Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005, Arcade) · Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007, Arcade) · Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013, Arcade) · Mario Kart Arcade GP VR (2017, Arcade)|
|Mario Kart Tour (2019, iOS/Android)|