Dry Bones Kart 7 is a racing game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the ninth installment of the Dry Bones Kart series overall, the seventh in the main series (hence the game's title), and the third on a handheld console. This is the first installment in the Dry Bones series overall (excluding crossover installments) to be localized to Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian. Additionally, it is also the first Dry Bones Kart game to be developed by more than one video game developer, Nintendo EAD and Retro Studios, and the second Dry Bones Kart to have a different video game developer (not including the Dry Bones Kart Arcade GP series), the first being Dry Bones Kart: Super Circuit.
The main new feature of this installment is the hang gliding and underwater driving which allows racers to glide through the air and race in underwater sections of the new and old tracks. Kart customization is also introduced instead of racing in pre-made karts like previous titles. In the game, players are able to exchange Ghost data and play online in multiplayer mode. Players can also receive Ghost data via SpotPass and race against other player's Ghosts from around the world. IggyKoopa408 stated that the game brings "a bunch of new elements" to the Dry Bones Kart series.
By pressing +Control Pad up, the player can activate the view and then Tilt motion control the system to steer.]]
In this new installment of the Dry Bones Kart series, Coins make a prominent return. Coins have not been featured in this way in the recent Dry Bones Kart games since Dry Bones Kart: Super Circuit. Coins are to be found along a race track, and can be underwater, on the road, or in the air. Collecting coins on different tracks will allow the player to unlock vehicle parts used for customization. The option to select classic Dry Bones Kart 7 tracks is also available again in this game.
Dry Bones Kart 7 also has some new features. Players can now use hang-gliders which can be useful for navigating through the air, and propellers to drive underwater. In addition, players now assemble their own karts, rather than select preset karts as in previous games. It is possible to select the kart's body, wheels, and glider, although some parts need to be unlocked before they can be used, mainly through collecting coins during races. Dry Bones Kart 7 returns to the traditional twelve-driver race like in previous installments, instead of the total of sixteen as seen in Dry Bones Kart Wii. It is also compatible with both SpotPass and StreetPass.
Similar to preceding games, an overall "game ranking" of ★, ★★, or ★★★ is shown next to the player's nationality flag if the player has earned the designated ratings in all cups and in all classes. The overall ranking can also be seen while participating at a Grand Prix. The game shows the overall ranking at the results of the last course before the overall results of the last cup being shown.
Among other gameplay mechanics is the vehicle's behavior in the courses. Each element to assemble the vehicle has a function that grants an advantage on certain courses. In other words, speed and handling alter if the player is driving through land, underwater, or in the air. Gliders also provide speed and duration for the vehicle when airborne and can be controlled using the Circle Pad. Players can tilt the Circle Pad either up or down to fall quickly or gently, respectively. Additionally, when driving underwater, the kart's handling, speed, and drifting can considerably change compared to when driving on land.
This Dry Bones Kart installment also introduces the option to race and battle in a first-person view. This function allows the player to watch the race and battle from the character's perspective and can race by Tilt motion control the system. In first-person view, the player can also see the vehicle's steering wheel in front of the character with an emblem on it. The gyroscope, which gives the player the ability to steer the kart in first-person mode by tilting the Circle Pad, can be enabled or disabled by going to the Mario Kart Channel, going to the player's Mii icon on the bottom right, going to "Settings", and lastly selecting "Use" or "Don't Use" when going to "Gyro Sensor".
In a minor note, an extra track with beats is added to the course's music if the player gets ahead in first place at top speed (frontrunning). This track fades when the player slows down via braking, going off-road, or getting hit by an item. This happens only in 100cc, 150cc and Mirror class.
Motorbikes, which made their first appearance in Dry Bones Kart Wii, do not return in the game. Tricks, which were also introduced in Dry Bones Kart Wii, still return and can be used with Gliders for more speed. The manual for the game refers to tricks as Jump Boosts.
Many classic items make a return in Dry Bones Kart 7, including the POW Block and the Lightning Cloud from Dry Bones Kart Wii. The game introduces four new items; the Fire Flower, the Spiny Bombshell, the Super Leaf, and the Lucky Seven. The Mega Mushroom from Dry Bones Kart Wii is absent from the game. The Blue Spiny Shell from previous installments is also absent, along with Boo and the POW Question Block. Similar to its predecessors, players receive items by driving through an Item Box found on courses. When players drive through an Item Box, the Item Roulette will select an item. In addition to Item Boxes, Coins can be found on the track. Players can collect the coins by driving through them. Picking up a coin increases a player's top speed. If players collect ten coins, their kart is at maximum speed and cannot gain additional coins. Players lose coins if they get hit by an item or fall in a pit. Collecting a certain amount of coins unlocks vehicle parts to select them in the vehicle's customization menu. Also, unlike in its predecessor, the item warning sound will only play if a Spiny Bombshell or a Bullet Bill is approaching.
A thundercloud hovers over the recipient and strikes it with lightning after ten seconds. The user shrinks to very small size for 10 seconds, driving more slowly. Before this happens, the user has higher speed and acceleration while not losing speed when driving off-road, and may pass the cloud to an opponent by bumping into them.
The driver grows bigger, which allows them to squash other racers by running over them, making them lose their items and slow down for a moment. The Mega Mushroom makes the racer invincible to all attacks except those from Stars, Bullet Bills, and Bloopers. It allows the user destroy items and course obstacles and gives the driver a speed boost. In addition, the player can go off-road without suffering any effect of slowing down. The effect lasts for 7.5 seconds but will be ended prematurely if the player is hit by a Lightning Bolt.
After being thrown or dropped, it explodes after a moment or when a player comes too close, blasting any kart into the air that gets caught in its blast radius. It will also chase after players that comes by.
Transforms the player into a Bullet Bill, which rockets down the entire track at high speeds on auto-pilot for a time that is determined by the player's current position. The Bullet Bill is invincible and can knock over items, course hazards and other players, which makes them lose any item in their possession.
Causes all players, except the user, to drop their item, shrink, and have their kart's top speed reduced for a moment, the effect being longer for the players that are leading the race. They can also get squashed by normal-sized players.
The player obtains total invincibility for a moment and is able to knock over everything in its path including items, course obstacles and other players, making them lose their current item. In addition, the player receives a speed boost and the ability to drive off-road without losing any speed.
Allows the player to throw fireballs that bounces off walls and cause other players to spin out of control on impact. Up to three fireballs are allowed at a time per player, throwing a fourth one will make the oldest one disappear. If ten fireballs are used, this item wears off immediately.