One is the loneliest number in Mario Party Superstars. It is a party game, to its very core, and is designed to be played with two or more people to really tap into the magic of the challenge.
Sure, it’s fun to practice your trash talk against the AI, but there’s no satisfaction to be found by rubbing it in their face when you win because you can’t see them crying!
Mario Party Superstars really leans heavily into the boardgame vibes, making it a lengthier experience than you might expect from other party games. You take turns to roll/punch dice and manoeuvre your selected Mushroom Kingdom character around the game board, taking part in mini-games to win coins, which you use to buy stars. The person with the most stars at the end of the game, wins! Sounds simple, right? Well, it would be if every game board played the same, and you knew exactly what minigame was coming around the corner… With Mario Party Superstars you never quite know what to expect, and that makes it dangerous.
“Mario Party Superstars mashes together the traditional family board game night with fast, frenetic, Joy-Con destroying action, in glorious harmony.”
Mario Party Superstars refreshes some of the favourite 100 minigames from the glory days of the iconic Nintendo 64 and gives them a fresh coat of Switch paint. What initially looks like a quality-of-life improvement for some of these old minigames, really turns out to be a refreshed look at the party game genre. Mario Party Superstars mashes together the traditional family board game night with fast, frenetic, Joy-Con destroying action, in glorious harmony.
Each of the five different game boards plays out in unique ways. One might change up positions of the star shop (where you exchange your hard won/stolen coins for stars), while others stay static, but offer up different powerups or layouts. Each game board is unique and adds an extra helping of chaos to your playthroughs.
On top of that you have the list of 100 minigames, which range from the incredibly easy to the frustratingly difficult. Some games are played solo where all four players challenge each other to jump, bash, navigate, or generally do Super Mario things, faster than the others. Some games randomly sort the players into two-vs-two teams to face off in tasks, or even set a one-vs-three mode, where ganging up on your helpless opponent is the order of the day. There are so many games to randomly cycle through that you’ll never know what to expect. Some are button mashers (yet another Joy-Con destroying game, those poor fragile little things!) and some require skilful timing and accuracy to win out on the day. There’s a satisfying balance across all of them, so no two playthroughs will ever be the same.
Mario Party Superstars is equal parts lovable plus weird plus challenging plus frustration. It’s the perfect party game mix, because it puts it all on the table, messes it up, and randomly throws you a challenge that you may never have seen or thought about before. They’re always interesting, and you’ll need to store tips and tricks in your mind palace for the next time you come across that minigame, which statistically may never happen. Prepare for everything and nothing will be a surprise. Get used to single and multiple button mashing, alternating triggers and using the tiny Joy-Con joysticks to navigate your hapless Super Mario character around.
Ultimately, Mario Party Superstars is a love letter to the Mario Party franchise, bringing together some of the best of their minigames from parties past in a neat little package. It’s a game that warns you on several occasions to be kind to your controller or it will break, so you know EXACTLY what’s in store for you each time you switch on. The strong focus on the board game mode, and reviving over 100 favourite minigames from the golden days of the N64, means there’s a lot on the virtual table for Mario Party fans in this strong contender for your next video game night with friends (or foes).
Mario Party Superstars is available now on Switch.