Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Switch Review

0 0
Read Time:7 Minute, 34 Second

The Booster Course Pass for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an expansion for the popular racing game. First released in 2022 and completed in November 2023. Developed and published by Nintendo.

The Booster Course Pass doubles the tracks and doubles the fun of an already fantastic game, making the one of the best kart racing games of all time even better.

Booster Course Pass – A First Place Expansion

Mario Kart 8 was released first for the Wii U in 2014 to critical acclaim. In 2017, it was given a new coat of paint and some gameplay improvements with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the newly-released Switch. Finally, the Booster Course Pass was announced in 2022, injecting some new life into the kart racer. With six waves of eight tracks each, the booster course doubles the number of tracks in the game, with a smattering of new characters thrown in too.

So let’s hit the tarmac and see what twists and turns the Booster Course Pass has in store!

If you’ve sped down the new courses in the Booster Course Pass, tell us what you thought in the comments below!

Kamek, a new Mario Kart character, floating above his Go Kart mid-race and posing for the camera with a flourishing wand. The track behind him is made of candy and sweets, and he is in first place.
New tracks and faces alike make the Booster Course Pass worth taking a look at!


With 48 new courses, returning old favourites, and some brand new courses, the Booster Course Pass is full of new content.

Returning Tracks

The majority of courses by far are returning classics from older games in the franchise, from recent installments like 7 to the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES. Fan favourites like Coconut Mall make triumphant returns, retaining their charm from their last outings. Some cult classics have even snuck in too, like the always-fun Waluigi Pinball!

Most of these courses haven’t changed much from their original debuts. Mario Kart 8’s distinctively mind-bending anti-gravity mechanics haven’t been retro-fitted into these returning courses. Instead, they’ve been faithfully spruced up with some standard graphical touch-ups and polygon bump. Of notable exception are some of the older courses from the franchise’s ‘faux 3D’ days, like the GBA and SNES. Like their cousins from MK8D’s launch, they’ve been overhauled to fit in with the other tracks, without losing their charm.

What’s interesting is how these maps change with MK8D’s 200cc mode, which ups the speed you’ll bomb down the tracks. These courses were designed for slower karts in mind, some dating from the very first installment of the series. So, you might expect a few more crashes than usual! But it’s not annoying to bomb down Coconut Mall’s promenades and collide with a shopfront. Instead it becomes a frantically fun experience of trying to weave through obstacles and hit corners just right.

A screenshot of a race around Coconut Mall, a returning track added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe by the Booster Course Pass. Racers are driving towards the finish line, which is just before the entrance to the eponymous mall.
Classic maps are made even better with the increased speed from 200cc mode.

My personal favourite returning maps were the two returning Rainbow Roads from the Wii and the Gameboy Advance. Both have been updated for modern Mario Kart madness and are a joy to race down (and fall off)!

Tour Tracks

Much more surprising are the tracks that first found their home in Mario Kart Tour, the franchise’s excellent mobile installment. These ‘Tour’ tracks, which make up 17 of the lot, are madcap dashes through cities from all over the globe, from Singapore to London, and take you on a tour of those cities’ notable landmarks.

These tracks’ new mechanic might catch drivers by surprise, and that’s that they change up every lap. Each time you drive across the lap finish line you’ll drift around different corners, keeping players on their toes and stopping them from sticking to a line they like.

I like these tracks, but they do seem to have something of a marmite effect on players. Of the people I tested these tracks with, it was a fifty-fifty shot whether they’d come away smiling or grimacing. Basing the tracks on modern cities leads to a lot of sharp corners and straightaways, which aren’t for every driver. But they’re still fun to race around, and the varied selection makes them stand out from the crowd.

A landscape establishing shot of one of the new tracks, Sydney Sprint, which is a cartoony take on the real-life Sydney landscape.
The new ‘Tour’ tracks are great additions to the lineup, if a bit ‘love-em-or-hate-em’.

