Super Mario Party Review. Bushy Mustache, Interesting Contests

Party fun with friends

An interesting place, this is your Mushroom Kingdom. In it, someone is constantly kidnapping and rescuing someone, there are always villains and heroes who sabotage each other, but that doesn’t stop them from regularly getting together to have a good time. As they say, grudges are grudges, but refusing to tennis rackets There is no place for a friendly visit here. And it’s right – otherwise, what’s the point of all this fuss if there is no room for laughter and entertainment?

You see, even the inhabitants of the fairy kingdom understand how to live. We should learn from them about prudence…

Well, okay. This time, all sorts and sizes of weirdos organized not just some racing tournament, but a real party. Mario Party is back – in a colorful modern shell and with the addition of Super instead of the scary number “11”. And who would have thought, everyone is invited!

Since the lineup is celebrating its 20th anniversary in a month, it is reasonable to assume that even those who have never participated in it know the essence of the local disco. You and your three friends, real orimaginaryVirtual, travel between stations and compete in dozens of different mini-games to find out who among you is the coolest. It couldn’t be easier – but the idea is brilliant.

Mini-game featuring a crab
Collecting stars

As before, the main mode turns the grand confrontation into a tabletop game. Its goal is to collect the most stars and prevent opponents from doing the same. By rolling dice, characters take turns moving across the board, activating special event spaces, earning coins, and spending them on various modifiers. For a modest fee, for example, a walking tile will gladly take you to the desired path, a shop will sell you speed-boosting mushrooms, and Lakitu sitting in the far corner of the map will fish out a coveted star from someone else’s pocket. Nothing personal, just business.

In words, this “Monopoly,” to be honest, is much more cumbersome than it actually is. The rules are explained quickly and clearly, there aren’t too many actions and effects to get confused with – you literally grasp what’s happening on the fly, and by the middle of the first game, even those who have never touched games in their life will figure it out. So call your mom and dad, let them have some fun too!

The transparent and accessible mechanics of the board game are successfully diluted by a small nuance concerning the aforementioned dice. They are not ordinary here, you see, but unique to each character. That is, Peach has much more chances to roll a “four” because it is drawn on three sides, Rosalina receives coins for unsuccessful rolls, and Donkey Kong moves rarely but accurately – his dice only has “zeros” and “tens”. Moreover, during the match, if lucky, you can enlist the support of allies and use their dice instead of your own.

Dice, dice, dice! Sorry for the repetition – I don’t really want to call them “dice”. Just take a look, they are the real deal dice!

Rolling the dice in the board game
Goomba-themed mini-game

I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled with this idea. It doesn’t stray far from the immortal canon of the genre, and it provides some control over random (mostly) events on the field. It’s scary to say, but in Super Mario Party, there is a real tactical space for implementing selfish, cunning, and simply wonderful plans. There is nothing more satisfying than pulling out your dice, filled with “threes,” at the last moment and intentionally stepping on a trap to send your opponent as far away as possible from the star that would bring them victory. Mwa-ha-ha!

Well, and yes, the mini-games. In a global sense, they serve as a kind of respite between turns with an extra opportunity to increase capital. In terms of leisure, it is an endless collection of fun moments that never ceases to amaze with its originality and variety. First, you race up a pole or ride barrels, then you try to count the Toads wandering around the train car, then you guess cult characters by their pixelated silhouettes and jump over obstacles, and in the end, you are divided into teams and asked, for example, to assemble a 3D puzzle. Of course, this is if some poor soul doesn’t have to play explosive badminton against everyone else – no one said the teams would be equal!

Explosive mini-game
Rhythm-based challenge

No matter what kind of fun is offered, it’s always insanely fun. Every mini-game is awaited like a holiday because they are simple, concise, and inventive. In 20-30 seconds, Super Mario Party often manages to show off some cool Joy-Con feature and organize a full-fledged competition around it, with intense battles, bright climaxes, and tons of positive emotions. The last time something like this was achieved was only with Rayman Raving Rabbids.

To be fair, the extensive list of contests here is not entirely made up of small masterpieces. Some challenges turned out to be too superficial and disposable – like, for example, a mini-game where you have to adjust the sharpness of the image by tilting the controller. It serves as another reminder of how wonderful the motion capture of the Switch is, but there is not much desire to return to it.

And since we’ve started talking about shortcomings, it’s worth nitpicking about the number of boards for the tabletop mode. Of course, you can get a lot of hours of genuine pleasure out of the four magnificent arenas added to the game, but it’s hard to get rid of the feeling that the potential was not fully realized. After all, no one would complain if they brought in some popular locations from previous installments – on the contrary, fans would go crazy with happiness.

Boat race mini-game
Fruit collecting mini-game

Additional modes are designed to compensate for the lack of content. Despite the impressive amount of questionable fluff – like mini-games for paired consoles and a room with stickers where you have to, uh, stick stickers (???), – at least two of them deserve attention. In the first one, you have to go through a short series of music-based competitions: the more accurately you hit the rhythm, the more points you get. It’s a simple but fun alternative for a mobile company.

The second one is a full-fledged cooperative mode. Your friendly gang floats down the river on an inflatable boat, futilely trying to agree on who paddles where, with varying success in avoiding obstacles and nervously glancing at the timer. Time is strictly limited, but you can replenish it by playing mini-games that you encounter along the way, but this time with an emphasis on teamwork. You know, passing balls to each other, searching for crystals in a maze, and so on.

As expected, cooperative relays are just as enjoyable as competitive ones. You always have to act quickly and without hesitation, which often turns coordinated activities into a chaotic scramble across the screen in the hope of being everywhere and not harming any of your comrades along the way. Even if nothing works out, collective laughter is still guaranteed.

Stealthy mini-game
Ball-throwing mini-game

Here’s an obvious but important caveat: playing with a group of four is better. Even if the electronic partners pretend they don’t remember the correct answer to the riddle and accidentally fall into the abyss, it’s not the same. The human factor and live communication multiply the enjoyment of the process a thousandfold.

It may cost you a fortune in Joy-Cons, but it’s worth it, honest pioneer.

Online multiplayer could have been a good option, supposedly added for the first time in the series’ history, but for some reason, they skimped on it at launch. Playing over the network is only allowed in sets of five mini-games. No board games, rivers, or boats – you have to gather real friends in your apartment for that.

However, you know what? It’s not really necessary. Super Mario Party is a game about here and now. About lively discussions and hilarious coordination of actions, about silly mistakes and the opportunity to look into the eyes of a “friend” who just stole your last coin. It’s that kind of game for a group, much more active, vibrant, and alive than any 1-2-Switch.

Do yourself a favor – gather all your friends for at least one sparkling evening. No one should miss such a party.

Super Mario Party
Adventure, Co-op, Multiplayer
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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