Super Mario Party
We couldn’t find a hip rooftop party in time for this review but were nonetheless determined to follow the spirit of those early Switch commercials, so set ours up in tabletop mode at the pub while passing around four single Joy-cons. Super Mario Party finally gives the Switch its first delightful game for social gatherings since the short-lived 1-2 Switch.
a ‘Super’ prefix instead of another number doesn’t mean a series overhaul. you’re still playing an interactive board game sprinkled with mini-games, as well as a few other experimental asides. with the Joy-con you can ‘hit’ your dice block, which you can use either a normal die or one specific to each of the 20 playable characters, while you’re frequently encouraged to high-five each other for bonus coins, but otherwise motion control gimmicks are fairly self-restrained.
Indeed, the majority of mini-games use traditional controls, so when you do get to waggling they’re pretty creative, such as carefully flipping a frying pan to cook all six sides of a cube-shaped steak or all the ones from the Sound Stage that capture the brilliance of rhythm Paradise, as you keep to the beat skewering falling pieces of fruit or wiping windows on a skyscraper. hd rumble is also cleverly taken advantage of, such as guessing what’s behind the curtain based purely on the vibration pattern and intensity, while another has you shaking crates of acorns to try and figure out which have more in them so that you get the greater haul at the end. naturally, some are more memorable than others, but there’s a decent variety that frequently has you re-orientating your Joy-con, which you have plenty of time to figure out as each mini-game is preceded by a very welcome playable tutorial.
having each player take a turn, with events cropping up in between, means that playing with even 10 turns can take as long as an hour, which can make the board’s late-stage shenanigans all the more of an upset than any blue shell, especially when bonus stars are doled out based on completely random achievements. If you have less patience for that, you can just focus on the minigames themselves in a variety of modes, including a sort-of single-player campaign incorporating all 80 mini-games.
avoiding salty competition altogether is river Survival, which is essentially a co-op river-rafting version of Out Run.
It’s just disappointing that there’s not enough co-op mini-games available, meaning you’ll definitely find yourself repeating some of them even on the first run.
the full price can be off-putting, especially if you need to fork out for another pair of Joy-cons since it’s not possible to play with a Pro controller. otherwise, this is the best Mario Party in a long time on the perfect console for it.
Above: Collecting stars remains the key to winning a board, though there’s also other underhanded ways of obtaining them. Either way, when you do snag one, the look on your rivals’ faces never fails to make us laugh.
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