Mario Kart Live gets new life as Hot Wheels mixed reality game

Velan Studios has adapted the mechanics of Mario Kart Live for a brand new audience.
hot wheels rift rally mario kart live

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will live on, thanks to the team at Velan Studios, which has today announced Hot Wheels: Rift Rally, a new iteration of the original mixed-reality racing game. Set to launch on 14 March 2023 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and iOS devices, this game uses much of the same technology that Mario Kart Live did.

By purchasing the basic game kit, players will nab a remote control car, charger, and various mixed-reality track features – including cardboard gates – to build out their own custom tracks on a nearby floor. These tracks will be transported into the action of Rift Rally, with a vehicle camera transposing elements of the real-life setting as a backdrop for digital set pieces.

These will differ from the tracks included in Mario Kart Live, and there will be options to unlock new vehicles and progress through a campaign mode, but if you’ve played the original game you’ll likely know what to expect here.

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hot wheels rift rally game
Image: Velan Studios

Gameplay will be split across two main modes:

  • Campaign Mode, which will allow players to set up their own tracks and explore a range of challenge maps.
  • Stunt Mode, which tasks players with performing stunts beyond the mixed reality gates, with drifts, wheelies, burnouts, and other tricks contributing to a high score.

‘Our mission at Velan has always been to create breakthrough games that feel magical to players,’ Karthik Bala, CEO of Belan Studios said of the game’s announcement. ‘Our background combining digital and physical play taught us a lot about the mixed reality racing genre we invented, which we used to bring a transformational new experience to Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.’

Velan Studios recently announced it would be shutting down its free-to-play multiplayer dodgeball game, Knockout City, in June 2023.

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally is set to launch on 14 March 2023, and will cost US $129.99 (AU $186.77) for the Standard Edition. Stay tuned for news of a local Australian release and pricing.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.