Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Mario Party 10, the latest installment in the Mario Party series from Nintendo, gives one to four players the chance to go head to head in a virtual board game. Just as in other board games, players have to roll dice and advance along a game board in order to win. In Mario Party 10, the three main game modes are Amiibo Party, Bowser Party, and Mario Party. Each has slightly different rules and features.
This game is especially great for groups of people, so the Pixelkin staff decided to play the game together. Here’s what we have to say.
Courtney: My favorite part of Mario Party 10 is definitely the minigames. These short and frantic levels between turns definitely kept things exciting. Since each one has different rules, they keep the gameplay fresh and diverse. Each of the three game modes features minigames, and you can play them by themselves without using a game board at all.
If you’re going to do a whole game board, though, I definitely liked the standard Mario Party mode best. Even though we were competing with each other, I had a fun time laughing and supporting Simone, Nicole, and Linda as we worked our way through the board.
Simone: Mario Party is Mario Party. If you like getting competitive with your friends, you’ll have a pretty good time. I love that the minigames do their best to keep people on an even playing field. Even if you might destroy your competitors at one minigame, there’s no guarantee you’ll be as good at the next one—and some minigames are just plain impossible for anyone. Is that good or bad? It depends on what you’re looking for. It’s never a good idea to get too invested in winning Mario Party. You’ll only be disappointed.
But if you can set aside your dignity and just enjoy a healthy rivalry, Mario Party is a fun use of your time.
Nicole: I haven’t played a Mario Party game since Mario Party 2, so some of the differences were a bit jarring to me. However, I like how the characters all move together rather than one-by-one. It makes for a quicker game and an overall cooperative feel. I also love the minigames. They’ve always been wacky and funny and they continue to be that in Mario Party 10. I think the minigames are what made us laugh the most during our play session. I especially liked the “soccer” minigame where are characters were rolling around on large beach balls while trying to play soccer. The fact that it was difficult to control didn’t make it frustrating like in other games. In Mario Party, it just adds to fun because everyone is basically as bad as you are.
Linda: I loved playing this game because I was playing with people I can have a good time with. That’s the same for me whether I’m playing cards or a board game or Mario Party. Mario Party is extra fun because unlike most other video games it lets up to four people play at once. You can laugh at your own mistakes, taunt others, and really have fun.
What Doesn’t Work
Courtney: The Bowser Party mode was…okay. Playing as the bad guy made me feel alienated from Simone and Nicole. I definitely prefer playing on a team. I guess messing with other players just isn’t my cup of tea. Plus, as Bowser, I felt more aware of the time I spent sitting around waiting.
Mario Party 10 didn’t have a good grasp of how to use the Gamepad effectively. It was hardly used at all for the Mario Party mode and used way too much for the Amiibo Party mode.
Simone: Previous Mario Party games would let you choose how long you wanted your game to be. I really missed this feature, even though the games are a relatively short 30 minutes on average. Similarly, it was unfortunate that there is no drop-in/drop-out for players. If someone has to leave in the middle of the game, you either have to start over, wait for them to get back…or hand off their controller to another player, like we did. It was fun for us but certainly made things unfair.
Sure, generally you don’t start a multiplayer game unless you’re sure you can finish it. But games like Mario Party, which aim to please families playing together, have a bigger obligation to consider that players might be on different schedules.
Like Courtney said, Bowser Party was also a disappointment for me too. Not because I didn’t enjoy Courtney beating up on me—that was actually pretty fun! But towards the end of the game, my companions all got knocked out. It was sad to see Nicole and our computer-controlled friends sitting on the sidelines while Courtney and I were the only ones left in the game. Our rivalry is great, but I wanted a Mario Party, not a Mario Duel.
Nicole: The Bowser Party mode seemed really cool to me until we played it. It did have some neat aspects, like Courtney being able to draw on the screen to try to lead us to pick the wrong path or treasure chest. But the thing that bothered me the most is that players get kicked out one by one. I understand that’s the whole point of playing as Bowser, but it was very frustrating to just sit and watch Simone battle Bowser all by herself. The normal mode makes for a better experience because everyone gets to play to the very end.
Courtney: Mario Party 10 is worth checking out, especially if you like to game together as a family. The Mario Party games have long been a quintessential addition to family game night, and at the very least this game tried to add something new. If you already have an older installment of Mario Party that you’re not tired of just yet, there’s really no hurry to rush out and buy this game. Also, unless you know you’ll be playing Mario Party 10 a lot, I wouldn’t bother with the amiibo.
Simone: Our Mario Party 10 experience was pretty fun. The variety of minigames was decent, though we found it kind of odd that so many of them were casino-themed. I guess Bowser is a gambler. I wouldn’t call it a must-have, it’s a great addition to your collection of multiplayer games. People of all ages can play it together, and be equally bad at it. If that’s what you’re after, this is a game you can have fun with.
Nicole: Mario Party is still one the best if not the best party game out there. Playing with my Pixelkin cohorts brought back fond memories of playing with my husband and friends years ago. I love that it makes things fun for everyone, regardless of your gaming skill. The minigames are a blast and our playtime was a lot of fun. Unfortunately Bowser mode isn’t as cool as it seems and the amiibo integration is just laughable. I would recommend the game on its basic party mode especially if you haven’t played a Mario Party in a while or if you’ve never played one before.
Linda: It’s a big deal to me to find a game that’s really fun for a big group and easy enough to play that people of different skill levels can understand the game and enjoy it. Mario Party definitely fits the bill for multi-generational family gatherings.