Super Mario Party
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Super Mario Party is a game in the Mario Party series, released for the Nintendo Switch on October 5, 2018. It is the eleventh home console installment in the series, as well as the first home console Mario Party game to not be a numbered installment since the original Mario Party game.
Described by Nintendo as a "complete relaunch" and "complete refresh" of the Mario Party series when revealed at E3 2018, the game "goes back to the four-player basics as you take turns and race across the board searching for Stars" as seen in the Mario Party installments prior to Mario Party 9, but also incorporates elements from the more contemporary Mario Party games, including the "ally" mechanics from Mario Party: Star Rush. Additionally, the game takes advantage of Nintendo Switch hardware for its minigames, such as flicking the Joy-Con as if it were a frying pan handle. Players can even link multiple Nintendo Switch consoles together for a single, larger alteration of the display for the game. The game is the first installment in the Mario Party franchise to incorporate online play, as minigames can be played online.
Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Wario, Waluigi, Yoshi, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Toad, and Toadette are standing around, with each of the playable characters claiming that they should be the "Super Star". Mario suggests that they have a party to determine who the "Super Star" will be, which the group agrees to, with Toad and Toadette being judges. Suddenly, Bowser appears with Bowser Jr., Goomba, Boo, Koopa Troopa, Hammer Bro, Shy Guy, Monty Mole, Pom Pom, and Dry Bones, and says that he or one of his minions could also be the "Super Star". To ensure that the judging is "fair" and "impartial", he summons Kamek to judge alongside Toad and Toadette. Kamek then creates a venue for the party.
When all the boards in Mario Party mode are completed, the Gem of Tenacity is awarded. Similarly, the Gem of Spirit is awarded when the Hard difficulty in Sound Stage is completed; the Gem of Courage is awarded upon sailing every branch in River Survival; when all the stages in Partner Party are cleared, the Gem of Love is awarded; and when every Challenge Road stage is cleared, the Gem of Passion is awarded. When all five gems are collected, they fuse together to create the victory podium, which the newly crowned "Super Star" stands on. The partygoers, even including Bowser, agree to get along, at least until the "next party".
Super Mario Party reverts to the traditional way of playing Mario Party, where four players take turns to navigate around a linear board dictated by how much they have rolled through the Dice Block. When a character lands on a space, they receive effects dependent on what the space is, such as a Blue Space giving the player 3 coins while a Red Space subtracting 3 coins from the player. They can also spend coins to buy items from Flutter which can help them or hurt other players; these item shops can be triggered by passing by them in Mario Party or landing on them in Partner Party. The game borrows the ally mechanics from Mario Party: Star Rush where players can increase their team of characters by collecting party members who spawn throughout the board or by earning them by landing on Ally Spaces or using a Buddy Phone; allies gained from there are decided by a roulette. Allies contribute to Dice Rolls by either adding one or two to the total, and they participate in specially designated Team Minigames.
Prior to starting the game, players roll a dice block to determine turn order. In Mario Party, higher turn orders determine who goes first, while in Partner Party, the team with the higher overall dice count goes first. The overall goal of the game is to purchase the most Stars from Toadette, who serves as the host of the Star Space in this game. Stars cost 10 coins to buy, and after a player has purchased the Star, Toadette warps to another location of the board. In Mario Party, players can pass by Toadette to purchase Stars while players are required to land on the Star Space in order to receive Stars from Toadette.
Super Mario Party introduces the choice of using character specific die prior to rolling, where players can either opt for the standard 1-6 Dice Block or the character's unique Dice Block, which carries pros and cons associated with it. If players receive allies, they have option to use their designated Dice Block instead. Additionally, partners contribute to the total Dice Block amount by hitting a weaker Dice Block with only 1 or 2 sides and adds up alongside the leader character's dice roll amount.
