Mario Party has gone back to its roots and I couldn’t be happier for it. As a Mario Party fan, 9 and 10 were massive disappointments because they replaced the board with the car, stars with star bits and most importantly got rid of mini-games at the end of every round.
It’s simple, it’s a video game board game. Your goal is simple, at the end of the game your goal is to have more stars than your opponents. You primarily get stars by purchasing them on the board with 10 coins, yes you read that correctly. It is no longer 20 coins to purchase a star.
If you have never played a Mario Party game, the gameplay loop is very simple. It’s a 4 player game (if you don’t have enough humans then computers play as extras) and a standard game is traditionally 20 rounds. Now my friends and I have played around 5 times already and we have chosen to play 10 rounds. Even as a Mario Party fan, 20 rounds often felt like too long. Towards the end of a game, it started to feel stagnant with 10 rounds it never feels stagnant.
In each round, each player will roll a dice and depending on the number they roll that determines the number of spaces they move (revolutionary stuff for a board game). In the first 8, Mario Party’s every character had the same basic 1-6 die. In this game, the dice are shaken up a little bit. Instead of just having the standard 1-6 die, you also have a character specific die that you can choose to roll instead. Each character die is different so if you chose different characters every time you play, each game has the potential to feel a little different.
So moving on from a different kind of die, on your turn after you roll the die. Your ultimate goal is to be constantly moving towards the Star on the board. The first person to arrive at the star may purchase the star for 10 coins. After a star has been purchased, the star location is then moved to another location on the map. So now everyone has to change focus and move onto the new star location.
Now you may be wondering, how do I earn coins so I buy these stars? There are two ways to do so, 1 is by moving around the board and landing on certain spaces and you get coins depending on the space. Fair warning though, there are certain spaces that take coins. The other way is the final main game mechanic of Mario Party and that’s the mini-games.
At the end of every round, you play a Mini-game. Depending on how well you do in the mini-game you will reward you with coins. This can vary from 10 to 0. There is potential for more but that depends on the mini-game but that’s not too important. The difference between a good Mario Party game and a bad one, are the mini-games. This latest installment has about 80 mini-games and a vast majority I would call fun. There are a few that not so great but I would say that’s a handful.
The weakest part of all Mario Party games is the single player. It’s just not fun to play by yourself. As a matter of fact, I would go as far to say that if you play Mario Party by yourself that’s kind of sad. But of course, there is a single player mode that you’re essentially forced to play because that’s how you unlock 2 characters. The good news is, it’s not awful. You just have to play through (and win) all 80 mini-games but the bad news is, some of the mini-games are completely random so there is potential you will get stuck on a specific mini-game for longer than you would like. If you’re wondering how long it would take to unlock both characters, my friend Manny and I played the mode together. Just passed the controller back and forth and it took us approximately an hour and a half to unlock both. Not awful but there were a couple moments that were classic Mario Party B.S.
This is the biggest disappointment of the entire game, the lack of online features. Nintendo is charging people to play online now and you can’t play a game of Mario Party. You can play random mini-games online but you can not play a game of Mario Party online. That’s unacceptable, I hope that gets patched and fixed because there is no reason for the game to have full online support.
Recap: The Good
Back to classic Mario Party
Recap: The Bad
Recap: The Okay