Mario Kart: Super Circuit , known in Japan as Mario Kart Advance , is a racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It was the first Mario Kart released on a handheld game system; in 2005, a sequel titled Mario Kart DS was released. It is the first Mario Kart game not to be developed by Nintendo EAD; instead, it was developed by Intelligent Systems.
Super Circuit combines features from earlier Mario Kart games (Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64). In particular, it features the gameplay mechanics of the latter title and tracks from the former game. In the game, eight racers take to the tracks and race for first place.
Upon release, the game was well-received by reviewers.
As with its predecessors, Super Circuit is a circuit racing game. In it, the player races against seven opponents, each a character from Nintendo's Mario series, in small go-karts, on tracks set in the Mario universe. Strewn upon the tracks are power-ups to aid the bearer or hinder their opponents, as well as coins which increase the player's top speed.
There are eight characters in this game. The cast is made up of the same characters from Mario Kart 64 (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Wario and Toad). Each has a specific weight and acceleration rate. In multiplayer mode, players who do not own Super Circuit become Yoshi, and are colored to differentiate between several players. According to this game, Peach was classified as lighter than Yoshi and Bowser was classified heavier than Donkey Kong, although most Mario games classify Peach being heavier than Yoshi while Bowser is lighter than Donkey Kong.
The main mode in the game. The player races in a series of "Grand Prix" competitions (Cups), against seven computer-controlled competitors. Each Cup consists of four three-lap races. Each Cup may be approached at a 50 cc, 100 cc or 150 cc speed, which determines the speed of the race.
In the start of the race, Lakitu shows a stoplight. Like previous Mario Kart games, players use items to disable other players. Shells can knock out a player; bananas will cause players to skid. Mushrooms temporarily boost speed (and if the player uses a mushroom just before a jump on any track, except Bowser's Castle, they will fly further and faster). Each racer's finishing position in each race determines the number of points he or she receives, and at the end, the player with the most points wins. If the player finishes in fifth place or lower on any given race, he or she loses a life and must restart. The player may also choose to restart a race at any time, at the cost of a life. Upon losing their allocation of three lives in each Cup, however, the player loses and is ejected from the competition.
The cups and tracks from Super Mario Kart for the SNES are available in Super Circuit. They have been retitled the Extra Cups. These cups are unlockable by winning a Gold Trophy for the corresponding regular cup and then collecting 100 coins in the same cup.
Each race in an Extra cup consists of five laps. The track arrangement has changed due to the number of cups. In Super Mario Kart, there were four cups with five tracks each; in the Extra cups, there are five cups with four tracks each.
Unlocked tracks (Special and Extra Cups) are only available at the speed they were unlocked with. For example, obtaining a Gold trophy in each of the first four Cups at 50 cc unlocks the Special Cup at 50 cc, but not 100 cc or 150 cc. Time Trial mode for the Extra cups is unlocked when the player unlocks 150 cc.
These tracks are not exact replicas of the original courses. Many hazards have been removed, such as flashing Thwomps from Rainbow Road. The Super Circuit backgrounds are superimposed on the Extra Cup tracks. Some areas and shortcuts on the SNES tracks are now inaccessible or more difficult to reach due to the removal of the feather item from Super Mario Kart.
In Time Trial, the player choose any of the tracks they unlocked on Mario GP 150cc. and race for the best record. The player will start with 3 mushrooms, which can use during the race.
The player may choose any unlocked track, from any cup and any speed, and race against seven opponents as in Mario GP mode. The number of laps may be changed between three or five, and the coins and items can be toggled on or off. This feature can also be used to practice for the Mario GP. It is essentially a VS Mode where settings can be modified, though it is not an official VS Mode.