Review: Mario Party Superstar for Nintendo Switch

The party is like 1999, the most popular song in the Mario party superstar series. With five classic board games, ten playable characters, and all online game modes, will the 12th installment of the series bring home the most stars, or will it lose its temper to rival Bowser? Who knows, it may only need cake.

We have been gathering with Mario and friends for more than 20 years. From tears of joy to tears of utter despair, the final rounds of board games will irritate even the most stoic. With Mario party superstars, this is no exception. There is always a character that everyone likes (sorry, Birdo), one that always falls in the Bowser space and truly has the worst luck in the world (that’s me, Luigi), and one that just keeps being pushed to the position every time. When the stars move in front of or behind them (oh no, Yoshi!). The good news is that it’s usually anyone’s game, because even the most skilled player may hesitate when it comes to full pressure.

In Mario Party Superstars, fans can finally cheer, because the entire game is centered on board and mini games, and Mushroom Village (from the original Mario party) returns as the center. No gimmicks, no party cars, no motion control-only freedom and flexibility. For example, you can use professional controllers, classic GameCube controllers, and handheld or desktop modes to play games. In addition, there are many options to customize your gameplay. The ability to switch between the classic and default bonus stars, the ability to switch CPU levels (unlock the master from the beginning), six types of mini-game “bundles” to choose from, and the option to set obstacles for players with less ability are all in A major victory was achieved in our book. Not to mention the strategies and unique ways players can use the items on the board (super deformed blocks, mushroom cancellation dice, etc.) to truly turn the situation around.

With the return of the five classic boards from the N64 era, the developer NDcube has remade each one from scratch with outstanding design style and lovely animations. Take Yoshi as an example. Every time it’s his turn, his little tail wagging and cheerful cheers are very cute, while Luigi will roll in his pain when the mini game is lost. Even the Shy Guy speed chase animation in Space Land, Cheep Cheep Chomp in Yoshi tropical island devouring Toadette, and the revenge of piranha plants in Peach’s Birthday Cake are also interesting. It is these small but memorable moments that make superstars a pleasure.

Another good addition is the number of mini games available. Up to 100 mini games can be played, including various 2v2, 1v3, two-player and free games from the entire Mario Party (1 to 10) series. Re-experience games such as bumper ball, hot rope jumping, shy guy talking and secretly snoring, and a few can be set in different stages or through “endless mode”.

Although most mini games are fun, games like Tug of War and Outcast have problems. This is mainly due to the fact that the controls have not changed and the player needs to rotate the left joystick quickly, making the gameplay ridiculous. In fact, in the Mt. Minigames mode during Trio Challenge (strict 1v3 minigames), due to the mandatory game mechanics, tug-of-war is almost impossible in single player mode. Since you may experience skin friction burns, these game styles will even issue a “warning” to the player before playing the game. Why NDcube did not enable optional settings to change these controls feels like a major oversight.

There are other issues in the pipeline. Although rare, some small games may malfunction and often make them unplayable, forcing players to quit. We experienced in Cheep Cheep Chase, the winner was able to sneak under the slate, and then unable to exit, resulting in a soft lock. Although CPU players provide a lot of challenges in the Master mode, in the case of AI, the difficulty feels unbalanced, which is a real problem in Trio Challenge.

However, outside of these areas, Superstars offers a large number of single player, local and online multiplayer game mode options. New features include a pause function so that you can return to an ongoing Mario party game (although only one board can be placed in this saved state), and stickers can be purchased and used to convey your emotional state in party mode. Although stickers can be turned off in option mode, they do add an extra layer of fun. Other new features include custom player cards, upgrade functions and achievement functions. Every time you play any mode, you will get coins to unlock stickers, card designs (for player cards), encyclopedia pages, and music. Unfortunately, there are no unlockable boards or extra characters here, which is a real shame for the base game. Hope these will be added as future DLC. We need our cute shy guys and dry bones to come to the party!

When playing “Mario Party” online, you can choose to play the game wirelessly locally, or you can match random global players or friends in standard online mode. Superstars uses random matching tools to find other people currently playing online. You can also search for the board under certain rule settings, allowing fans to choose the board, the total number of rounds (from 10 to 30, the default is 15), and whether the bonus stars are on, off, or in classic mode. After selecting, you will enter the lobby until other players join. Here, you can practice a random mini game selected by the game AI while waiting.

Fortunately, before the game was released, we managed to play online with the Nintendo UK representative on the Space Land board. Stickers are a great way for us to communicate during the game-we purposefully join forces against the two CPUs we play with. When the CPU decided to steal a star from us, it led to some hilarious interactions, and all we could do was shout “Betrayal!” through stickers to each other. The gameplay is smooth, we know which player is in control of the board at the critical decision-making moment, and has not encountered any failures. In addition, if you want to play with friends, you can create a room or search for a room with a “room ID” through “Friends House”. The room can also be locked with a password. And, for those who want to know, you can play online with up to three friends on the same Switch system.

In addition to Mario Party mode, Mt. Minigames mode is very suitable for quick hands-on play. There are seven options, including free games, tag matching, trio challenges, sports and puzzles, coin battles, daily challenges, and survival. Although any mode can be played online, Daily Challenge and Survival is a single player mode only online. However, before we talk about these, “Sports and Puzzles” is worth mentioning. Games such as Stick and Spin, Block Star, and Mario’s Puzzle Party can be played continuously for hours in single player mode, which is a great way to pass the time on long journeys.

As the name suggests, the mini games provided in the daily challenge mode change every day. There are three packs to choose from. For example, you have to collect more “grab everything” than any other player, “Pushy Pals” that you need to be the focus, and “Just Survive” that focuses on 1-v-3 mini games, there are There are many things that can keep single players busy. In survival mode, you must maintain a winning streak by defeating others in a spinning mini game. Simple, but effective.

Mario Party Superstars tried to find common ground with fans of the series. Between the strategy section, the large number of mini-games and online games provided, there is enough content for any Mario party fan to play for more than 20 hours. The older generation might say, “They don’t do them like they used to.” For Mario parties, it must have been the same for several years. Therefore, although this is not a perfect (re)combination, superstars will return in old, borrowed and new forms.


Nintendo UK provided My Nintendo News with a copy of the review of “Mario Party Superstar”.