Super Mario Party Review – IGN
Super Mario Party is the best Party in two console generations. It’s done away with some, but not all, of the slowness, you get to play a ton of great minigames with the cool, but not perfect Switch controllers, and that infuriating randomness of awarded stars at the end of a game is … still a problem. But even those painful upsets feel like less of a party killer this time, because Super Mario Party, especially in the team-based Partner Party mode, is competitive, strategic, and, above all, a lot of fun.
Super Mario Party is a collection of hit-or-miss virtual board games, broken up by competitive minigames – a few of which are worth your time. There’s a lot of filler there, too – I would have preferred more focus on the core modes – but there’s enough here to support up to four partiers having a lot of good fun. (There’s an option to play with computer-controlled opponents, but I don’t recommend playing by yourself.)
The main Mario Party mode has one to four players rolling dice and moving around four board game-like levels with branching paths. As you make your way towards spots to purchase stars, the currency of winners in Mario Party, you thankfully end each turn with a minigame. This is not how Mario Party 10 worked: It significantly limited minigames to spaces you had to land on. The more minigames, the merrier, I say.
Above: A game board in Mario Party mode.
The boards are also less linear than before, with branching paths and an ever-changing end goal as the star space moves around. The boards are fun, but still simpler than those of the best Mario Parties ( 5 and 6, for my money). There are also only four to choose from, which means if you don’t like one or two (I found the unlockable board, which I won’t spoil here, to be pretty dull) Parties will get stale fast.
Because I also run the strategy guide team here at IGN, I’m going to give you a great tip: recruitable Allies are incredibly important in Super Mario Party. This has three big advantages that really change the way you play: First, for each Ally you get bonuses for your dice roll. Second, the Allies appear in some minigames, too. Yes, they get in the way with their crappy AI, but that can potentially help you overwhelm an opponent. In some games they row alongside you on a boat, or linger just long enough after you get knocked out of a violent clash to clinch a victory. It’s great when you win, but nothing hurts worse than losing to your human opponent’s mindless drones.
The third big advantage Allies give you is a unique dice block to roll. Each character (including yours) has a different-numbered block: Mario’s gives you more chances at 3s (The faces read: 1 3 3 3 5 6), while Wario’s can give you a 6 two-thirds of the time — but the other third of the time you might not move at all (The faces read: -2 Coins +2 Coins 6 6 6 6). You can freely switch between a regular dice block, your character’s special block, and your Allies’. This makes for an extra layer of strategy I really enjoyed. Rolling big or little can make all the difference, and now there’s something (in addition to items) to help you even the odds. Unfortunately, you can’t see characters’ unique dice blocks on the character select screen, which is an oversight.
Above: Koopa Troopa’s dice roll can give you a 10, but it’s a big risk.
The mode I ended up liking the best is Partner Party, which recycles the four maps from Mario Party but adds a co-op partner and converts the gameplay area to a grid in which you can choose your own path. You and your partner can tackle different things around the board, scooping up Allies, gathering stars, and stomping on opponents. Each turn requires a discussion, and my partners would plan several turns in advance. Playing with a friend ramped up the competitive vibe of the Party, which I loved, and added complexity, which Super Mario Party needs to keep from feeling like a simple roll of the dice.
In both Mario Party and Partner Party modes, minigames really matter because you need to beat your opponents consistently to win coins. Pair this with some light strategy and you should come out ahead. .. but winning is not guaranteed because there’s a random element that keeps the most skilled player in your group from dominating every game. You can still get a really bad dice roll, Kamek will award the losing player(s) with extra items near the end, and bonus stars are awarded at the end that can change the tides. This time, these bonus stars can be well-deserved, like getting rewarded for having the most coins or the most minigame wins. But this is random, too, so you never know what you’re supposed to be going for: Sometimes the bonus stars are given out for the most times you’ve stomped on another character, or landed on an event space (spaces that change the level layout). In the latter scenarios, it’s just dumb luck that will decide who gets the precious star. Even worse, you can’t turn this off, or adjust the settings in any way.LoadingAbove: River Survival gameplay.
There are two other Super Mario Party modes I didn’t feel like returning to. One is River Survival, a co-op game with its own set of minigames. The “Everyone Wins!” vibe here will probably go over well with young children, but the Mario Partiers I roll with are out for blood and found them boring. Another set of unique minigames is framed around a rhythm game mode called Sound Stage. The rhythm games are fine, but there are just a few, and most use the Switch’s motion controls, which aren’t known for their precision, and thus felt inconsistent. I would have preferred button controls, but I don’t think this mode would’ve really grabbed me anyway, as it is just a handful of mode-specific minigames strung together that get old, fast.
All modes of Super Mario Party require every player to use a single Joy-Con; no Pro Controllers or grip allowed. This allowed the developers to go wild creatively without having to worry about fairness across controllers. There are many games that use unique 3D rumble effects, and, yes, there are lots of games that need motion controls. Super Mario Party’s developers have apparently learned some restraint after a decade of motion controls and so I didn’t encounter anything as bad as the worst Wii-era games, but if you don’t like like waving wildly to shave ice or tilting carefully to control a plane, you aren’t going to be happy with Super Mario Party. LoadingIf you are interested in knowing more about the Switch and it’s controllers, we just re-reviewed the Nintendo Switch console. Check it out, above.
While the Joy-Con’s unique properties make for some fun minigames, the hardware presents some pretty serious problems as well. For example, for a four-person game you’ll need four Joy-Con, the little wrist strap attachments, and a lot of charging time. If you have just one Switch that means you’ll have to carefully plan out your charging, since you can only charge two Joy-Con on the sides of the Switch, and you can only do it while you’re not playing. The shortest of the Party mode games mentioned above is an estimated 60 minutes for 10 turns — if any of your Joy-Con loses its charge during that period you’ll need some additional charging accessories or additional Joy-Con at the ready, or the Party will have to be suspended. This is the first Mario Party that couldn’t be continued with AA batteries, and that’s a big deal considering Joy-Con cost about $40 a pop.
If You Have Two Switches
There are several standalone minigames that make use of the Switch’s ability to sense and interact with another console nearby, though the concept is not put to great use in all of them. Note that you don’t have to have two Switches to play all of these games (with the exception of Banana, Split), but if you do choose to double up you’ll also need two copies of Super Mario Party.
- Mini League Baseball – A stripped-down baseball game that shows the pitcher’s view on one screen and the batter’s view on the other. But the two-screen setup doesn’t add anything to a dull game.
- Puzzle Hustle – With the two screens lying flat, players push pieces together to assemble an 8-bit puzzle. There is no reason to play this on two Switches – it could easily work as a split-screen game.
- Banana, Split – This is a pretty astounding tech demo: The naked Switch screens can be pushed together on a desk to solve puzzles across both screens. It works really well, and, but there’s no competitive mode, and the challenge doesn’t evolve in an arcade-y way or anything, so the fun evaporates quickly. Warning: Your Switch is going to get knocked around and potentially scratched as you slide it frantically into position.
- Shell Shock Deluxe – This is a top-down versus mode with up to four tanks on a battlefield. The twist is that you and your opponents can manipulate the battlefield by moving the Switch consoles around on a table, potentially giving your side an advantage. Adding competition makes this more fun than Banana, Split, but it’s still just a mixup of the simplistic gameplay that’s been around since Atari’s 1978 hit, Combat.
LoadingAbove: We play Banana, Split, and Shell Shock Deluxe on camera so you can see how they work.
With the two game/system setup you can also just play all of the other Super Mario Party modes on two screens with two players assigned to each. But even with two Switch screens, the split-screen minigames are pretty cramped, not to mention the text, which is so small it’s difficult to read. Putting the Switch in portable mode requires you to get pretty intimate with other partiers, and I wouldn’t recommend it over using the Switch in docked mode on the television.
LoadingAbove: We have compiled a video with every. Single. Minigame.
Super Mario Party’s biggest win, and the best surprise, is its top-notch batch of 80 minigames. It’s easily the best in years, and I can’t think of any that were so stupid or boring that they were worth warning you about. Here are some of my favorites:
- Dash and Dine – In this shameless but fun Overcooked clone, you and a partner jostle for ingredients in a busy kitchen where toads and your opponents get in your way.
- Sizzling Stakes – Using Joy-Con motion controls, you slide a cube of meat around a wok to try to fry all six sides.
- Slaparazzi – Four players jostle and punch their way to the center of a photograph as it’s being taken. The photos are always great.
- Nut Cases – Using the spookily tuned HD rumble of the Joy-Con, you shake boxes of nuts and try to identify which have the most in them. (This idea is rehashed from one of 1-2-Switch’s better games.)
- Candy Shakedown – You must shake oblong pieces of candy out of a jar with a tight end. You have to get pretty creative with the use of the Joy-Con’s motion sensors to get every piece out.
One cool thing to look for is the level of detail. Textures, reflections, and subtle touches are not something the Mario Party series is known for, but there’s an additional layer of quality in Super Mario Party. The kitchen in Sizzling Stakes is really detailed, for example, with a shiny, pitted pan filled with bubbling grease and steam. The realism is sometimes jarring alongside the cartoony graphics of the game boards.
Above: Meat cubes in HD.
Quality and Quantity
Super Mario Party has a sheen of quality that previous Mario Parties noticeably lacked. It doesn’t approach the level of graphical and gameplay fidelity as Super Mario Odyssey, but Party fans will notice the bump in shiny polygons. Speaking of Super Mario Odyssey, which stood out in part because of the wacky real-world/Mushroom Kingdom mashups, talking hats, and overall weirdness, I wish Super Mario Party had that edgy novelty going for it. Returning to the Mushroom Kingdom’s overly familiar, garish, Toad-filled fields and castles, not to mention its blaring carnival soundtrack, is more obnoxious than nostalgic in Super Mario Party.
Every IGN Mario Party Game Review Ever
With all it does have going for it, I think Super Mario Party’s four game boards for the main modes of Mario Party and Partner Party will get old before the 80 minigames do. The other, lesser mixes of minigames, River Survival and Sound Stage, don’t make up for the lack of maps. Super Mario Party’s sole online mode called Online Mariothon (“Compete in a marathon of minigames with players from all over the world”) also promises to extend Super Mario Party’s life, but the servers weren’t live at the time of this review, so I wasn’t able to try it out.
Super Mario Party delivers the couch multiplayer experience the series is famous for with an awesome new layer of strategy, 80 mostly-great minigames, and the quirky tech of the Switch controllers to keep things feeling fresh. The downside is that with the Switch’s controllers come some annoyances that make getting people settled onto your couch a bit more of a hassle than previous parties, and the best games are prone to annoying random upsets. But it’s far better paced than recent games and Super Mario Party reset my expectations of the series with its graphics and gameplay creativity.
Super Mario Party Reviews – OpenCritic
Oct 5, 2018 – Nintendo Switch
Top Critic Average
7.3 / 10
8 / 10
7.3 / 10
7 / 10
3 / 5
4 / 5
7. 5 / 10
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Super Mario Party Review Summary
Use of Joy-Cons
Lack of Online, Extra Modes
While the board game and extra game modes are a bit of a downer, Super Mario Party’s mini-games shine whilst taking full advantage of the Switch hardware.
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Super Mario Party – Official Game Trailer – Nintendo E3 2018
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Critic Reviews for Super Mario Party
No Recommendation / Blank
Super Mario Party gets an enjoyable reinvention for the Switch, though it introduces as many problems as it fixes.
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7.3 / 10.0
Super Mario Party is the best Mario Party in two console generations, but even with a few real winners among the 80 minigames, the party might get stale.
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8 / 10
The best Mario Party in a very long time, and while it’s shallow and silly it’s also one of the few times casual and core gamers can compete in perfect (dis)harmony.
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7.3 / 10.0
The boards are underwhelming and some of the modes suffer from repetition, but the selection of minigames is among the best in the series
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7 / 10
With Super Mario Party on Switch, Nintendo’s 20-year-old party franchise ditches its staple randomness for a more strategic game.
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The minigames of Super Mario Party are great, taking advantage of the Switch hardware in unique and creative ways. It’s the dialed back board game and its lackluster extra modes that let the whole package down though. While it’s still bound to be a great party game to break out when friends visit, it lacks the drama of the best in the series.
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While it doesn’t propel the Mario Party series to the multiplayer heights of Nintendo spin-off franchises like Mario Kart and Smash Bros, it offers so many pleasant memories when playing alongside friends that I can’t help but love it.
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7.5 / 10.0
I have a lot of quibbles with Super Mario Party that could have drowned it, but the extras pull it up above water. 80 new minigames, most of which aren’t busts, is a feat. Having a team-based mode where you can move around freely and going back to basics with the core board game (goodbye car, hopefully see you never!) was a good move. Restricting play options and easing up on the amount of boards available? Not so much.
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Overview of Mario Party Superstars – A cool party for the lazy
Nintendo once again pleases all fans of party games – after a good but too crazy WarioWare, the next part of perhaps the most famous and longest series of the genre – Mario Party Superstars, the twelfth in the series and the second on Switch. We again went to the party with Mario and his friends and are in a hurry to share our impressions.
- Developer: NDcube
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release date: October 29, 2021
Greatest hits compilation
A new game in the Mario Party series has once again not received a serial number. And if Super Mario Party could be perceived as a restart that reveals the potential of the new console, now we have before us a kind of remake anthology of the best games in the series, supplemented with new interesting features.
The main game mode is the same interactive board game. Mario Party Superstars will be played on redrawn versions of classic boards from the first three installments of the Nintendo 64-era series: Tropical Yoshi Archipelago and Peach’s Birthday Cake from the very first Mario Party, Orbital Station and Fearland from Mario Party 2, as well as “Dense Forest” from Mario Party 3.
In the role of characters from the Mario universe – unlike Super Mario Party there are only ten of them – the player, together with three friends or computer opponents, rolls a die and moves along the game board with different fields. There are no unique cubes, as before, now – the characters simply play the role of chips.
The effects of the fields are very different – for example, you can earn coins, lose them, participate in the lottery, get for free or buy some item in the store, activate an event, get to Bowser or run into a fight with another player. Events can drastically change the balance of the game, and items allow you not only to get something useful for yourself, but also to arrange some kind of dirty trick for another player – in general, it will not be boring.
Earned coins can be used to buy stars. The participant who scores the most stars in a given number of moves wins and becomes the title superstar. At the end of each turn, players are waiting for a mini-game that radically changes the pace, amuses the participants and also allows you to earn coins. The minigame collection is also a collection of carefully remastered hits from the Nintendo 64 and GameCube days.
The gameplay is distinguished by a proprietary combination of strategy and changeable luck on the verge of evil rock – you can earn the most coins and lose them under the deadly Bowser ray for your wallet, and without having time to spend on stars, you can lose the only star that gives an advantage literally on the last move, or you can accidentally find it in a secret block or get it as some kind of “bonus for failure” after the completion of all moves.
The intrigue does not disappear until the very last move – and persists even after it.
Fun and beautiful
Mario Party Superstars hits you with a huge amount of content right off the bat. In addition to the five boards mentioned, there are exactly a hundred of the most diverse mini-games: 2 vs 2, 3 vs 1, every man for himself, as well as one-on-one fights. In total, the game has 100 mini-games available from the very beginning – you do not need to open them additionally.
Mini-games are easy to learn, funny and cute, but not always easy. Here and racing cars, boats and wooden horses, and rolling down huge snowballs with subsequent throwing at an opponent, and jumping on a snowboard, and rugby, and golf, and eating pizza at speed, and cutting out figures in the style of a famous series.
It would take a dozen of these reviews to describe all the mini-games. Luckily, Mario Party Superstars doesn’t forget about accessibility – there is a screen with a brief description of the controls before each mini-game, where you can practice. For true pros and fans, there is an option to turn it off.
The interactive board mode is not the only one either – from the symbolic square, which plays the role of the main menu here, we can not only jump into the Mario Party pipe, but also board the boat, going to the mountain of mini-games, where there are several more intense modes – from free play in your favorite mini-games to short tournaments of several mini-games or competitions for the number of coins.
Unfortunately, there are no co-op and music modes like in Super Mario Party.
By the way, the coins don’t disappear when the game ends – they provide progression, which is tracked on a special card that displays our favorite Mario Party game (you can choose any of the previous ones, except for some reason Super Mario Party), favorite board and favorite mini-games with high scores.
In addition, coins (as well as stars at the rate) are transferred to your account, from which you can pay for the purchase of backgrounds for the card, game encyclopedia pages, music and stickers in the Toada store. There are also achievements in the game – they are beautifully presented in the form of constellations and allow you to choose a nickname on the card, for example, “Hardcore Gamer” or “Mini-Game Expert”. And at the end of each game, a statistical report is compiled with numbers and graphs.
The technical part of the game can’t be overstated – it’s as flawless as ever, with great cartoony graphics in the already established style of Mario games for Switch and a great soundtrack, which offers both modern melodies and classic themes from all parts of Mario Party, where the boards were borrowed from. And the game is fully translated into Russian, including voice acting.
Even if there are no friends
Of course, we all know that games like Mario Party are best played with friends. I sincerely wish that each of us always had the opportunity to gather a company of four people and play together, but life shows that this, unfortunately, is not always possible, especially given the current coronavirus realities.
But Mario Party Superstars is fun in that regard too – and I’m not talking about a dull game with bots. For the first time in the history of the series, a full-fledged online multiplayer appeared at the start. Not scanty competitions for several mini-games, but all modes, absolutely the same as in a local game, available for online play.
Moreover, we can fight on the board both with our friends and with completely random players from all over the world – a very interesting experience. There are also special multiplayer modes – a knockout game and a test of the day.
Voice and text chats are not provided, but there is no special need for them. And emotions can be expressed with the help of stickers – you can easily pin up or, conversely, cheer up your opponent. Although, of course, sometimes stickers are abused and flooded too much.
A party for everyone
After Super Mario Party, the new part may be a little disappointing – here they completely abandoned the movement control. Of course, there are advantages to this – now you can play on a pure portable, even on the Nintendo Switch Lite, or lazily lying on the couch in front of the TV in stationary mode.
But, on the other hand, no one bothered to make such mini-games optional – especially since when creating a game party, you can already choose categories of mini-games. One more could have been added. Physical activity would not hurt the game – even if it’s not Just Dance or Ring Fit Adventure, but moving around at a party is always fun.
To some extent, Mario Party Superstars was a return to the roots, and exactly the way Nintendo likes to do it – thoughtful, up-to-date and technically flawless. In this regard, one can draw certain parallels with the recent Metroid Dread – in many ways the same quintessence of the genre turned out.
The controversial decision to abandon motion control and the generally partially forgotten legacy of Super Mario Party, of course, spoil the overall impression, but at the same time give the series some space for growth and the possibility of seeing the two branches merge in one game in the future.
Overview of the party game Mario Party Superstars
Author: Vitaly Olekhnovich
Mario Party is an amazing series of party games. This is a four-player virtual board game that is interrupted by short, fun mini-games. The latest incarnation in the series is Mario Party Superstars. This is a kind of remake of past games: five converted boards from the original trilogy on the Nintendo 64 console. In addition – a hundred mini-games. This is exactly the kind of game every extroverted Nintendo Switch owner should have.
Nintendo is a unique gaming company. Because the vast majority of her games can be equally interesting for both children and adults. She develops truly family games that are able to gather the whole family at one console or entertain guests. Especially in conjunction with the concept of the Switch console with its detachable joysticks, each of which is a separate gamepad. This is a unique selling proposition that distances the company from other game developers and platformers, providing fan love and a unique gaming experience that only rare games on the market outside of the Nintendo ecosystem can offer.
Mario Party Superstars for Nintendo Switch
2021 Action, Logic, Single Player, Multiplayer, From 0 years
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What is Mario Party Superstars ?
These are five boards from the first three games in the series. Their appearance and soundtrack have been updated, the main mechanics have been saved. Four characters roll a die, walk around the board, earn coins in mini-games, for which they then buy stars. By the number of stars, the winner is determined after 15+ moves.
Each board differs not only in appearance and path geometry, but also in mechanics unique to it. On Tropical Yoshi Island, for example, stopping the player on the event space will cause the much-needed star to fly to the other end of the map, and a malicious Bowser will appear in its place, taking away coins. Another cell is reserved for interaction with a ghost that can steal both coins for you and a star from another player. You can choose a specific or random opponent. And believe me, by the end of the game it depends on this choice whether your long-term marriage or friendship will crack.
It’s worth noting right away that, as in any board game, the pleasure of party gatherings largely depends on who you play with. Mario Party Superstars has game modes with bots or online. They, of course, will not replace a cheerful company in front of one TV.
All five game boards are detailed, look juicy and colorful. The work has been thorough. The only pity is that there is no other board from Mario Party 3. But it’s still an improvement over the previous Super Mario Party, where there were only four boards.
The Mario Party series wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t have a huge variety of games. There are hundreds of them in the new part. We are talking about short gaming sessions for four people, in which the skills of the participants are confronted directly. It can be a test of attentiveness, accuracy, skill. The rules of these games are as simple as possible, it is easy to master them even for a child. You can compete in the “All against all” mode, as well as in “2 vs 2” teams and in the “1 vs 3” mode, which adds team interaction between different players. True, not all mini-games from these modes are balanced enough to make the contribution of each participant to the overall team victory or defeat seem significant.
For example, in the mini-game “Merry Engravers” you need to cut a petrified figure as accurately as possible along the line, “Pusher Balls” make you push opponents into a cliff from a small platform.
All of these games are available not only during tabletop mode, but simply from the game menu.
By the way, unlike Super Mario Party (2018), Mario Party Superstars does not use Motion Control, that is, you can play it on any Switch gamepad. Perhaps this is a step back from the previous part, the advantage of joycons is not fully disclosed. However, it should be understood that all this is a remake of the old parts of the series, in which there was no place for motion control.
While mini-games depend a lot on the specific skills of the player, the board game is largely a matter of luck. Yes, compared to Super Mario Party, the strategy of the game decides more here, earning stars to win is more difficult. It is possible in the later moves to directly collide with the enemy and take away coins or stars from him. Chaos is added by random hidden blocks, from which you can get not only a coin, but also a star. And the one who was last can easily be the leader of the race at the finish line.
On the last turn, the player in last place swapped positions with the player in first place
Yes, those who won mini-games more often or collected more coins than the rest will also be rewarded. But there is no way to get rid of the elements of randomness, and this adds magic to the game. Those who enjoy the outcome of the game (win or lose) may be disappointed. For those who value having fun with their friends, Mario Party Superstars will not seem like a failure.
Mario Party Superstars doesn’t bring anything new to the series. For long-time Nintendo fans, the remake will be a good collection of nostalgia, while newcomers will be introduced to a unique series of party games. For lovers of the competitive aspect, the game can add frustration due to the numerous elements of chance. And for those who just enjoy hanging out with friends, she will give long hours of pleasure in the company of loved ones.
Rich and beautiful
Fun mini games
One more table
Nintendo Switch 2019 (with neon Joy-Cons)