Mario Party Advance
Mario Party Advance is the seventh game in the Mario Party series, the tenth installment overall and the second handheld installment of the series, specifically for the Game Boy Advance, after Mario Party-e for the e-Reader. The game revolves around either Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Yoshi travelling across Shroom City to collect the minigames and Gaddgets that fell from Party World, an area dedicated to partying high above the sky. After Bowser and Koopa Kid attack Party World, Toad tasks them with collecting everything that fell down. This can only be accomplished by helping out the city's citizens and stopping Bowser from exerting his influence. Shroom City can only be accessed with a single player; barring a few minigames, Gaddgets, and a physical Bonus Board that is played alongside the video game, the game does not focus on multiplayer and is more single-player oriented.
Mario Party Advance was released in Japan on January 13, 2005, in North America in March 28, 2005, in Europe in June 10, 2005, and in Australia on September 15, 2005. Mario Party Advance was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in North America and Europe on December 25, 2014, in Oceania on December 26, 2014, and in Japan on October 28, 2015.
It is a normal day in Party World when the player first arrives there. Toad is telling Mario about the game, when Bowser drops in and scatters all of the minigames and Gaddgets throughout Shroom City. Now Mario must go and retrieve them all by traveling all over Shroom City and restoring peace to Party World.
There are four playable characters in Mario Party Advance, the least amount of any Mario Party game to date. It does, however, boast many more non-playable characters that the player helps out during the story mode, as well as other supporting characters than most other Mario Party games.
The main mode in the game, as well as the only one that is playable once the game is started. The player can take control of Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi and travel around Shroom City, beating the quests and collecting minigames and Gaddgets to play in the other modes.
Play Land, hosted by Toad and E. Gadd, is a free play mode, in which the player can either play the minigames they have earned, give minigames to others, play with Gaddgets, or give away Gaddgets.
Party Land, hosted by Toad and Toadette, is a mode in which multiple players can play duel minigames, a secret battle, a Koopa Kid battle, a 100-player battle, or a 100-player attack.
Challenge Land, hosted by Toadette, is a mode in which players can play minigames to earn coins. In Challenge Land, there is a Mini-Game Attack, the Game Room, a Duel Dash, Bowser Land, and an option to trade coins for Gaddgets.
The player selects one of the four characters, and meets the host, Toad. Here, the player will play through fifteen mini-games in order to win coins. After Toad explains everything, a list of three minigames will appear, and the player can pick which one they think they can win. The minigames also appear as they would in Free Play, but with winning conditions. If a player loses a minigame, they will lose everything they accumulated up to this point. If they win five games, they can win 1,000 coins, ten games results in 10,000 coins, and 100,000 coins for all fifteen games. During the attack, they can either keep their total, or use their special items to help. There are three special items, Switch, Replay, and Practice. Replay allows the player to play the games that they completed again, Switch changes three current games with three new ones, and Practice allows the player to try a game before playing it for real.
Here, the player selects a character and enters a casino-style room and plays gamble mini-games as much as they want to earn coins. If the player has no coins, Toad will give them ten coins.
In Duel Dash, which is hosted by Toadette, the player will compete against a computer to win coins. There are three modes: easy to win 1,000 coins; normal to win 10,000 coins, and hard to win 100,000 coins. In easy, the players play three mini-games, in normal, five, and in hard, eight. The mini-games are decided at random.
In Bowser Land, the player is trying to reach co-hosts Bowser and Koopa Kid to earn coins, while also playing Bowser mini-games. The game and number of Koopa Kids are chosen at random. To reach Bowser, the player rides on a roller coaster, the number of areas being picked randomly. Each stop at a checkpoint counts as one space, and stopping at one results in playing a Bowser mini-game. During the game, however, if Bowser feels the player is taking too long in reaching him, he will end the game himself. If the player arrives at the end of the track at a time Bowser considers too late or early, the amount of coins won will be low.
The following is a list of all fifty quests in Mario Party Advance. Quests are obtained by talking to NPCs around Shroom City. Nearly every NPC gives only one quest, although some of them may be tied to quests given by others. A few NPCs, such as Mrs. Shroomlock, are not tied to any quests at all. Bowser also gives out multiple quests, letting the player obtain them as they complete other quests. Once the player successfully completes a quest, they earn either a Gaddget or a minigame.
Minigames and Gaddgets
Mario Party Advance offers fifty traditional minigames and sixty-one Gaddgets, which are less-involved and smaller games that often feature little interaction. During the story, all of the minigames have a specific goal to reach and a strict time limit. During Free Play, all of the minigames change so that they become based on beating a score set by the player, whether that includes gaining a large amount of points or completing a minigame in the shortest amount of time. Some minigames go on indefinitely until the player makes a mistake. Gaddgets, on the other hand, do not have any time limit and usually do not have a goal, instead letting the player toy with the Gaddgets however they want. Excluding a few of the multiplayer games, none of the Gaddgets can be lost, or at the very least, they can be reset back to their starting state.
The Bonus Board is an extra feature added to the main game. It is also the only way to play a multiplayer game without using a link cable. The Bonus Board is a board made of paper which comes packaged with the game. The Game Boy Advance acts as the dice and can be used to play multiplayer Gaddgets.
Mario Party Advance was developed by Hudson Soft in conjunction with Nintendo SPD Group No.4. It was directed by Shinichi Nakata, who had previously taken smaller roles in the other Mario Party games. Most of his roles involved serving as a planning advisor or planning director, although he notably served as the lead designer in Mario Party 5. Similarly, the game director, Yukinori Goto, served as a design director in the series' other games, and the lead designer, Fumihisa Sato, served as a planner for most of the other games, only taking a design role for Mario Party: Star Rush.
Mario Party Advance received wildly mixed reviews. A point of contention was the game's minigames and Gaddgets: while some reviewers appreciated the assortment of games, others lambasted them for being wholly uninteresting, though they generally agree that at least some of them are bland. The lack of a substantial multiplayer was also a common complaint, as it required players to either use multiple Game Link Cables or make every player use the same Game Boy. The single-player campaign, on the other hand, was more generally praised, offering a large amount of variety and unique characters.
In an IGN article ranking the Mario Party games, Mario Party Advance came in last (out of twelve games), being described as "the black sheep of the Mario Party series." It was also brought up in a review for Mario Party DS in reference to handheld Mario Party games, describing it as "one of the lamest iterations of the series."
The game received the title of the "Worst-received Mario videogame" from the Guinness World Records, deriving its results from GameRankings as of July 28, 2014. Similarly, Mario Party Advance holds the lowest Metacritic Metascore in the entire Mario franchise, at 54.
References to other games
Pre-release and unused content