Double Dash!!'s gameplay vastly differs from and improves on its predecessors in many ways; since the player can pick not one character, but two - one to drive, and one to use items. In addition, the player is able to use karts that are not the characters' (Mario and Luigi can use Yoshi's kart, for example) depending on their class, whether they are heavyweight, middleweight, or lightweight. Not only this, the power slide has been improved; if the player makes blue sparks while power sliding, a mini turbo is performed. The rocket start is also improved as the Double Dash!!, in which both team members perform it when the Pre-race countdown is finished. There are sixteen courses to race on. Each cup features four tracks. Five different cup races are available, one of which is the All Cup Tour, featuring all sixteen tracks in random order (except for the first, Luigi Circuit, and the last, Rainbow Road). Each track is also playable in "Mirror Mode," where the tracks are mirrored; however, Mirror Mode is only available for 150cc.
This installment also features multiplayer battle modes. As in previous installments, the battle arenas are enclosed, with varying architecture and a constant arsenal. In addition to the balloon-popping game, which has been the standard Mario Kart battle game, two new battle systems are included. The first, called "Shine Thief", involves capturing a Shine Sprite and maintaining possession of it for a set time period. The second, called "Bob-omb Blast", uses only colored Bob-ombs, and utilizes a trade-off point system that requires the players to succeed in attacks, while also avoiding those directed at them. Both battle modes have returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Aside from the many drivers available, numerous other Mario characters play minor roles in the game. Lakitu reprises his role as the referee, signaling the start of each race, alerting players when they complete a lap, warning them when they are going the wrong way, and returning drivers to the racetrack when they fall into dangerous areas. Shy Guys, Piranha Plants, Goombas, and Wigglers are also present in the game, and serve as obstacles for the driver to avoid. Toadsworth drives the winners of a cup during the victory celebration. Piantas and Nokis from Super Mario Sunshine also cheer players on certain courses, such as Peach Beach and Daisy Cruiser, and form much of the crowd at victory ceremonies (held at Peach Beach). Classic Mario series characters, including Donkey Kong Jr., can be seen in the crowds around Waluigi Stadium.
The game includes 21 karts to choose from. They are categorized by weight. Generally, lightweight karts have good acceleration and handling, and are easily able to traverse rough terrain, but have low top speeds, can be knocked around by larger karts, and can only hold light characters. Heavyweight karts usually have high top speeds, can knock around many smaller karts, but they have poor acceleration, steering, off-road handling, and can only be manned if there is at least one heavy character. Middleweight karts' performance are well-balanced, but they cannot hold heavy characters. However, there are exceptions to this, such as the Barrel Train and Boo Pipes. Of 21 karts available in all, only eight are available from the start. The other 13 may be unlocked by successfully completing races and finishing the game. Although everyone has one kart, the twenty-first kart is the Parade Kart that Toadsworth uses to drive the first place winners. This kart the best stat ratio (4 stars for speed and weight; 3 stars for acceleration) and any combination of characters can drive it, but it takes the longest to recover from flipping over.
A notable attribute of Double Dash!! is that it allows LAN play using the GameCube broadband adapter. Up to eight GameCubes can be connected, allowing for 16 player multiplayer games (two players controlling each kart).
|Already Unlocked Initial Teams|
|Mario (Medium) and Luigi (Medium)|
|Peach (Medium) and Daisy (Medium)|
|Yoshi (Medium) and Birdo (Medium)|
|Baby Mario (Light) and Baby Luigi (Light)|
|Koopa Troopa (Light) and Paratroopa (Light)|
|Donkey Kong (Heavy) and Diddy Kong (Light)|
|Wario (Heavy) and Waluigi (Medium)|
|Bowser (Heavy) and Bowser Jr. (Light)|
|Unlockable Teams||Unlock Criteria|
|Toad (Light) and Toadette (Light)||Win the 100cc Special Cup.|
|King Boo (Heavy) and Petey Piranha (Heavy)||Win the Mirror Star Cup.|
Each character has one kart.
|Goo-Goo Buggy||Baby Mario||Light|
|Rattle Buggy||Baby Luigi||Light|
|Koopa Dasher||Koopa Troopa||Light|
|Para Wing||Koopa Paratroopa||Light|
|DK Jumbo||Donkey Kong||Heavy|
|Barrel Train||Diddy Kong||Light|
|Bullet Blaster||Bowser Jr.||Light|
|Piranha Pipes||Petey Piranha||Heavy|
|Boo Pipes||King Boo||Heavy|
|Parade Kart||All||All (Light, Medium and Heavy)|
|Mushroom Cup||Flower Cup||Star Cup||Special Cup|
|Ordinary items in Mario Kart Double Dash|
|Fake Item Box|
Every character has their own special item. Different combinations means a wide variety of items. For example, if someone were to play as Toadette, another player were to play as Baby Mario/Luigi and they controlled the kart together, they would be able to get Golden Mushrooms and the Chain Chomp occasionally.
|Fireball||Mario & Luigi|
|Heart (New)||Princess Peach & Princess Daisy|
|Yoshi Egg & Birdo Egg||Yoshi & Birdo|
|Bowser's Shell (New)||Bowser & Bowser Jr.|
|Triple Green Shells & Triple Red Shells||Koopa Troopa & Paratroopa|
|Bob-omb (New)||Wario & Waluigi|
|Giant Banana (New)||Donkey Kong & Diddy Kong|
|Chain Chomp (New)||Baby Mario & Baby Luigi|
|Golden Mushroom||Toad & Toadette|
Almost all cups in the game will unlock something new once the player completes it. Here is a list:
|Mushroom Cup||Flower Cup||Star Cup||Special Cup||All-Cup Tour|
|50cc||Green Fire (kart)||Bloom Coach (kart)||Para Wing (kart)||Bullet Blaster (kart)||N/A|
|100cc||Rattle Buggy (kart)||Waluigi Racer (kart)||Special Cup (cup)||Toad & Toadette (character team)|
Toad Kart (kart)
|150cc||Luigi's Mansion (battle course)||Turbo Birdo (kart)||Barrel Train (kart)||All Cup Tour (cup)||Mirror Mode (class)|
|Mirror||Toadette Kart (kart)||Tilt-A-Kart (battle course)||King Boo & Petey Piranha (character team)|
Piranha Pipes (kart)
|Boo Pipes (kart)||Parade Kart (kart)|
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
- This is the first Mario Kart game to feature Shine Thief and Bob-omb Blast.
- This is the only Mario Kart game to have two players on a kart.
- This is (by far) the only Mario Kart game to have Petey Piranha as a playable character.
- This is (by far) the only Mario Kart game to have Toad as an unlockable character.
- This is the last Mario Kart game to feature only new courses.
- A first run production of the game included a limited bonus disc inside the case in a second holder with exclusive content related to other Nintendo games.
- This is the first Mario Kart game that has more than two battle courses, the second being Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
- This is the first Mario Kart game that has "Mirror Mode" (though Mario Kart 64 has Extra Mode).
- Oddly enough the retro tracks for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! are labeled GCN which stands for GameCube Nintendo. It should be initially written as NGC which makes it called Nintendo GameCube, which is used that way in Japan.
|Mario Kart games|
|Main Titles||Super Mario Kart • Mario Kart 64 • Mario Kart: Super Circuit •|
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! • Mario Kart DS • Mario Kart Wii • Mario Kart 7 • Mario Kart 8 • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
|Arcade Titles||Mario Kart Arcade GP • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX|