Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – the Switch version of the Wii U racer – released last week. Outside of new characters and a battle mode, the game also came bundled with a Smart Steering feature, which automatically helps players navigate turns.
While the feature may be bothersome to some, a four-year-old girl who suffered a stroke at nine months old has been using it to play with friends and family – something her father says wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
"Thanks to Mario Kart's new Auto Drive feature, [Molly] can now steer with her left hand and let the game drive for her or vice versa,” wrote her father Keith on Reddit over the weekend. “I'm sure this feature will be an annoyance to many, but for my daughter, who would otherwise not really be able to participate, it is the best feature ever added to a Mario Kart game.”
Since her stroke, Molly’s right hand has lost coordination.
“She is currently sitting in my living with my other 2 kids and my wife and all of them are playing Mario Kart and laughing their heads off. This is truly a day I won't forget thanks to Nintendo."
Controller accessibility has become more prevalent in AAA games. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4 was praised for its customisation options, which allowed players to do things like tailor button-mashing sequences to their capabilities.