Mario Party Superstars
Mario Party Superstars
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mario Party Superstars is a board game party game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. This is the latest chapter in the Mario Party franchise, which pits characters from Nintendo games against each other in a range of mini-games across a series of wacky game boards. This particular title pulls many of its mini-games and boards from older games, acting as both a curator of classic stages and a bit of nostalgia for players. While there's some violence across some stages because you're firing cannons, paintballs, fruit, and other objects at opponents, but no blood or gore is shown, and the violence is cartoonish in nature. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
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What’s It About?
Grab your friends and family, and pass around the Joy-Cons, because it's time to compete for top honors in MARIO PARTY SUPERSTARS. Instead of creating new stages to fight across, players are presented with game boards from the first three Mario Party games to explore. Gamers will select from one of ten classic Nintendo characters, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi as they roll dice to travel around these locations, competing across any one of 100 mini-games and earning coins. These coins can be used to purchase items to move around the board, dice to hinder other players progress, or stars to help you make progress towards winning the game and being declared the Super Star. At the end of every game, players will earn coins, which can be used to purchase gameplay music, encyclopedia pages about games in the series, stickers that can be used during board game stages to express how you feel during match moments, and more. Players also have the option to dive into a single player experience against computer-controlled opponents, local or online multiplayer matches against gamers, or they can visit Mt. Minigames to test your skills in 2 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3, or solo play. Can you beat your opponents and be declared the Super Star of every board?
Is It Any Good?
This collection of mini-games brings a heavy dose of nostalgia to the Nintendo Switch, along with a ton of competitive fun for players of all ages. Mario Party Superstars is a remastered take on the franchise, packaging five stages from the first three games of the franchise. But the curation doesn't stop there, because aside from updating the visuals on these stages, Superstars picks 100 mini-games from the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U titles for players to compete through. Particularly impressive about the gameplay is how surprisingly fair things wind up being over the course of exploring a board, even if you've spent a ton of time playing Mario Party games before. For example, your skills with games won't help if you randomly get low dice rolls, hampering your advancement around the board while your competition races forward to collect stars. But the game's also aware of possible imbalances, handing out items and even bonus stars at the end of a match to provide nail-biting comebacks. For the most part, the mini-games at the end of a turn or during a versus match are easy to pick up and play within a matter of seconds (especially thanks to the practice sessions provided before entering a competition). But more importantly, they're quick events that frequently are completed within a minute or less, which creates a frantic but entertaining experience before bringing players back to the larger game board.
Not everything about Mario Party Superstars rolls a perfect ten on its dice. Admittedly, some of the mini-games are questionable choices – Tug of War, which was infamous for causing blisters on the N64, makes its return, and given issues that Switch owners have had with Joy-Con sticks in the past, it can produce a lot of anxiety to play a game that requires a lot of rotation on the controller for fear that you'll break or damage the Joy-con nub. Similarly, other mini-games don't always have the best instructions for your practice sessions, so you'll wind up practicing a lot more than expected, but still may not know how to successfully compete in that game. Finally, and it's a nitpicky issue, but it's a bit odd that for a title that revamps and takes elements from previous games in the franchise, it disregards some of the better items from Super Mario Party, the last title on the Switch. Only featuring half the selectable characters, removing the option to gain allies to provide additional dice rolls, and eliminating motion controls feels a bit restrictive or outdated compared to the previous game. But these are minor issues compared to the hours of entertainment that are waiting for players on these virtual boards. Overall, Mario Party Superstars rolls up the fun and friendly competition for series vets and newcomers alike, and it's a great family game night title to play. The hardest choices you might have comes down to choosing the character you want to play, and the board you want to explore.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about competition and teamwork. What are the positive elements behind friendly competition? Is it possible to prevent competitive games from getting out of hand and hurting other player's feeling? What are some good ways to practice teamwork, and can you apply that to other games or real life?
Why are party games fun to play? Is it the variety of games? The randomness of the boards you play on? The challenge of defeating your opponents? Having fun with your friends and family in a match?
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release date: October 29, 2021
- Genre: Party
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: December 15, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate