A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There's constant encouragement for friendly competition between players, as well as persevering against odds that may be out of your control because of random dice rolls or moves by your opponents. There aren't any overt messages in the game apart from trying your best to win and become the "Super Star" of a board, but the enjoyment of playing mini-games against friends or the computer is engaging.
Positive Role Models
Players have the option to select from one of ten characters in the game. While most of the characters are positive characters from other Nintendo games, arguably three can also be selected. But there's no focus on character development, nor do the villains have their own schemes. It's everyone out for themselves in these games.
Players have the option to select men, women, and even creatures to represent them during the game. They'll also interact with an assortment of characters in mini-games and each level.
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Ease of Play
For the most part, picking up and playing games are very easy to do. Some mini-games have more complex game mechanics that are poorly explained, but there's a practice session that pops up for each one that allows you to test your skills before competing.
Violence & Scariness
Players will fire paintballs, cannons, fruit, and other objects at opponents. No blood or gore is shown, and violence is cartoonish in nature.
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Products & Purchases
This is the latest chapter in the popular Mario Party franchise. It features characters from previous Nintendo games, and also highlights older Mario Party titles for its mini-games.
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.
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.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.