Mario Kart Arcade GP is an arcade-only, driving machine iteration of Nintendo's Mario Kart series, developed by Namco. Designed for the Triforce arcade, players can race as one of eleven characters on twenty-four tracks.
On certain machines, for an additional fee, a player's data can be saved on a magnetic card which can be inserted into the machine again later to retain unlocked items and records. Nintendo's limited role of development was mainly isolated to ensuring that it was a worthy title for the established franchise.
This game's arcade cabinet houses a camera that will take a photograph of the player's face. The photo can be customized and then will be displayed above the player's character during multiplayer races.
The game is noted for being the first Mario Kart to feature playable crossover characters: Namco's Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Blinky. Available characters are Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Wario, Donkey Kong, and Bowser from the Mario series and Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky from the Pac-Man series.
There are a total of six stages, with four tracks in each for a grand total of twenty-four. After a track is completed, the player must insert additional credits to continue the game, even if first place is achieved. After finishing all four races from each stage, a "challenge game" comes up, in which the player is required to complete a certain task; each of them requires the player to drive to a goal under a certain amount of time while under a certain condition, such as driving backwards through a field of banana peels.
When a player hits one of the item boxes scattered throughout the tracks, the player is given one of the three selected items chosen at the start of a race. Mario Kart Arcade GP features items new and old. Unique to this game is a lock-on feature for the items.
Also unique to this game is a temporary shield that is produced while powersliding which protects players from items thrown at them by the other racers.
Most of the game's sound effects came from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! including the pre-race countdown timer to commence racing.