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.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
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. 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 party won't stop.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
"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." 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, feature are the dual screen mini-games available in "Toad's Rec Room." 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.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Quality: 5 out of 5
Positive messages: 4 out of 5
Positive role models: 2 out of 5
Ease of play: 5 out of 5
Violence and scariness: 1 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 4 out of 5
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release date: October 5, 2018
ESRB rating: E for mild cartoon violence
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