Mario Party 6
Mario Party 6 is the sixth title in the Mario Party series made for the Nintendo GameCube and the third installment for that console. As the series's namesake, the game is a party game that features various Mario characters navigating through a digital boards using Dice Blocks. This game is developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo. The game is the first in the series that features an installment of voice controlled mini-games using a packaged microphone, where an all new Mic Mode is designed specifically for microphone use; the microphone would later be reused in the next console installment, Mario Party 7. Additionally, Mario Party 6 supports the Nintendo GameCube's progressive scan mode.
The main focus of this game is collecting Stars to stop the conflict going on with the sun and the moon to fill the Star Bank; as a result, a day and night system as been implemented for the boards and most mini-games, a concept first introduced in Horror Land in Mario Party 2. As other Mario Party games, up to four players can participate in board gameplay and mini-games, where they can battle free-for-all or team up against each other. Mario Party 6 requires 5 blocks on the Memory Card to save the game, and up to three games can be saved on the Memory Card.
Story from Instruction Booklet
Brighton and Twila – the sun and the moon – watch over Mario Party World from the sky and host the best parties. The two celestial party animals have always been good friends. That is, until the day Brighton asked Twila, "Who's more impressive, you or me?"
Brighton and Twila, the hosts of Mario Party 6, have watched over Mario Party World from the sky. Despite their close friendship, one day, Brighton asks Twila which of the duo is better. An argument then breaks out between him and Twila, and because it causes major disruption, Mario and friends attempt to calm them down. When they are unable to do so, Mario decides to throw a Mario Party to collect and harness the power of the Stars to fill the Star Bank.
By collecting Stars, Mario and friends are able to obtain pages to the Miracle Book. After the Miracle Book is filled out, Brighton and Twila see the Star Bank, filled with Stars. Noting how hard Mario and friends had worked to obtain the Stars, Brighton and Twila apologize to them for the hassle their quarrel had caused, and make up. To show their appreciation for the effort, the hosts send the Stars flying into the sky. The ending goes on to state that Brighton and Twila "watched over Mario Party world until the end of time," and that "everyone got back to partying as usual." The words "Party On!" then appear on the screen.
Mario Party 6, as with previous installments of the Mario Party series, plays as an interactive board game, where up to four players take turns rolling Dice Blocks with numbers 1-10, the number indicating how far they can travel. The goal of the game is to earn coins to buy the Stars, which are dependent on the board's rules. In the beginning of every game, players are introduced to the board, where they are asked to hear about the board and any unique quirks it may have. The game then determines the order the players go, by hitting Dice Blocks, where higher numbers mean players go sooner. At the beginning of every game, players receive 10 coins to start with. During board gameplay, players can obtain various items called Orbs, very alike to Mario Party 5's capsules, from either purchasing them from Orb Huts, passing Orb Spaces, or winning them by landing on ? Spaces to help themselves and/or hurt the other players. At the end of every turn, a mini-game is played, where the type of mini-game is determined by what color the space the players have landed on. All mini-games have their own controls and objectives, which are outlined prior to playing them. Winning players receive 10 coins from mini-games; however, certain types of mini-games such as bonus mini-games offer different prizes. After the mini-game is completed, the game is saved, and players return to the board to once again move around in. Various mini-games have special conditions to play in them: Battle mini-games occur at random, where number of coins are placed at stake where higher scoring players earn more coins; players also vote for minigames rather than have a roulette decide for them, Duel mini-games occur when players either land on Duel Spaces or land on the same space in the last five turns, and DK and Bowser mini-games can be played when players land on the characters' respective spaces.
When the last five turns has reached, a Last Five Turns Event commences, hosted with either Brighton or Twila depending on the time of the day. The current standings are tallied up, and the host brings in the fourth place player to spin the bonus wheel, which has many various effects, some greatly helping the last player. Another consequence is that players automatically duel each other if they land in the same space. After the last turn, the stats are tallied up once more, and Brighton and Twila give out bonus stars which are rewarded when players complete certain tasks. The player who has the most Stars wins the game, with coins serving as a tiebreaker; if the coin amount is also a tie, the winner is determined by a Dice Block.
One new mechanic introduced to the Mario Party series is the time of the day. In multiplayer boards, the game always starts out at daylight, hosted by Brighton. Indicated by a meter by the beginning of every turn and by the pause menu, players can see how many turns the day time has left. After the third time, day changes to night, which also lasts three turns. During the change, the board alters to reflect the setting of the day, while also introducing various gameplay changes depending on the board, indicated by small cutscenes. In this time period, Twila becomes the host. When three turns pass, the night changes to day once again, and the cycle repeats.
After every session of either winning games or playing mini-games, Stars are rewarded, which are stored in the Star Bank. These stars can be used to buy various items of interest. Players can complete the overall game when they buy the Miracle Book and all individual pages.
