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 10 is a very social party game with mild cartoon violence. Characters can fall into lava, get blown backward by bombs, bumped by slow-moving bullets, and hit by hammers. They're never seriously injured and always ready to keep going on the next turn. The action is geared for groups of two to five players -- as many as eight in a bonus tournament mode -- and creates a positive social atmosphere that promotes communication, competition, and cooperation. One of the three primary game modes relies on physical amiibo toy characters, which must be purchased separately.
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What's it about?
MARIO PARTY 10 follows the well-worn path tread by its many predecessors, providing a variety of virtual board games for families and friends to play together in the same room. There are three main modes: Amiibo Party, Bowser Party, and Mario Party. Amiibo Party is played on a simple square board and makes use of Nintendo's collectible amiibo toy figures, which players can tap on the Gamepad to roll dice on their turn. Bowser Party puts one player in the role of Mario's shelled nemesis, chasing after the other four who must try to stay ahead of the giant turtle as they race to the board's finish line. Mario Party puts all four players in a vehicle and has them take turns rolling dice to move it around the board with an aim to collect mini-stars. All modes have special squares and events that can have a significant impact on player standings, plus dozens of simple mini-games that determine who earns coins, mini-stars, or, in the case of Bowser Party, who loses hearts. Some games are skill-based, but chance plays a big role, too, so younger and less skilled players can generally compete with older and more experienced players on an even level.
Is it any good?
Anyone familiar with previous Mario Party games will be instantly at home with Mario Party 10. The boards -- standard Mario locales including airships, castles, underwater seascapes, and rolling hills -- feature familiar events such as bricks that can be bashed to reveal treasures and Whomp barriers that need to be beaten down before players can keep moving. Many of the mini-games are recognizable, too, including activities that see players dodging hammers, racing along tracks, and vying to be the last character standing above a pit of lava with a shifting floor. This apparent lack of innovation may turn off players who feel they've already had their fill of Mario Party in previous games.
But Bowser Party may be enough to keep them playing. This lopsided mode fosters a sense of camaraderie among the four players being chased by Bowser. They're all in it together and will be rooting each other on -- all the more so because Bowser is a big cheater. The player in control of Mario's dreaded enemy can do things such as roll again if he or she isn't satisfied with the first roll and try to trick players about to make choices (which chest to open, which path to take) into choosing badly by drawing distractions on the screen. Both sides are fun to play and likely will see rivals and teammates laughing out loud and shouting in disbelief. It's a relatively small change to a well-established formula, but it could be just enough to convince even people who thought themselves finished with Mario Party games to give this new one a go.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about collections. What about collecting is fun to you? How do you determine whether something is worth collecting?
Talk about socially interacting with friends. Have you tried playing Mario Party 10 with friends? Do you think it can help you get to know other kids and become friends with them?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
- Subjects: Hobbies: board games
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, listening, speaking
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: March 18, 2015
- Genre: Party
- Topics: Friendship
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
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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.