Mario Party originally released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998, and since then we have been blessed with a further 16 games spread across many years and different platforms. Mario Party Superstars is the 18th game in the series, and it hopes to bring some nostalgic values from past games.
Does it succeed, though? Is this the Mario Party game we have been longing for? Let’s find out!
For those that don’t know, Mario Party Superstars is a party game in which 4 players race around a board collecting coins, power-ups, and stars whilst also competing on various mini-games. The player with the most stars and coins is crowned the winner – or in this case, the superstar.
Past games usually consist of brand new mini-games and boards for players to enjoy, but in Mario Party Superstars, it’s a little different. This one takes aspects from its previous games and blends it all into one superior party game, and it’s fantastic.
Mario Party Superstars features 5 boards from across its N64 era as well as 100 mini-games from across the series for players to sink their teeth into. 5 boards doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot – and in hindsight, it isn’t – but seeing those 5 boards from a game I’ve not experienced for years felt amazing. Horror Land, Woody Woods, Birthday Cake, Space Land, and Yoshi’s Tropical Island are the boards that made the cut.
As for the mini-games, these are all a ton of fun. Of course, you will favour some over others, but with 100 of them, it feels like you’re experiencing new ones each time you play. Eventually, you will encounter the same mini-games, but that doesn’t mean you are going to become accustomed to them. Water plants, race slot cars, trace lines, give facelifts – there is really a wide range of mini-games to play here.
All 100 of the mini-games in Mario Party Superstars are playable with button controls, so no-matter how you choose to play your Nintendo Switch, you can continue to do so in this game. There’s no motion controls needed or anything like that, making the game super accessible to all, which is nice.
There are also a number of ways in which the mini-games are played out. It’s not just each player for themselves. At the start of each mini-game, the game will tell you exactly how it will work: free-for-all, 1v3, or 2v2. It’s a nice way to mix up the gameplay. Although, it can be annoying if you have a rubbish team mate in a 2v2, though.
Oh, and each mini-game can be practiced before you start (A custom in recent Mario Party games), so you don’t have to worry about not understanding what exactly it is you have to do.
Now, for the cool part. Mario Party Superstars can be played online, with anyone around the world. Gone are the days of needing actual friends to play a party game! The game will randomly match you up with people also wanting to play online, and if there aren’t enough players to fill up the 4 spaces, it will automatically fill the empty gaps with bots. There were a few times I only had 1 real person and the rest were bots, but majority of the time I had a full game against real-world players.
Whilst playing online, you can use ‘stickers’ to communicate or tease your opponents. Only a select few are unlocked at first, but you can unlock more in the shop – more on that shortly.
Playing online is super fun and was the way I played majority of the time I spent with this game, and I’m glad to say that I encountered absolutely no issues whilst doing so. No lagging, no errors, no crashes. Nothing. It all ran smoothly.
As well as playing online, you can also play same system multiplayer or local multiplayer with friends. Whilst playing with friends, the game auto-saves after each turn, so you can leave and come back to it when you want to, which is a super handy feature because the games can often go on past an hour… a little like Monopoly.
You can also play a mini-games-only mode in which there is no board – you simply select a mini-game and play it. It’s great for practising before playing the real thing. There’s also a survival mode in which you compete with players from around the world to win as many mini games as possible and also a daily challenge to complete.
Playing through games earns you coins and levels you up. The coins can then be spent in Toad’s Shop to purchase new stickers to use in-game, new music, card designs, and more. They’re not game-breaking things to purchase, but they’re still cool little things to look through.
Each player upon starting the game creates their own ‘Player Card’. This is what players can look at when playing with people online. On this player card, you can select things like your favourite mini-games and Mario Party game you started out with. It’s a nice little bit of customisation for players.
Overall, Mario Party Superstars is the must-have party game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s jam-packed full of mini-games that, if you’ve played previous games in the series, will bring back some long forgotten memories for you. If you’re new to the series, this is the perfect place to start as it offers so much to play with online options, too. So what are you waiting for?
I had a ton of fun with this one, and I believe you will, too.
100 mini-games to play through
Can be played online
Really fun, competitive gameplay
Playing against bots can sometimes be unfair