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Mario Party 10

Developer: Nintendo EAD | Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 03/20/15 | Genre: Party

Mario Party is back with its tenth installment and on the Wii U platform for the first time.  This time around, Mario and his friends are in full HD for the first time in the series. Also included is Amiibo support both from compatible Super Smash Bros series of Amiibo and the new Super Mario Bros series Amiibo. But is it worth throwing down your hard earned cash for a copy of Mario Party 10?

Mario Party is Nintendo’s idea of a board game.  In the past, players would all move and at the end of the turn, a minigame would take place. This made the game drag out as it could take forever to finish a game. In Mario Party 9, Nintendo put all players in a car and they move together on the board. This moves forward with Mario Party 10.  The game moves much more quickly and it also keeps the players together so nobody feels left behind. For younger players especially, this keeps them part of the action. 

Another change to the Mario Party formula is that each turn does not guarantee a minigame. Instead, there are minigame spaces scattered around each of the boards. If any of the players land on these, a minigame is played immediately. While this does mean it is possible for you to get a minigame up to four times in a single turn, it usually doesn’t work out that way. In my play time, I found that we would run into a minigame spot once every few turns. This is a way the game is sped up.

In the newest mode to Mario Party 10, the Amiibo Party, players can take the new Super Mario Bros or select Super Smash Bros Amiibo into the world of Mario Party. These plastic figures are used as pieces of the virtual game board.  Once you have selected the number of players, with at least one Amiibo needed to unlock the mode, players select their characters or drop their Amiibo on the GamePad. The boards can be customized with each Amiibo unlocking a different themed board. These are very reminiscent of the original Mario Party with very simple boards and players trying to trade in their coins to buy stars on the board.  Each game last 10 turns and there is a minigame at the end of each turn.

The big problem with this mode is, though it is a lot of fun, you have to use the Amiibo on the GamePad to roll your dice instead of just hitting the A button on your Wiimote. While initially a cool concept, it gets annoying fast. Unless you are playing at a table, with everyone sitting around the GamePad, passing off the GamePad to the next person gets old after about one turn. What we did to avoid passing around the GamePad is elect one person in charge of all rolling. They kept the GamePad by them and were in charge of using the Amiibo to roll. If you have younger children in the house, like I do, this is a good job for them.

The other new theme to Mario Party 10 is Bowser Party. In this mode, one player can take control of Bowser, and use the GamePad, to try and catch the car containing 4 players. This mode will allow 5 people to play. Players all take turns rolling and are trying to work together to keep their hearts. At the end of the turn, Bowser gets to move with a multitude of dice rolls and attempts to catch up to Mario and his friends. If Bowser ends up rolling to them, players will go immediately to a minigame where Bowser controls the action via the GamePad and the other players will play with the Wiimote. As the game progresses, players will lose hearts if Bowser is successful. Once players lose all of their hearts, they are knocked out of the game. This mode makes the best use of the GamePad and is a lot of fun with a group of people playing.

The default Mario Party is also still a lot of fun but doesn’t really use the GamePad well. On most boards, as players roll, they unlock a lock on Bowser.  When they roll one of each number, Bowser is unlocked and comes onto the board to fill it up with Bowser Spots and to do some random event.

Mario Party 10 is a game best played with two or more people.  By yourself, the game just isn’t a lot of fun unless you are buying it for a younger child.  When played with two or more people, Mario Party 10 is a great party game that will provide hours and hours of enjoyment. I recommend it in this case. It is really the best Mario Party game I have played since the GameCube days.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/24/15
ESRB Details: Rated for Mild Cartoon Violence.
This is a collection of mini-games (i.e., “party games”) in which players compete against characters from the Mario universe. Players move around themed game boards and compete in mini-games in order to collect stars. Several mini-games depict characters battling boss figures by shooting cannonballs at them or shooting them with 'cartoony” tanks. Others games depict characters bonking each other with mallets or pushing each other off cloud-like ledges.
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Screenshots for Mario Party 10

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