Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has a new Yoshi’s Island track — and it’s perfect

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just got even bigger. The fourth wave of its Booster Course Pack DLC just dropped on Nintendo Switch, adding eight more tracks to the racing game. The list includes some classics from the GameCube, Wii, and Game Boy Advance installments of the series, but it’s most exciting addition is an entirely original one: Yoshi’s Island.

As you may have guessed, the new course draws inspiration from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. On a visual level, it’s one of the Mario Kart’s most delightful tracks yet. The first leg has players racing through yellow rolling hills that are packed with little references to Yoshi’s standalone games. From the starting line, you can see Poochy sitting on an oversized mailbox and catch some Chain Chomps delightfully bouncing around in the distance. Later, you’ll spot some Goonies flying in the sky and a giant purple Blargg.

Birdo sails through the sky in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Yoshi's Island course.

The track turns some of those references into smart obstacles. The first leg has players avoiding Shy Guys who walk around the course on stilts attached to oversized shoes, as well as a pack of Burts anxiously circling around. It’s a cute way to get some classic enemies represented in a way that feels consistent with both Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Island.

What’s especially fun is how dynamic the course is. While it starts out on a hillside, players will dive underwater (avoiding some Clawdaddies along the way) and eventually climb to the clouds before dropping back down to the starting line. It offers a full sightseeing tour of Yoshi’s Island, paying tribute to several levels in just one.

Like some of the best Mario Kart tracks, it also includes an excellent Easter egg. When descending from the clouds, players have the chance to sail into a question mark cloud if they angle their vehicle right. Doing so will spawn a wooden ramp on the ramp below. Land on it and drift around it successfully and you’ll jump through the same goal ring found at the end of a Yoshi’s Island level.

Birdo rides through a goal ring in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Yoshi course.

The track is short and sweet, but it does everything a great Mario Kart track should. It pays tribute to the series, while figuring out clever ways to turn platforming elements into racing obstacles. There’s a fair amount of strategy to it, with various shortcuts and tricks to take advantage of. Add in a wealth of visual references on top of that and you’ve got a one of the best tracks in the entire package.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pack Wave 4 is available now.

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