Super Mario Party is a game of many contrasts. On the one hand, it is as vibrant and colorful as any Mario game has ever been; but on the other hand, it feels much smaller than previous releases in the franchise. While the game takes it back to a good old-fashioned player vs. player as opposed to team efforts, playing together is what gives Super Mario Party its edge. Games are not as long as they used to be, with a limit of only 20 turns down from 50. The playing boards are also much smaller, while the controls have embraced the Nintendo Switch system.
Features and Functions
As mentioned, Super Mario Party feels smaller and distinctly different from its predecessors. The emphasis is now on the smaller game boards, although a lot more action has been packed into these. There a lot more mini-games in this version too. One to four players can play on a single game, with two players spread out across each console or all four players on a single console. Where Super Mario Party wins it despite its smaller boards is the sheer number of game modes and mini-games. The most peculiar of them is probably the Online Mariothon, where players compete in 80 mini-games against other players. This online mode is complete with leaderboards and rankings.
More playable characters have been introduced, the majority of whom were present in handheld versions of the game. Super Mario Party is a game that is supposed to be played with other human players, as playing most of the mini-games against AI is boring and poses little challenge. While most of Mario Party is aimed at earning a Super Star title, some of the modes don’t have this objective. However, there is enough incentive to keep winning even in the mini-games.
The entire hub world has a neat and colorful design, and a good number of characters from the rest of the franchise make their cameo here. The boards are more grid-based and the maps smaller, but this doesn’t let the game down in terms of content. The map has a colorful design, and all the characters from Bowser to Boo are designed with great respect to detail. The intuitive interface also meshes well with the joy-con controller which is responsive and makes the whole visual and UX/UI experience delightful. One of the best designs in the game is paddling down the river.
With its return to competitiveness rather than co-op based play, Super Mario Party seems like it is out to capture its former glory. This game can give you heartaches, mainly because you can lose it all through some random roll of the dice after grinding forever. River Survival and Partner Party are both competitive and co-op, and they capture the essence of Mario Party games well. With an assortment of 80 mini-games and more competition in this release than before, this is the perfect party game. The outcomes may be a little disappointing though, so prepare yourself for that.