Mario Party. The minigame based series that many gamers bemoan and begrudge during its latest iteration’s release, before resigning to torturing themselves with more low-down, dirty bouts to gains Mini Stars while clinging onto your hearts for dear life.
Mario Party 10 is no exception to this rule and you’ll find yourself either cursing the AI to the fiery depths of hell and back since it’s clearly rigging the dice rolls or swearing to cut off your family and/or friends for obviously looking at your Gamepad when guessing where the Star is hidden during Bowser Party.
The game features three main modes: Mario Party, the brand new Bowser Party and Amiibo Party –the last one being exclusive to those who happen to own a special edition Mario Party amiibo figure.
Regular old Mario Party mode is just what you’d expect from the franchise; you compete against AI and/or human opponents as you try to gain the most Mini Stars through board squares and minigames.
After a while, Bowser will awaken and if you land on one of his tiles during your turn, losing half your stars and competing in a minigame against each other.
During the middle and at the end of the level, you will have to fight a boss in a minigame that will garner more stars for the winners.
Bowser Party is a new twist to the old formula, in which one player uses the Wii U Gamepad to play as the infamous villain, while human and/or AI players play as four other characters.
The party must traverse through a board-game styled map, with each character rolling a die to decide how many spaces they will move forward. Hearts are what keep you in this game and when a characters loses them all, they will be (temporarily) eliminated from that mini-game.
After all turns are complete, the Bowser player will need to roll four dice to calculate how many spaces he can move up. If your roll total is lower than the number of spaces between Bowser and the party, he may be given a re-roll option from Bowser Jr.
If Bowser catches up with the party, then they’ll be forced to play one of several minigames, which are designed to take away hearts from characters and may even eject them from the game. Of course, that’s not permanent; if a remaining character gains a team-wide heart bonus then the other characters can return.
Scattered throughout the stage are squares with a variety of effects; some beneficial to the party and some benefiting only Bowser. The aforementioned heart bonus is one example and there are plenty others such as special dice, a move back “X” amount of spaces, a Bowser Jr. square (which summons him to give Bowser a beneficial effect) and more.
Once the party reaches the goal, they must answer to Bowser Jr., as he hides the Star within one of three random minions. If the party guesses right, then they win. If not, they get bumped back five spaces.
The last mode is Amiibo Party which, as stated above, is a mode that can only be activated with an amiibo figure (either a regular model or a special edition Mario Party one). Depending on the amiibo you use, you can unlock a matching stage, such as a Mario board for Mario.
In this mode, you’ll be collecting coins while traversing the board. These coins can be exchanged for Stars, and after 10 rounds the person with the most Stars wins.
How many squares you move around the board during each turn is decided through a die roll and, after each round, the party plays a minigame to earn additional coins.
Keep in mind that using an amiibo for this game will delete any data stored on that amiibo. In other words, you’re much better off using either a special model or just buying an amiibo for the sole purpose of this game.
However, in this respect I wouldn’t even bother with either option as this mode is so minimalistic and dull that you’ll quickly grow bored (pun intended) with the game. Even the music is lethargic and forgettable.
There is also a Bonus Mode for those who want to wind back and play through the mini-games without the stress of competing in the other modes.
Let me make this clear: Mario Party 10 is not one of the best games to release this year. It’s not a great single-player game by any means. But it is sometimes fun and always addictive.
You will start playing, and you will obsess over every Mario Party and Bowser Party match. You will think about each loss and figure out ways to reciprocate them tenfold.
The minigames themselves are actually very fun and easily the best part of the game. However, it would be difficult to recommend an entire title based solely on that aspect. There aren’t many modes to play around with, and even less variety within them.
In the end, if you have siblings or friends who you could play against, Mario Party 10 can end up being a roaring good time for a while.
By yourself, however, I would recommend either skipping it altogether or at least know you are dipping into a more minimal title.