New Tracks

Only three of the new courses are completely original – but all three are great fun to play. Matching the high bar set by the base game, these tracks are exciting to try out – especially with friends that know the other courses back to front. My only complaint was that there were only three – a small amount of ‘new’ content for an expansion this size. But that’s the problem of a series with such an insanely high number of iconic and classic courses. For every new course they add, that’s one less course fans have been clamoring for since the expansion was announced. As it stands, ‘only’ having three new courses is a price I’ll pay for some fantastic courses returning from yesteryear.

New Characters

The character select screen from Mario Kart 8, which shows 6 new characters to select from the Booster Course Pass. These are highlighted with red exclamation marks. The racers are Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, Pauline, Peachette, Kamek, and Wiggler. Kamek is selected, and is larger on the right of the screen.
The new racers up the variety of opponents, as well as bring back some friendly faces!

Finally, there are 8 new characters added to the roster with the Booster Course Pass. Like the city courses, these have mostly been taken from Mario Kart Tour’s roster. It’s great to see franchise favourites like Pauline, Birdo, and Kamek make it to the big screen, as well as some unexpected faces like Funky Kong and Petey Piranha.

These characters have similar stats to existing racers, so there won’t be much of a shake-up for those drivers who like to fine-tune their performances. But the added variety will be great for players who want new rivals to leave in the dust!

Graphics & Audio

New Courses Graphics

The three new courses match the base game, with high-resolution textures and smooth models that look great. The team at Nintendo have kept the quality at a consistently high level when it comes to the aesthetics and design of new courses in this installment of the franchise, and it comes across in the gameplay.

Old Courses Graphics

An establishing shot of Shroom Ridge, one of the returning tracks from MarioKart DS. It's been updated graphically to match the other tracks in MK8Deluxe, and shows a winding road along a canyon.
Returning tracks from yesteryear have been spruced up to match an already high standard.

This pattern is kept up by the returning tracks too. The courses, especially the returning tracks, have been updated so that they blend nicely into the roster. Playing on a random course selection (a great way to get stuck into some races), you’ll have trouble guessing which tracks were modern and which debuted in the 80s. The courses from more recent games (MK Wii, 7, or 3DS) can be slightly mismatched in their models and textures. This might just be because they’re so recently released that it’s hard to appreciate the increase in fidelity, however. What all of the courses benefit from is the updated lighting system in the track design. Especially on some of the nighttime tracks, the effect is fantastic.

Music Tracks

As always, the musicians at Nintendo have knocked it out of the park. It seems that every track has excellent music that perfectly matches the gameplay. Returning courses have had their music rescored and they’re all head-bobbingly good. And if that wasn’t enough, the new courses have new classics in their own right too. It’s an unblemished soundtrack that is a perfect accompaniment to drifting around corners and speeding past your friends.


As an expansion for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,  you’ll get as much fun out of the Booster Course Pass as the base game. Luckily, the base game is an infinitely replayable game that’s as much fun to play for the hundredth time as it is the first. The new courses are joys to speed around, and add variety to the game that makes an already formidable roster of tracks even better.

Final Thoughts

The track selection screen for the new tracks added by the Booster Course Pass. Each track is part of a new cup, each with their own symbol, like a moon, an acorn, or the iconic spiky Blue Shell.
With so many great additions, the Booster Course Pass is a no-brainer for fans of Mario Kart.

With the release of the Booster Course Pass, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is now feature-complete. So, ten years after Mario Kart 8 was released on the Wii U, the Booster Course Pass has injected new life into a kart racer that already verged on perfect.

There is almost no reason not to get Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch. With the release of the Booster Course Pass, there is definitely no reason not to double your tracks and double your fun. For that reason, the Booster Course Pass for MK8D speeds into first place and nets itself a Thumb Culture Platinum Award!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

Thumb Culture

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Discord | Podcast


About Author

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *