A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Can spur friendly competition, healthy socializing, strategic cooperation.
Positive Role Models
Features heroes, villains from Nintendo universe but doesn't have motivation positively, negatively outside of game.
Ease of Play
With a few exceptions, each mini-game is very approachable.
Violence & Scariness
Handful of mini-games show characters punching, kicking, pushing each other off ledges, platforms. In one mini-game, players shoot "cartoony" cannonballs from tanks at moving targets/enemies, causing them to comically yelp, fly out of arena.
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Products & Purchases
Features characters from various Nintendo properties, which could get players interested in picking up those games.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mario Party: The Top 100 is a party video game, meaning it's a collection of mini-games designed to be intuitive and easy to control, and to foster competition between a number of players. Mario Party is laid out on a board game board, and as the title implies, it's also a compilation of 100 of the most popular mini-games from the 20-year-old series. It's designed to be family-friendly, so there's no objectionable content whatsoever. There's no violence except a handful of mini-games that show characters pushing each other off ledges and one that has players shooting at each other in tanks with "cartoony" cannonballs, causing characters to yelp and fly out of the arena.
Is It Any Good?
Strange as it might sound, this game's noble intentions of compiling 100 of the series' most popular mini-games falls short with a surprising lack of content and shelf life. For starters, Mario Party: The Top 100 is lacking for modes: There's one base board (meaning a deceptive lack of variety), a miniscule character roster, and a clunky way of creating "playlists" of mini-games. On that last point, you have to manually select mini-games a la carte -- which is a lot of work. It's odd to gripe about these shortcomings given the generous amount of mini-games on offer, but they just don't come together in a way that makes you want to play them at length.
But with 100 games, you're sure to find a few favorites and a few you know you'll want to practice at and get better. It's commendable that the game is multiplayer via Download Play (meaning only one player needs to own a copy of the game), but there's an obvious jarring clash in bringing back some of the series' older offerings from other consoles. For example, mini-games from the Wii (bowling, another where you have to tilt the 3DS to steer a car) simply don't work on the handheld format. Nobody does fun like Nintendo, and there are definitely some gems in this collection (a standout is a reversal on Whac-A-Mole, where players compete to keep their heads above ground the longest before being bopped), but these moments are simply too short-lived and too few and far between to make the overall package worthwhile.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.