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Game Review: Mario Party Superstars

Wed, 3rd Nov 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

One of the reasons I love the Nintendo Switch as a gaming console is its focus on multiplayer games. Even as grown adults, we all just want to huddle around a TV and play some Mario games with our friends. Nintendo just released the eagerly awaited Mario Party Superstars.

The last two Mario Party games were really controversial with the game's fan base. Super Mario Party was one of the first games I got for my Nintendo Switch when I got it, and while it was fun at first, the game was a little lacking in content. It had so much potential, but all I really wanted was more content from the older games.

Nintendo did just that with Mario Party Superstars. Nintendo took 100 of the best mini-games of all time, reskinned them, remastered them and released them as part of the Mario Party Superstars game.

The selection of games is also really versatile. Some games are more ‘button smash' style games, while others require strategy and attention to detail. One Mini game is eerily similar to the ‘Red light, Green light' game from the Netflix series Squid Game but presented in a fun Mario style. This one was a hit with my group of friends.

They also chose five older fan favourite boards and remade them. They had a board from the N64 era and even a board from the Game Cube. This is really exciting for fans that grew up playing these games in pixelated quality. We can now experience them all again but with stunning graphics and great controls.

Nintendo also made sure that the online aspect of the game worked flawlessly this time around. Where I am, we are currently in a lockdown so playing with friends has to be remote. So I was really excited when I realised you could play the entire board game online with friends. This means that if you video-call your friends and start playing together, you very easily have yourself a COVID-19 safe party.

The game works flawlessly remotely. One amazing feature that was added is the ability to save the online game you have with your friends. So if someone had to go take care of a task or just grab a meal, you can come back and finish your saved game.

Sadly, the board-game levels are not available to play with online matchmaking. At first, I was upset by this, but then it made sense. The chances are low for three other strangers to sit and play a board game with you that sometimes lasts up to 90 minutes.

This does not mean that you can't play with strangers at all. Every day there are a series of challenges where you can play mini-games against randomly selected players online. These are really fun because you are less likely to lose a friendship over that loss even if you lose.

One other aspect I was worried about before I played this game is that the last Mario Party game relied heavily on the JoyCons' motion controls and on rumble. A lot of my friends currently play from a Switch Lite, and I wanted them to be able to play fairly. Luckily this is not the case here; I could easily play a full game with a friend who plays on the Switch Lite with zero problems.

I think this game is a brilliant addition to the Switch's library and would make a great Christmas gift for anyone young or old. I am looking forward to also being able to bust out this game with friends when lockdown is over.

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