At the main menu screen, players can select different modes, represented by the objects placed on the screen. Modes on the left side are hosted by Brighton, modes on the right are hosted by Twila, and modes in the center are hosted by both. When players have a microphone attached, with the microphone settings enabled, players can say names of characters to make them react depending on what the player has said.
Represented by a house, Party Mode is the main mode of Mario Party 6, and it is hosted by both Brighton and Twila. Up to four players can play in this mode. The mode uses the regular Mario Party rules while playing; players win by collecting the most Stars in the game.
When players are taken inside the house, Brighton and Twila ask players for a tutorial on how to play the mode. Then, players can adjust several settings before choosing their character. The settings are as follows:
After players select from the available boards, choose their characters (computer characters can have their difficulty adjusted, from weak, normal, hard, and the unlockable brutal difficulties) and select a team, if Team Battle mode is enabled, players can set a handicap of giving players up to nine Stars to start with to give them an advantage. Once that is finished, players begin the game.
During the game, players can access the pause menu by pressing . At the main pause menu screen, players can view how many turns there are left, what time of the day it is and how many turns it will take to change the time of the day. Players can access more options in the pause menu, with the following settings available:
Represented by a boat, Solo Mode is a game mode hosted by Brighton. It is for one player only, and it has the character playing minigames against the Koopa Kids. The turn limit on these boards is set to 50 turns, although it is impossible to check this when playing the mode. There is also a change in the game's Solo Mode: players can roll a Dice Block that shows numbers only from 1-6 rather than the usual 1-10.
The spaces on Solo Mode are different than those in normal modes of play. There are spaces for 4-player, 2-vs-2 (these are played teamed up with a CPU partner of the player's choice; but it can't be the same character as the player's), 1-vs-3 (the human is always the 1 player against 3), Battle, and Duel Mini-games. There are also Bowser spaces, which feature (normally 1-vs-3) games played against the Koopa Kids where all the players' coins are lost if they lose; ? spaces, which cause an event to happen; and the goals which are Rare Mini-Game spaces.
Landing on one of these Rare Mini-Game spaces concludes the game and grants players one of the Rare Mini-games: Dunk Bros., Lab Brats, or Block Star. Seer Terror must be bought from the Star Bank. If the player goes past the Rare space, then the collected items are lost, and the game ends. Players can avert this by selecting to "Call it Quits" and keep everything they have earned so far; however, this ends the mode.
Only two of the game's Orbs appear in this mode. One is the Sluggish 'Shroom Orb, which slows down the Dice Block so players can easily hit the number they want. The other is the Cursed Mushroom Orb, which makes the Dice Block only roll one through three. This can prevent players from walking past the Rare Mini-Game space.
At the end of the mode, players receive any mini-games that are played during the mode if they are not unlocked previously. In addition, they receive bonuses at the end of the game for meeting certain criteria, such as playing ten mini-games during the game, rolling only even Dice Block numbers, or landing on every space on the board, which are paid out in Coins. The Coins are converted into Stars (one Star for every 20 Coins), which are then transferred to the Star Bank.
Represented by a castle and hosted by Brighton, this mode features the new microphone hardware. In order to play this mode, players need to have the microphone enabled, either through using the microphone itself or using the GameCube controller to emulate commands. Players can adjust settings by accessing the Option Mode. The following three modes are available through the Mic Mode:
Represented by an apple tree, Mini-Game Mode is hosted by Twila and stores all mini-games that are unlocked in Party Mode and Solo Mode. Focusing on the mini-games, this mode features six different ways to play them.
Represented by a windmill, the Star Bank stores all Stars players have collected during their playthrough of Mario Party 6. Here, they can exchange Stars for various goods, such as playable characters, boards, difficulty settings, secrets, and much more. Both Brighton and Twila host the mode, though Twila is the hostess who gives out descriptions.
Represented by pink and blue flowers, Option Mode is hosted by Twila, who guides players into setting preferences and viewing records. The following settings and records can be toggled and viewed:
Mario Party 6 has eleven playable characters, all which are usable with no restrictions unlike its predecessor, Mario Party 5. Mario Party 6 is Toadette's overall debut in the Mario Party franchise, though in order to use her, she has to be unlocked by buying her for thirty Stars in the Star Bank first. Character specific colors are still used (an example being used in the mini-game, Note To Self), but the standard player order colors (red, blue, green, and yellow for players one, two, three, and four respectively) are far more abundant in labeling players than the character specific colors.
In addition to returning all playable characters, Mario Party 6 returns team battle from Mario Party 5, as well as the accompanying team names. The following is a table of all possible combinations and team names.
These characters appear either as part of the world-building scenery, as Orbs, as NPCs characters interact with in ? Spaces, as obstacles in various mini-games, or various other roles.
