A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Mario Party is a party game for one to four players, available on the Nintendo Switch. Players compete with and against each other in a variety of short mini-games in both offline and online play. The mini-games are designed to be simple to pick up and play by people of any age and skill level. The focus is on competition, but in a fun and entertaining way that doesn't push winning so much as simply enjoying the fun with friends. There's some minor violence in a handful of the mini-games, though it's cartoonish and slapstick in nature. The game also features support for Nintendo's amiibo figures, which can unlock additional content, such as stickers and music.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
It's party time once again in the Mushroom Kingdom, and this time around it isn't just any ol' Mario Party ... it's a SUPER MARIO PARTY. Gather your friends and get ready for a brand-new round of mini-game fun as Nintendo's hit party game franchise makes its debut on the Nintendo Switch. Of course, it's not a party if no one shows up, so Mario is bringing along more than a few friends, with a roster of 20 different characters to choose from, including some returning favorites and a few brand-new additions to the guest list. Got a friend with a Switch? Invite them to Toad's Rec Room to join in the fun with unique tabletop games that make use of both Switch screens at once. Amiibo support adds a few extra party favors to the mix, and online multiplayer support means your friends can join the party even if they're not close by. There ain't no party like a Super Mario Party, and with more than 80 different mini-games to play, this Super Mario Party won't stop.
Is it any good?
For the past 20 years, it's been a gaming inevitability that if there's a Nintendo console, sooner or later there will be a set of fun mini-games for it. The Switch is no exception, thanks to the release of Super Mario Party, the latest entry in the popular social party franchise. But does Super Mario Party make the most of its new venue? Absolutely. Super Mario Party is a fantastic addition to the franchise and does a surprisingly good job of showing off the features of the Switch without ever feeling too "gimmicky." Mind you, with more than 80 different mini-games to play, some will hit the mark better than others. Games like Fuzzy Flight School and Pie Hard are hilariously frantic, and Slaparazzi is just a barrel of laughs with friends. But there are still a very small number of games, like the Can Take Pancake game, that are pretty forgettable on the whole.
Still, all the games make great use of the Joy-Con's motion and button controls. The controls are extremely responsive, and if you lose a game, you know it's simply because you got outplayed. The most interesting, and likely to be the least used, features are the dual-screen mini-games available in Toad's Rec Room. These require two systems to play, with the screens syncing up and allowing for interaction between them. The best of these is probably Shell Shocked Deluxe, where up to four players battle each other in tiny tanks, rotating and arranging the two Switch consoles to create custom battlefields. Of course, unless you've got someone else bringing a Switch around on a regular basis, these games won't see the light of day too often. On the upside, Super Mario Party does make use of the recently launched Nintendo Online Service, allowing friends to get together to play mini-game marathons even if they can't get together in the same room. Nintendo wanted to make sure that everyone was invited to this party, and if you have a Switch, it's one party you really shouldn't miss.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competition and teamwork. What are some of the benefits to friendly competition, and how can you make sure competition doesn't get out of hand? What are some good ways to practice teamwork, and how can teamwork help you to progress as an individual?
What are some of the ways that a game night with friends and family can bring people together? How can these games help to open up lines of communication?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: October 5, 2018
- Genre: Party
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- 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.