Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, the latest installment in Nintendo’s racing franchise, brings together the fun of a remote control car with the versatility of a video game, bridging the two with a clever use of augmented reality.

The big picture: As we've written before, games that merge digital and physical play have tremendous promise, but that pairing has seen more misses than hits.

How it works: Mario Kart Live consists of a downloadable game for the Nintendo Switch, a miniature physical car equipped with a front-facing camera and four cardboard gates for the car to maneuver through.

  • Players set up the gates and then drive the car through them to "paint" the course. Real-world obstacles can be added as well.
  • After that, players race against digital opponents, do a time trial, or even race against up to three other cars (each sold separately).

What they're saying: I reviewed this game along with junior tech correspondent Harvey Turpen Fried. Our almost-8-year-old had lots of praise for the game, which he was able to pick up quickly and maneuver on his own, after a little bit of setup help from me.

  • The best part of the game was being able to see the car he was driving show up on the screen alongside familiar digital competitors and obstacles.

What's hot: Mario Kart does an admirable job of staying true to the game franchise while adding in the fun of driving a physical race car around your house.

  • Setup is easy and, unlike most toys, everything easily fits back in the box when not in use.

What's not: At $99, it's not cheap, and if you want two physical cars to race, you need two Switch consoles and have to buy two kits.

  • Also, you need some space. It’s designed only for indoor use and Nintendo recommends having around 12 feet by 10 feet of space. (Poor Mario would never be able to navigate our cluttered narrow hallways, so for testing purposes, we used my parents’ far less obstructed living room.)
  • Finally, it’s a little hard to know where to look. If you look at the Kart, you miss the fun of AR, but it can be tough to get the full perspective just by looking at the Switch. Working off a TV would have helped, but alas we forgot to bring the docking station to connect the Switch to the TV.

The bottom line: I can easily see us plunking down the money to make Mario a permanent resident in our house. Maybe he can even get us to clean up a bit.

Go deeper: You can see Mario Kart Live in action here.

Go deeper

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
39 mins ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.

3 hours ago - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.