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.