A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Game is focused on friendly competition; players can work as team in many instances. Person you fought against in the last mini-game might be your teammate in the next. It's lighthearted and fun without ever feeling like it's a "win at all costs" experience.
Positive Role Models
Playable characters are all from the Mario Bros. universe and are fun, upbeat, generally happy. Even villain characters like Wario and Bowser have a fun personality. Still, they're generally just avatars for the player, and the party/board game style doesn't allow for much character development.
Ease of Play
Main game is meant to be picked up and played by people of all ages and skill levels. Mini-games are fairly diverse; some are more simple than others, but none are particularly complicated to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Some minor violence, with characters knocking each other around, but it tends to be slapstick and comical in nature.
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Products & Purchases
The latest in the Mario Party franchise, which has been a Nintendo staple on its consoles for 20 years. Also incorporates characters, elements from the Super Mario series, also with a massive line of licensed products. The game also features amiibo support, encouraging players to use the figures for additional in-game bonuses.
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.
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.
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