Minigames are played, selected by a roulette, at the end of every turn, and the type of minigame is determined by the spaces players landed on. If all players land on the same-colored space as each other, a Free-for-all minigame is played. If one player lands on a different, non-green space than the rest of the players, a 1-vs-3 minigame is played, where players who land on the same-colored space are placed in the same team as each other. If players land on an equal amount of non-green spaces, a 2-vs-2 minigame is played, teamed up depending on the color; Team Minigames may be thrown into the mix, where the player's current allies may participate if they are received. If players land on a Green Space, the color is randomly determined to be either blue or red. Prior to playing the minigame, players view the rules and can practice; each minigame comes with its own rules and controls. Players can act out in the minigame's instruction menu prior to starting the minigame, replacing the practice feature altogether. Whichever player wins the minigame earns the most coins, while players who do not perform as well earn less coins. In Partner Party, Free-for-all, 2-vs-2, and Team Minigames are played; due to the mode having no colored spaces, all of those minigames show up in the Minigame Roulette.
At the last three turns, replacing the Last Five Turns Event, Toad and Toadette host character predictions, where the losing characters receive bonus items. At the end of the match, two Bonus Stars are issued, and they are selected from a pool of Bonus Stars. These Stars are the following:
After this, the winner is announced, and players can then view the statistics of the player's progress through the game, such as a line graph detailing the Star collecting progress or how many times a particular space has been landed on.
The game can only be played with a single Joy-Con per player, and is not compatible with the Pro Controller, unlike previous Mario games on the Switch. The game is also compatible with local wireless play.
Players are first introduced to the Party Plaza, a hub where players can roam to various interest points, hosted by Toads of various colors. Players can explore the hub with a party of four characters, which serve as the characters participating for all modes. If players do not have enough human players, they are filled with a recommendation of a random selection of CPU players and their difficulty. Players can change their characters and CPU characters plus their difficulty by talking to Blue Toad at the gate of the Party Plaza.
The initially available modes are accessed by walking up to the interest points and talking to the Toads who host them. Two modes are locked and are accessed through a Warp Pipe in the left and right areas of the Party Plaza. They are obstructed with a Piranha Plant and stun players who attempt to jump into it. After their unlock requirements are met, Kamek removes the Piranha Plant for the players.
Players in the hub can access the Party Pad with , where they can quickly access different parts of the hub through a menu instead. The Party Pad also serves as a manual, where players can read descriptions for the various features in the game. Lastly, players can purchase stickers with earned Party Points and view their collected gems. amiibo functionality is accessed through the Party Pad, where scanned amiibo earns players shiny stickers for specific compatible amiibo and bonus Party Points for all other amiibo.
A traditional four-player battle royale where each player competes for the most Stars, which are purchased from Toadette if players pay 10 coins. This mode uses the default ruleset described above, as players navigate through a linear board with many junctions and board specific features with Dice Blocks. Four boards are available, with one being unlockable. Unlike previous Mario Party titles, the only settings players can adjust for the boards are the amount of turns, from 10, 15, and 20 turns max. Boards already beaten have their corresponding icons highlighted yellow, and players unlock Kamek's Tantalizing Tower if the available boards are all played on, and players earn the Gem of Tenacity if all boards in this mode are completed.
Partner Party has two teams of two players all independently navigate around the same boards as in the Mario Party mode, except the boards have become nonlinear in a grid-like fashion, similar to Toad Scramble from Mario Party: Star Rush. The amount of turn options are the same as Mario Party, though players can select their team configuration prior to starting the match. In this mode, teammates share their items, coins and stars, and, in a feature introduced in Super Mario Party, share their dice roll amount as well. Players can additionally collect allies on the board, though the ally's benefits occur only to the teammate who collected that ally.
Partner Party has featureless spaces, in which nothing happens when a player lands on a blank space in favor of the removal of Blue and Red Spaces. Instead of passing by features such as Flutter shops and Star Spaces, players are required to land on those spaces to earn their benefits. Depending on the layout of the board, players have to roll precisely, such as rolling an even or an odd to land on the space or an exact amount for narrow dead-ends and corridors. Players can hi-five each other at the end of minigames to earn bonus coins, and the hi-five feature occurs whenever a positive event happens, such as starting the game or earning a Star. If two players land on the Star Space on the same turn, they both have a chance of obtaining a Star if they can afford it. Occurring during the middle of the match, Kamek adds hidden Bad Luck Spaces on the board that harm any player who unluckily lands on its space. On the last 3 turns, Kamek adds a Super Bad Luck Space hidden in the board.
