Mario Kart has changed a lot over the years, You can see the visual changes immediately when looking at a screenshot of the first game and a screenshot of a new one. Each time the game changes the hud is noticeably different.
There are some pretty serious changes from the ‘Super Mario Kart’ game and the ‘Mario Kart 64’ game, the hud changes are also quite drastic. The most noticeable change is the mini map, there is now a less detailed map in the corner of the players screen, the reason for this is because the game has moved from a ‘DS’ device to a television screen. This feature allows players to see what is going on without having to look at another screen.
In ‘Mario Kart: Super Circuit’ the hud adopted an 8 bit pixel theme to go with the new style of the game. The coin counter has also returned.
As the game goes back to having a 3D design the hud once again changes accordingly. This game was the first in the series to introduce player heads on the mini map (replacing the circles in the previous design). This feature was implemented to help players understand where they were in the race and display everyone else’s position, this has now become a key feature for many/most racing games. One other noticeable change is the player heads on the left hand side, in this particular Mario Kart game there are two characters per car, this is the only game in the series that features that change.
The hud for this Mario Kart game was changed to accommodate arcade systems; the colours are much more vibrant and the layout is simple in comparison to other games in the series, the reason for this is to attract new players to the game and give them a good first experience at playing the game.
This ‘DS’ game has once again got a mini map on the secondary screen although this time it is a traditional top down map and appears to be further zoomed in, this gives players a more in depth analysis of where other players are positioned. The character position chart has also moved onto the other screen to give the player a more viewing space on the primary screen.
Once again the arcade version the colours have been enhanced, the hud has a completely different layout to standard edition games. The hud is a little more crowded to make it a more exiting experience for new players,
The most noticeable change with this hud is the disappearance of the player chart, this is a bold change and definitely a risk as it was a key feature of the game, in order to accommodate this change the mini map has been made bigger as well as the position number.
The next instalment to the franchise doesn’t appear to show any changes in the Hud itself, everything is in the same place.