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'Mario Kart 8' test drive promotion headed to GameStop

Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8
Photo courtesy of Nintendo, used with permission

Nintendo announced Monday that it is partnering with GameStop to give fans a chance to test drive “Mario Kart 8” for the Wii U. This will be an extremely limited time demo though so let’s pay attention to the dates and time.

The “Mario Kart 8 Test Drive Days” will take place at more than 2,700 GameStop stores from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time during the weekend of May 17 – 18. Be sure to check GameStop’s event page to find the nearest participating location.

Those that pre-order “Mario Kart 8” during the event or have already pre-ordered the Wii U racing game will receive an “exclusive” double-sided poster. Additionally, GameStop is running a Mario Kart Memories website where fans will have a chance to win additional game-related prizes.

“Mario Kart 8” is set for a May 30 release to the Wii U and a Wii U bundle for the game will also be available at the same time. Those that purchase the game or bundle and register it on Club Nintendo by July 31 will be able to choose to receive a free Nintendo eShop download code for one of the following Wii U titles – “New Super Mario Bros. U,” “Pikmin 3,” “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD” or “Wii Party U.”

“Mario Kart 8” will support races with up to 12 players online across four different multiplayer modes. Voice chat will also be available through the Wii U GamePad microphone as well as text chat.

Players will also be able to create public and private multiplayer tournaments where they can specify the rules of the tournament and when it will take place. Ghost data from friends and the top racers worldwide will also be available to race against.

New items for “Mario Kart 8” include the Super Horn that sends out a sonic blast wave to blast away opposing drivers and attacks like Red Shells and Blue Shells. There’s also the Crazy Eight which grants a collection of eight different items that can be used one by one.

New racers include Pink Gold Peach as a heavyweight driver as well as Baby Rosalina. The total number of playable characters in “Mario Kart 8” is an even 30, which includes Mii characters as well as the Koopalings.