1-vs-3 minigames do not occur in this mode, and due to the removal of Blue and Red spaces, available types of minigames are all featured in the Minigame Roulette, with Team Minigames being indicated by a special icon next to their name. In Free-for-all Minigames, the teammate who performs the best earns eight coins for their team, while the losing team earns two coins. In 2-vs-2 and Team Minigames, the team who wins the minigame earns ten coins while the losing team earns two.
If players complete all boards in Partner Party, they earn the Gem of Love.
A co-op-based mode where four players paddle an inflatable boat on a river filled with features and hazards to the finish before time runs out. Prior to setting up the game, players can select their configuration of their rowers in a clockwise manner. Players are then guided through a tutorial with Toad explaining the controls. After the game begins, players need to keep on track with the river while avoiding rocks and the sides of the river. Players can find balloons, which can be popped to play special Co-op minigames, where the four players need to work together to win the minigame. Depending on how well the players perform, they earn a rank based on their score, which then translates to extra time being rewarded. When players reach a junction, they can choose the path to go on; the preview of what the path is going to be like is indicated by their image on top. Depending on what path they choose, they can encounter more hazards, dash panels, ramps, and + Clocks to increase their time. Special characters can appear depending on the path chosen, such as a Koopa Paratroopa taking a snapshot of characters as they descend down the waterfall, to three boss enemies and their smaller variants being encountered, such as Mega Blooper, Mega Cheep Cheep, and Kamek himself (labeled as Mysterious Kraken, Mysterious Leviathan, and Mysterious Sorcerer respectively).
If players complete River Survival on three paths, they unlock Donkey Kong as a playable character (on the time they unlock him, players can see him waving at the finish line). If players complete all branches of River Survival, they earn the Gem of Courage, in addition to a hard variation of River Survival being unlocked.
A mode in which players play rhythm-based minigames back-to-back while trying to get the highest score.
Play unlocked minigames and various other game modes.
The online mode of the game, where players compete in five randomly selected minigames for a high score. Online leaderboards and a ranking system with rewards are confirmed.
Toad's Rec Room
This mode takes advantage of the Nintendo Switch's local wireless features and the ability to create a multi-screen environment. Requires two Nintendo Switch consoles and two copies of the game for full experience.
A one-player mode where the player plays minigames while trying to complete various challenges. The mode becomes available when all minigames are unlocked.
This mode allows players to apply stickers collected to an image.
While in the entrance of the Party Plaza, players can adjust number of systems or players.
There are 20 playable characters in Super Mario Party, which is the largest number of playable characters thus far in the Mario Party series. Of these characters, 16 are available from the start, while the other 4 need to be unlocked. Goomba, Monty Mole, and Pom Pom are playable for the first time in the Mario Party series, with Pom Pom also making her overall Mario Party debut.
Character unlock criteria
Once the criteria has been met, the character appears in the Party Plaza. The player must then talk to the character to unlock them.
Hosts and other major characters
Cameos in Absent Minded
Super Mario Party contains four boards used in Mario Party and Partner Party mode, sharing the same locations but with a path-based or grid-based layout, respectively. This is also the first Mario Party game since Mario Party 6 not to contain any form of boss battles.
Super Mario Party has a total of 84 new minigames. Of these, 30 of them are Free-for-All minigames, 10 of them are 2-vs.2 minigames, 10 of them are 1-vs.3 minigames. New categories of minigames introduced are 10 Co-op minigames, where all 4 players work together to beat the minigame; 10 Team minigames, where players form a team of 8 and they all work together against another team; 10 Rhythm minigames, where players get points by performing tasks to the rhythm of a song; and 4 Toad's Rec Room minigames, where players have the option to connect two undocked Nintendo Switch consoles together and play on both of them.
