10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Mario Party 10’

Ain’t no party like a Mario Party, ’cause a Mario Party… really requires four dedicated players?

Okay, admittedly not my best lede graph, but at least I’m trying! Mario Party 10 likewise does its best, but is its best good enough? Read on to find out.

mario party 10

I haven’t played a Mario Party game in a while. Should I pick this one up?
That really depends on a number of factors. Specifically if you A) own a Wii U, B) are in the market for a title that leans heavily towards couch-multiplayer, and C) have easy access to likeminded friends or family members who are also down to waggle some Wii Remotes, then it might well be worth your time.

Wii-motes, huh? What about the GamePad?
Like most Wii U multiplayer fare, Mario Party 10 relies heavily on dusting off your old Wii-motes. Four players use them to roll virtual dice as they make their way around an immersive (but, sadly, only occasionally branching) game board, and to compete in frantic minigames in an attempt to rack up more Stars than their opponents. In the new Bowser Party mode, however, a fifth player takes on the role of Bowser and, using the GamePad, chases Mario and company around the board in an attempt to prevent them from reaching their goal.

Do I need amiibos to play it?
Nope. Just like in Smash Bros., the amiibos simply provide some bonus functionality. In amiibo Party mode, players can scan in amiibos for use both as their in-game avatars and to “skin” the smaller, square game board around a particular character’s theme. This mode also uses the GamePad and amiibos in such a way that both will need to be within easy reach at all times–for example, you rest amiibo on the Pad’s NFC area and then lift it to roll your die.

About those amiibos…
I get it; everybody loves amiibos. We are all perfectly crazy for amiibos. We have lost our collective mind over amiibos. And, yes, Mario Party 10 launched alongside yet another wave of these game-specific figurines. Weirdly, they are obviously larger than the previous generations, both with regard to height and girth. It’s a nice change, especially for smaller characters like Toad, and the new red-colored bases further help to differentiate them.

You just use them in the one mode, though?
Yeah, for the most part. I mean, you can scan in your amiibos daily for bonuses, but, if you were hoping Mario Party 10 was secretly going to be all about the amiibos, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.

Ok, so what about the other content?
Mario Party historically tries to pack a lot into an unassuming package, and this 10th iteration is no exception. Aside from the three main modes there are tons of mini-games (not all of them winners, of course, but there are many to choose from), as well as additional bonus games, a challenge list, and Toad’s Room, wherein you can use earned play points to buy new music, models to use in the game’s Photo Booth, vehicles to use on the primary game boards, and even higher skill levels for the COM players.

So is it good for kids?
It is. If your geeklings love Mario or amiibos or board gaming or just fast-paced multiplayer fun, Mario Party 10 will surely satisfy. The lone adult gamer admittedly won’t get much out of it, but if you’re playing together–whether it be for some shared family gaming or with your drunken, rowdy pals–it should manage to keep you properly engaged.

Is Mario Party 10 a game of luck or skill?
Like the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Party certainly flirts with strategy, making it plainly apparent where a specific die roll will land you and thus encouraging you to use items like the Slow Dice Block, but it’s that element of randomness that makes things so fun. And also infuriating. It’s a title that’s geared toward good sportsmanship or even good-natured smack talk, but short-tempered controller-tossers should beware.

But how does it look?
Something that I think gets lost among talk about Mario Party 10 (and dem amiibos) is the graphics. It really looks great, and channels all that HD charm fans so enjoyed in Super Mario 3D World. This has never been a series that screams for perfect visuals, but 10 does showcase a truly polished visual style.

What’s the bottom line?
In truth, Mario Party 10 is only as good as your play group. It certainly ain’t perfect, and, if the everybody-moves-together play style of Mario Party 9 left you cold, I doubt this game will suit you any better. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a digital board game to serve as raw material for some frenzied fun for you and your loved ones, Mario Party 10 seems more than happy to oblige.

Review materials provided by: Nintendo of America

Z. is a proud father of two, Managing Editor of the GeekDad blog, a multiple Parsec award-winning podcaster, and a lover of nerd music and culture. At this moment, he is likely thinking about clothes or playing video games. Possibly both.