May 30th marks the release of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. Thousands of players will line up to win the different cups and challenge rivals online. The game is accessible to all types of people, thanks to multiple control types. It plays similar to previous entries in the series, but thankfully, it’s far from the same old thing. In fact, there are several new features that could make it the finest Mario Kart to date. With this in mind, here’s what you can expect from Nintendo’s new game. 

Anti-Gravity Vehicles 

Every customizable vehicle in Mario Kart 8 features anti-gravity features. You don’t activate this automatically. Instead, you drive over specific sections of track that cause your kart to flip up its wheels and float along walls and upside down. While not as disorientating as F-Zero, it’s a cool visual trick that also helps you avoid those dreaded turtle shells while picking up gold coins.

New Tracks 

While some classic tracks received a welcome facelift in Mario Kart 8 (Cheep Cheep Beach from Mario Kart DS springs to mind), you can expect a variety of new locations filled with shortcuts and eye candy, including the likes of Toad Harbor, Shy Guy Falls and Sunshine Airport. 

New Items 

Old favorites reappear, like the red and green turtle shells, but now you can make use of four new items. Chomp foes with the Piranha Plant, chuck a Boomerang Flower and destroy that pesky blue shell with the Super Horn. The ultimate, however, is the Super Eight. As the name implies, this gives you eight items to use one after the other. That should propel you into first place in no time. 

New Characters 

Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Luigi once again hit the tracks, but you’ll unlock plenty of new characters in your travels. Among them, Baby Rosalina, the stylish Pink Gold Peach and seven Koopalings; Wendy, Iggy and Lemmy at your service.

New Vehicle Combinations 

Choose from new tires, gliders and chassis, or go for the brand-new all terrain vehicle, the ATV! 

Mario Kart TV

Expanded online features make this the most in-depth Mario Kart yet. Thanks to Mario Kart TV, you'll be able to check out other people’s replays and upload highlights.  

Mario Kart 8 debuts May 30th for the Wii U. Be sure to pre-order Prima's Official Mario Kart 8 Game Guide!