Written by Gabriel Castrillon, Assistant Editor
To me, Mario Party has always been the perfect party game. Recognizable board-game-like format, simple yet competitive minigames, and a whole lot of luck so that anybody has a chance to win.
However, recent entries in the series have been disappointing to many– Mario Party 9 and Mario Party 10 made it so all players traveled on the board as a group, eliminating the competitive nature of the game that players love. Super Mario Party brought back individuality at the cost of a greatly unbalanced in-game economy which allowed winning players to win more, leaving players who don’t get lucky on the first few turns feeling hopeless.
Mario Party Superstars is a love letter to fans of the series who want to enjoy the magic of its earlier entries. It includes five beloved game boards from the first three games and a hundred minigames from Mario Party through Mario Party 10. If you’ve played any earlier Mario Party games, you’ll likely recognize a few of your favorite minigames in Superstars’ lineup.
Superstars is also the most accessible Mario Party to date– there are no motion-based actions or minigames, so you can play with any controller that works with a Switch. The game also offers an online mode for players who don’t enjoy going up against AI. You can make lobbies to play with friends or compete with other random players from around the world. However, you may experience some lag during minigames, leading to infuriating losses.
My only major criticism of Superstars is that its explanations of board and minigame mechanics are often cursory– new players might initially have difficulty understanding what exactly they’re trying to do on any given board. If you’re playing with a group of people who are unfamiliar with the game, make sure to explain things that are omitted by in-game descriptions.Overall, playing Mario Party Superstars was a breath of fresh air after being stuck playing Mario Party 8 and Mario Party 10 for so long. The game plays and looks amazing on the Switch, and I’d recommend it to anybody looking to get their friends or family together in the living room and have some quick joy- (or rage) inducing fun.