Mario Kart DS is a game for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Mario Kart game series. It is the first to use online play. It was released in November, 2005 in the United States and Europe. In Japan it was released in December, 2005.
The game involves many characters from the Super Mario series racing against each other in go-karts. Players can use items which they pick up in boxes similar to the previous games in the series. Mario Kart DS uses a new logo which will be used in future games in this series, such as Mario Kart Wii.
The characters that are playable in the game are Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Wario, Princess Peach, Dry Bones, Shy Guy, Daisy, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and R.O.B.. Each character has a standard karts themed to their character's colour, but also have two unique karts as well. Later on in the game, characters can use other player's karts.
The player must primarily complete two Grand Prix to progress further in the game. There are three different difficulties for each Grand Prix, 50cc, 100cc and 150cc. A 150cc Mirror mode is unlocked after all other difficulties are completed. In each Grand Prix, there are eight different cups, with four different tracks each, which the player must win. The tracks are themed around different levels of various Mario games.