Differences from previous Mario Party games
Super Mario Party is developed by Nd Cube and co-developed by CAProduction, the teams primarily responsible for many Mario Party titles, and the game is published by Nintendo. Shuichiro Nishiya, who has directed the most Mario Party installments and has been directing many Mario Party installments since Mario Party 6, reprises his role as the director for the game. Many of the game's directors and chief directors have worked on a Mario Party installment prior to Super Mario Party, such as music director, Chamy Ishi, who has worked on directing music for Mario Party installments since Mario Party 9.
Super Mario Party has been met with generally positive reviews, garnering an average of 77 based off 62 reviews on Metacritic and a 76.06% based off 26 reviews on GameRankings notably receiving more praise than most Mario Party games in the series, being second only to the original Mario Party title for the Nintendo 64. Critics have generally praised the return to the traditional method of playing the game blended with elements new to the series, as well as the high amount of minigames and modes, in addition to the fun party experience with multiple players. Critics have compared the game favorably to the recent past installments of the Mario Party series. Much of the criticism has been directed at the lack of boards, the board design, lackluster CPU intelligence, the single player experience, and the online implementation.
Casey Gibson of Nintendo World Report gave Super Mario Party an 8/10, praising this direction of the Mario Party series favorably compared to the Mario Party titles where "everyone was placed in the same vehicle, which would then move around the board at the same time." While Gibson has noted that the time can feel "drawn out" while playing with computer players, the pacing felt better than played with friends. Gibson has additionally praised the assortment of the 80 minigames where they are "actually a ton of fun and are pulled off very well." citing Sizzling Stakes as one of the favorite minigames played. The most jarring criticism from Gibson has been directed towards the online play and its restricted features and options, such as its rotation of only 10 minigames where she summarizes, "Overall, although the mode is fun, it won’t likely see much playtime as you repeat the same few games over and over. It’s a tease of what could be, but ultimately fails to add much value to the overall package." Colette from My Nintendo News gave the game an 8/10, echoing sentiments from Gibson, citing the disappointing games such as Mario Party: The Top 100, Mario Party 10, and "the less said about Mario Party: Island Tour (2013), the better." and describing Super Mario Party as "changes the sour flow into something much sweeter." While Colette has cited frustrating minigames such as the CPU players in Pull It Together in the Challenge Road, but has mostly praised the amount of good minigames as fun. Colette additionally cites the disappointing online functionality, although the game was the first one to feature online play.
Samuel Claiborn of IGN scored Super Mario Party a 7.3/10, calling the game, "the best Party in two console generations." He has praised the game for being competitive, strategic, and fun especially in Partner Party. However, Claiborn has cited the other modes not Mario Party or Partner Party as "filler", preferring the focus on the aforementioned two modes. He has also called the amount of boards lacking and that "Parties will get stale fast." due to the lack of boards and their simplicity, comparing unfavorably to Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6. Claiborn has also cited motion controls and the Joy-Con-exclusive functionality as troublesome but not "as bad as the worst Wii-era games." Additionally, Claiborn has cited the Switch functionality to interact with another console as cramped and "not put to great use". The amount of minigames have been praised as well as the attention paid to detail in the minigames. He ended his review with the statement, "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." Stefan L. of TheSixthAxis has given the game a 6/10, criticizing how safe the game is, the online implementation, no handheld mode for solo play, the amount of boards, and the amount of minigames for some modes while praising the return to the traditional style of play, the strategy of character die, Toad's Rec Room minigames, and the HD Rumble tune. Stephan has noted that the content is "spread wide, but it’s not very deep", and wrote that the available boards are not engaging. Stephan has criticized the game's AI, calling them "dumber than a sack of bricks at crucial moments." In the conclusion, he stated that "Super Mario Party is just a very safe game. It brings back the classic Mario Party board game form, marrying it with some of the better ideas from Mario Party: Star Rush, but it’s light on the number of boards to play, lacks depth in other game modes, and misses opportunities for solo handheld and online multiplayer. It’s Mario Party, but it’s not particularly super."
References to other games
Names in other languages