Party Mode boards
There are 6 boards in Party Mode. Some of the boards in Mario Party 6 have different objectives and goals to earn stars.
Solo Mode boards
These are the three Solo Mode boards. They differ mostly in length, but they all have the same objective, which is to land on the Rare space located at the end of the board.
Party Mode spaces
Solo Mode spaces
Orbs are items players can either collect on the board or buy. They can be used in many ways to give a player an advantage, such as setting traps on spaces to steal coins from rivals, to hamper a rival's progress, or to quickly obtain stars. Players can toss Red and Yellow Orbs to Blue, Red, or Character Spaces (though not roadblock Character Spaces) only, and if a Star Space appears on a trap, the trap will be removed.
All of these orbs affect the player or the Dice Block when the player uses them.
These Orbs take effect when either the opponent passes or lands on it. The player who lands on it still have the effects of a Blue or Red space. The orb disappears once it has been activated.
These orbs have an effect on a player who lands on the space. If the owner lands on the space, they receive five coins. During the Last Five Turn Events, the owner may receive 15 coins if the coin's ×3 roulette was chosen. The orb also stays on the board as long as no one replaces the orb or if a Star Space does not appear on it.
These orbs protect the player from attacks such as Boo and Chain Chomp. They can only be found in specific boards such as Snowflake Lake. They cannot be thrown on a space or used. Instead, they are used automatically. They can be disposed at any time if the players chooses to, though.
Mario Party 6 has a total of 82 mini-games, including the Mic mini-games that cannot be accessed in the Mini-Game Mode (instead it is accessible through the Mic Mode). It has more mini-games in total than its previous installments, and it has the second most overall mini-games in the Mario Party series, being tied by Mario Party: Island Tour and beaten by Mario Party 7. As all installments of the Mario Party series, the mini-games have various puns and wordplays as their names. A feature exclusive to Mario Party 6 is that thirty-six mini-games can be played in either day or night. Only a few mini-games have their rules changed depending on the time of the day; most of these changes are simply aesthetic.
Mario Party 6 is developed by Hudson Soft, who is the primary developer for all Mario Party series installments until Mario Party 9, and is published by Nintendo. Shuichiro Nishiya directed the game, who directed the succeeding Mario Party games aside from the handheld Mario Party installments. Hironobu Yahata and Shinya Outouge were responsible for the game's soundtrack, who would both later compose Mario Party 7's soundtrack.
Mario Party 6 received generally positive to mixed reviews from reviewers, receiving a 71 based on 33 reviews in Metacritic and a 73.41% based on 36 reviews on GameRankings. Much criticism is directed at the sheer similarity the game has to the previous Mario Party games, the lackluster single player mode, and the microphone voice recognition functionality. However, reviewers note that the game is fun with multiple players and that Mario Party 6 attempts to shake up the formula by including the microphone and other small new features.
Peer Schneider of IGN has given the game a 7 out of 10. He notes how Mario Party 6 recycles many assets from the previous Mario Party games but has stated, "Mario Party 6 is a really fun multiplayer game when three friends are invited to the party." On a similar note, Ryan Davis of GameSpot has given the game a 6.9 out of 10,, also noting that the game is very similar to the rest of the series, but has also said that Mario Party 6 is an accessible multiplayer game to anyone and have a good time. He ended with: "Whether you've worn out your last copy of Mario Party or are just looking for a light, accessible multiplayer experience, number six is a fine pick. Alternately, if you have yet to be charmed by previous Mario Party games, this one isn't likely to change your opinion of the series."
On the slightly higher end, Chris Kohler of 1UP gave Mario Party 6 a 7.5 out of 10. who writes that Mario Party 6 is generally fun, despite the reused formula, and ends by saying that Mario Party 6 is a polished upgrade with solid improvements. At the other end, Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson gave the game a score of 4/10, the lowest of the reviewers for Mario Party 6. She has complained about the game's dialogue, the mini-game titles, the microphone functionality, and the overall tedium of the game. She compared by saying, "All in all, if Mario Party 6 was a real party, it'd be one of those parties where there's nothing to drink but warm Heineken and no one to talk to but people who are having trouble with their boiler and students who've just spent three months in Thailand and want to tell you all about how they got dysentery in Chiang Mai, while a Savage Garden fan hangs round the stereo all night glaring at anyone who tries to suggest an alternative."
Pre-release and unused content
The Solo Mode originally used simple colored spaces, as opposed to the 4-Player, 1-Vs-3, and 2-Vs-2 spaces seen in the final game.
An unused Orb called the Barrel Orb with the Orb ID 20 would protect players from dueling for one turn. There are no unique orb graphics and no activation text for this item. Various orbs are used for events, possibly for debugging purposes, but are taken out of the game.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages