There are 179,712 possible vehicle combinations in Mario Kart 8. That's enough to drive even the most serious gamer insane. Thankfully, one player who's not scared of number-crunching has compiled all this raw data into a handy mobile app that's worth its weight in gold stars.
It's called "Configure MK8", and it's currently available for free on Android devices. The app gets at a concern I've seen come up a lot since Nintendo first released its Wii U racing game back in May: that there are so many many different things to choose from when creating a racer that just choosing anything becomes a feat unto itself.
"When I first got Mario Kart 8, selecting a kart gave me anxiety," Robledo told me in an email this afternoon. "If I am going to use something, I need to know how it is different or why it is better than the other thing. I wanted to help myself and anyone that had the same issue."
Judging by early feedback, other Mario Kart 8 players feel the same way. Many reviewers praised the usefulness of the app, saying they only wish they'd discovered it sooner or that Nintendo had made its own version for serious fans.
Nintendo, for its part, has mentioned having a Mario Kart 8 mobile app in the works. But the company described that app as being more in tune with its current Mario Kart TV offerings: giving players another way to watch and share races uploaded to the video editing service.
That sounds like a great idea as well. But what I like about Configure MK8 is that it responds to a very specific desire that players have been clamouring for for a while now. Hopefully, this will make selecting an ideal build easier for people looking to step up their game in Mario Kart 8's intense online competition -- be it Time Trials or good old fashion races.
None of the information in Robledo's app is new, exactly. He told me that he pulled the data from the game's wiki page. And there are a number of similar calculators online already such as this browser-based optimiser. But like any good app, Configure MK8 presents it all in a clean package that's far more accessible than any of the other optimisers I've seen so far.
You can download the app for Android devices here. Robledo said that he'd consider making an iOS version as well "if there is demand."