REVIEW: Super Mario Party

n many ways, Super Mario Party is as much a return to form for the series as it is a break in convention. This particular Mario Party is good, clean fun that we enjoyed despite some noticeable shortcomings. Most of the freshness comes into play with a variety of new modes that are firsts. Some modes follow traditional mini-game formats, while others have completely new and different styles (in the same vein of the pick-up and play essence of the series).

There are six modes: Mario Party, Partner Party, Soundstage, Mariothon, Toad’s Rec Room, and Challenge Road (with bonus sections: Sticker Collector and Decorator). Let’s dive into each:

Mario Party

Your standard board based Party, and good news: there’s no party bus! This mode takes us back to an all out, four-person free for all bloodbath. Stars are cheaper now (ringing in at only ten coins). Which makes the game surprisingly more frustrating.

The game boards are solid this time around. Despite there being only three to start (four in total). Though there’s nothin new to see here, the return to form is appreciated.

Partner Party

An interesting new team mode. It works similarly to the standard Party, except that two players work together to collect shared coins and try to buy stars on a streamlined board. This is a cool edition, and gives the standard formula a nice twist with more cooperative play both in mini-games and on the board.

The need for co-op and communication while on the board is one of the most interesting parts of this mode. Who knew how fun working together to collect coins and developing strategies to thwart your rivals plans would be?

Soundstage

Probably the most interesting new addition. In this mode, you and four friends play through a series of motion controlled rhythm challenges (similar to Rhythm Heaven). For having come out of nowhere, we really loved how smooth and fun it was to play. A much appreciated break from the standard mini-games.

Mariothon

A series of mini-games featuring some kind of measured progression (like racing or shooting). There is a circuit length and all members earn points based on how well they did individually. For example, one mini-game has players racing tricycles. You try to get to the finish line as fast as possible while a timer ticks next to your name. At the end of the race all players get some point compensation based on their personal score.

With the margins being so narrow, the competition is closer than ever. Another new and cool addition to the series. We only wish for more than 12 mini-games in the cycle.

Toads Rec Room

Play special mini-games while utilizing two Switch consoles. It does what it does well, but ultimately lacks content, making it feel a bit shallow. That being said, it is fun to move the Switch around physically in space and watch how the games can change while interacting with another console. This mode highlights how much interaction the Switch is capable of, and we hope to see this idea expanded upon in the future.

River Survival

Yet another fun, new addition. This four player co-op mode forces players to work together by rowing down the river in a raft and playing co-op mini-games. Make no mistake. You are supposed to work together. But, that is not how this mode goes.

It’s a bloodier fight then the standard Mario Party. There was more screaming, cursing, anger and threats in this mode than in any other version. Each player has equal pull over the raft and this mode has the nerve to split the track, guaranteeing absolute chaos. Not once will everyone be willing to work together. This is truly what Mario Party is all about.

Challenge Road

This one takes a while to unlock. However, when you do you’ll find a very fun-paced heavy mini-game mode with some added progression and bosses. It feels like we’ve seen these types of modes before, but this is extremely refined and great for when you want a break from stars.

Online

This is the biggest disappointment. When they announced there would be online, we couldn’t have been more excited to get some Mario Party goodness cross-country and over the mic. However, in actuality, the only mode you can play online is Mariothon, which is arguably the most lackluster mode in the game. Here’s to hoping they’ll add online support for standard party mode, or anything else.

Overall, this is a good fun Mario Party with a lot to offer. It’s hands down the best entry in the series since Gamecube or N64. The mini-games are a blast and there’s a solid mix of motion controls, puzzles, and skill games. It takes full advantage of the Switches portability and allows for quick Mario Party goodness wherever you are. Super Mario Party is a must for your Switch catalog and your party (as long as your party is all in one place).

Have you been enjoying Super Mario Party? What’s your favorite mode? 

In many ways, Super Mario Party is as much a return to form for the series as it is a break in convention. This particular Mario Party is good, clean fun that we enjoyed despite some noticeable shortcomings. Most of the freshness comes into play with a variety of new modes that are firsts. Some modes follow traditional mini-game formats, while others have completely new and different styles (in the same vein of the pick-up and play essence of the series).

There are six modes: Mario Party, Partner Party, Soundstage, Mariothon, Toad’s Rec Room, and Challenge Road (with bonus sections: Sticker Collector and Decorator). Let’s dive into each:

Mario Party

Your standard board based Party, and good news: there’s no party bus! This mode takes us back to an all out, four-person free for all bloodbath. Stars are cheaper now (ringing in at only ten coins). Which makes the game surprisingly more frustrating.

The game boards are solid this time around. Despite there being only three to start (four in total). Though there’s nothin new to see here, the return to form is appreciated.

Partner Party

An interesting new team mode. It works similarly to the standard Party, except that two players work together to collect shared coins and try to buy stars on a streamlined board. This is a cool edition, and gives the standard formula a nice twist with more cooperative play both in mini-games and on the board.

The need for co-op and communication while on the board is one of the most interesting parts of this mode. Who knew how fun working together to collect coins and developing strategies to thwart your rivals plans would be?

Soundstage

Probably the most interesting new addition. In this mode, you and four friends play through a series of motion controlled rhythm challenges (similar to Rhythm Heaven). For having come out of nowhere, we really loved how smooth and fun it was to play. A much appreciated break from the standard mini-games.

Mariothon

A series of mini-games featuring some kind of measured progression (like racing or shooting). There is a circuit length and all members earn points based on how well they did individually. For example, one mini-game has players racing tricycles. You try to get to the finish line as fast as possible while a timer ticks next to your name. At the end of the race all players get some point compensation based on their personal score.

With the margins being so narrow, the competition is closer than ever. Another new and cool addition to the series. We only wish for more than 12 mini-games in the cycle.

Toads Rec Room

Play special mini-games while utilizing two Switch consoles. It does what it does well, but ultimately lacks content, making it feel a bit shallow. That being said, it is fun to move the Switch around physically in space and watch how the games can change while interacting with another console. This mode highlights how much interaction the Switch is capable of, and we hope to see this idea expanded upon in the future.

River Survival

Yet another fun, new addition. This four player co-op mode forces players to work together by rowing down the river in a raft and playing co-op mini-games. Make no mistake. You are supposed to work together. But, that is not how this mode goes.

It’s a bloodier fight then the standard Mario Party. There was more screaming, cursing, anger and threats in this mode than in any other version. Each player has equal pull over the raft and this mode has the nerve to split the track, guaranteeing absolute chaos. Not once will everyone be willing to work together. This is truly what Mario Party is all about.

Challenge Road

This one takes a while to unlock. However, when you do you’ll find a very fun-paced heavy mini-game mode with some added progression and bosses. It feels like we’ve seen these types of modes before, but this is extremely refined and great for when you want a break from stars.

Online

This is the biggest disappointment. When they announced there would be online, we couldn’t have been more excited to get some Mario Party goodness cross-country and over the mic. However, in actuality, the only mode you can play online is Mariothon, which is arguably the most lackluster mode in the game. Here’s to hoping they’ll add online support for standard party mode, or anything else.

Overall, this is a good fun Mario Party with a lot to offer. It’s hands down the best entry in the series since Gamecube or N64. The mini-games are a blast and there’s a solid mix of motion controls, puzzles, and skill games. It takes full advantage of the Switches portability and allows for quick Mario Party goodness wherever you are. Super Mario Party is a must for your Switch catalog and your party (as long as your party is all in one place).

Have you been enjoying Super Mario Party? What’s your favorite mode?

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